When I was little, it seemed to snow and snow all winter. I grew up in Maryland but if it was winter there was snow and ice. Snow to sled on and ice to skate on. Well, actually sledding was more like careening – as fast as you could, over the large speed bumps and landing with a thud on the frozen pond. Skating was a process of trying and failing.
What’s to be learned from hours outside in the freezing cold? Plenty.
I learned how to push myself harder. Sure I could lift that heavy snowball to the top of the snowman. I practiced cooperating – how else could we get so many on the sled and get it going down the hill. I experienced the thrill of danger and figuring out how to keep myself from getting injured. I solved problems, such as shoveling the snow off the ice so we could skate. I developed a love of the natural world and a deep appreciation for the beauty of white snow and cold, blue ice. And I had pure fun.
When the snow comes, get outside. Gather up all the snow gear your child needs and give them space to put on all the pieces. One or two quick lessons about what goes on first, second, etc. help young children at first but then guaranteed they can do it.
Here’s a checklist of what they might discover in the snowy cold:
- They are stronger than they thought.
- Going fast is a thrill.
- Bumps and little pains can be ignored.
- Understanding how to take turns is a requirement.
- The world of ice and snow is beautiful.
- Paying attention to others keeps one safe.
- Courage is easier with friends.
- There’s always room for one more.
- Nothing is better than fun.