It may be darker out, and the days may be shorter, but don’t be fooled. Winter is a great time to go on a family hike.
It’s a beautiful time of year to explore how the wet weather transforms different habitats. By this time of year, it’s all about the mighty evergreen. This winter time invites the urge to collect pine cone for crafting, jump in muddle puddles, and indulge in a post-hike hot chocolate & cookie break.
Kids also tend to feel cooped up this time of year. As much as we wish it weren’t so, they also feel our end-of-year stress. Thus hiking as a family helps everyone feel a little more calm, and helps kids get their wiggles out.
Here are a few reminders about hiking with kids in the winter to help you out:
One of the big challenges of Thanksgiving is the added stresses that the holiday brings. Between the planning, eating, travel, the extended family get togethers, the entire week can be quite taxing!
That’s why our family has a tradition of going for a family hike during the break.
Nature does the body, mind, and soul a lot of good.
Getting outdoors is one of the most effective ways to easy stress and anxiety. Plus, a walk can aid digestion after that big meal, and can help kids stuck indoors during mealtime get their wiggles out.
This time of year is also a great time to enjoy the last of fall colors before we transition more fully into winter.
Want to get outdoors during your Thanksgiving break but your not sure where to go? Here are some ideas to help you out.
Fall often seems to be the busiest time of year. The shorter days seem to quicken the pace of life, as do impending holidays, and the realization that soon we'll all be bundled up in coats and boots again. It’s easy to get trapped into a cycle of rush, rush, rush and forget how important down time with family is during times of transition.
Ah, Snow Days! Love them or hate them, snow days are a part of life most winters here in the Pacific Northwest. Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what to do when snow hits, especially if the bad roads keep you from traveling.
In this post, we have 20 easy ways to pass the time on a snow with nature themed play...
...whether you live in a house of snow lovers or are wishing that spring would hurry up already. :)
GUEST POST NOTE: This week's blog post comes from guest author Michael Barton.
Recently my daughter spent some time with worms. Slithery, slimy, earthworms. It was a nature connection moment that made her day. But she also made the day for several worms, too. Moved from certain shriveling to refreshingly moist dirt, these worms lives, spent working the soil, would continue thanks to a curious young girl.
At 5, my daughter remains charmed by the simplest of things: getting up close to minibeasts (a British word for bugs!), climbing trees, jumping off of rocks or stumps, noticing when our resident hummingbirds zip across our yard toward the feeder, pointing out the hoard of crows that make their presence known in the evening - the list could go on.
In last week’s blog post, I shared some tips for navigating the challenges of hiking with kids. This week, I want to turn the attention to parents.
More specifically, I want to focus on those of us who have trouble finding time for hiking...
which is basically almost all of us!
Why do I say this? Because last year when we surveyed folks about their biggest family hiking challenges, most mentioned a lack of time as a major barrier.
Parents said they felt too busy, too stressed, or sometimes just too exhausted to figure out how to schedule in outdoor time.
What can you do to tackle this particular hurdle?
I decided to look to writer Gretchin Rubin's work on habits as I came up with some some tips:
While there’s a lot we still don’t know about the Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia River Gorge, one thing we can say for certain is that the Gorge will look different afterwards. Fires always bring change - both the immediate kind and the kind that will take place over many many years .
This raises the question for us as parents: How we talk about this change with our kids?
First, it's helpful to remember that kids - especially kids ages 6 and under - don’t have the same sense of time as we do. The passage of years so critical to our self awareness doesn’t really click with them yet. Nor do kids have the deep well of memories that can engender strong emotions of nostalgia or loss in connection to events like the Gorge wildfire. Rather, kids naturally tend to be forward-looking because their life is still at its beginning. Their thoughts tend to be on what comes next.
While wildfires are a normal part of the dry season in the Pacific Northwest, in some years, it can start to seem like the will never come to end. The huge new Eagle Creek fire in the Columbia River Gorge makes this year an even more challenging fire season than it already has been.
For some kids, the sight and smell of smoke and ash in the air (and the air quality warnings that force them indoors) might also spark worries, frustrations, or questions. Here are some tips for parents and caregivers for talking to kids about wildfires.
Sometimes, when our son is dragging his heels on a trail, we turn to games and fun activities to try to help motivate him. The kinds of games we choose depend on his specific mood (“I’m bored” is a different than, oh, say, wanting to get off the trail). If you follow what we do, you know that our sticker maps have long been one kind of activity we’ve been doing (you can read our bio to learn more about how all that started).
Here are a few other favorites activities that have also worked pretty well.
Bryna R. Campbell