Leah Zabari

During the spring and summer months, I enjoy hiking, camping, and paddling on the lake. Last summer, I decided I was going to start visiting as many of the state parks in Pennsylvania as I could, explore hidden gems of our state, and start enjoying the outdoors even more than before. Each weekend I dedicated myself to finding new places to hike and if I wasn’t hiking, I was sitting under a tree with a book (yes, an actual book) or at the lake daydreaming while watching sail boats go by. I always feel better in my soul when I am outside breathing in the fresh air, feeling the warm sun on my face, and wandering through the woods. However, when the weather turns cold, my feelings of doing anything outdoors changes. I find myself feeling envious of hibernating bears during this time of year! This year, though, I made it a goal to brave the cold weather and continue my outdoor adventures.

Being “stuck” inside working all day, the cold air is like popping a piece of fresh mint gum in my mouth! It’s so refreshing and gives quite the burst of energy! I have learned that even if it’s a 10-minute walk down my street, when that walk ends, I can feel the difference in my health, both physically and mentally. I can go back to working with a fresh mindset and a relaxed body. Some of you reading this might be thinking, “I don’t have time for a walk in my day.” My advice to you is this: MAKE TIME! Even if it’s to walk to your front door, open the door, take a deep breath, and come back inside I guarantee you will feel more energized! Making time for quick mental breaks outside is so beneficial. It is as important for adults as it is for children.

My running group (Trail Sisters-Philadelphia) came up with a scavenger hunt during Christmas that made it fun to be outside and something my children enjoyed as well. We ran/walked around the neighborhood checking off items that we found along the way. It not only got us outside but got us moving and exploring different parts of the neighborhood that we never knew existed! We were having so much fun that none of us thought about how cold it was! I have since learned that planning out a specific game or activity to do ahead of time helps motivate my children and gets them looking forward to going outside. I encourage you to put on your mittens and hats and GET OUTSIDE this winter! Below are some fun activity ideas to do with your children.

  • Winter Scavenger Hunt (this is especially fun during the holidays where you can find all sorts of decorations, lights, etc.)
  • Hide and Seek
  • Invite a group of children to the neighborhood playground
  • Make a pinecone bird feeder and then go searching for the perfect tree to hang it on
  • Put a thermometer outside and make a graph charting the weather each day
  • Let the children shovel the snow
  • Fill a spray bottle with colored water and spray the snow with the colors

Do you find joy in the cold weather? If so, share your ideas and activities with us!

Tags : ActivitiescoldoutdoorWinter

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