I used to be a fairweather garden parent. I’ve never been very outdoorsy but by some cruel twist of fate, both of my kids have been. As soon as they could talk, they would beg to go outside, come rain or shine, they just wanted to be in that garden!
Thankfully, my frosty relationship with the outdoors has thawed somewhat, as I quickly realised garden can provide hours of free entertainment. So long as you wrap them up warm, there’s no real reason to keep the kids cooped up in the house – even when it’s cold outside!
How to Entertain your Kids in the Garden On Cold Days
I’ve found on days when my kids get the most fresh air coincide with the nights they sleep the best. So I found ways to entertain them in my garden even when it’s freezing cold.
Play in fallen leaves
We have one biggish tree in our garden, and by the end of the year there is a constant stream of golden leaves falling onto the lawn.
We picked up a really cheap rakes for £2 from a local bargain shop, and when the leaves have fallen, we rake them into a big pile. Once they’re in a pile we jump in it, kick the leaves into the air and crunch them with our hands and feel.
Sometimes we pick out favourite leaves and bring them inside to draw after we’ve played. We’ve found some beautiful red and orange leaves in our time.
Jumping in muddy puddles
At the risk of sounding like I’ve been inspired by Peppa Pig, jumping in muddy puddles is really fun.
We live up north, so if it’s cold, chances are it’s pretty wet too. This can end up getting quite messy, but if you’re trying to kill an afternoon, you can easily treat a bath like it’s a big event, and maybe even warm up with hot chocolate and a film once the kids are clean.
Go on a garden nature hunt
Give your kids a list of things they need to find in one hand and bucket to store them in in the other and encourage them to explore the garden.
My list usually consists of things like ‘5 white stones’ or ‘1 red, 1 orange and 1 yellow leaf’. Make it hard enough so that it takes longer than 5 minutes, but not so hard they get frustrated.
Feed the birds
If it’s cold out, the birds a probably hungry. Once the ground freezes, it becomes hard for the birds to get their beaks around their usual feast of worms, so they need some humans to help out! Winter can be a very hard time for birds!
If you’re into making your own bird feeders, Pinterest is the place for you. If you’re not sure what or how you should feed the birds in your garden, Trago Mills have provided this handy infographic:
If you have an outdoorsy child, you might like this article about kids UV protective clothing for sunnier days!
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