For those of you living in an area of the world where sunny warm days are the norm for most of the year, getting children outside is not a great hardship. But for those who like me live where we have at least 3′ of snow, and minus 20F temperatures in winter, it takes a bit more ingenuity to get them enthused about leaving the warm house.
Heck it takes a lot to convince us to get out of the house, and we have definite things to do out there. Like grocery shopping.
Getting Kids Outside
First you have to convince them that you would really like a snowman standing in the yard. Then get the snowsuits and toques (winter hats) on, and find the mittens and boots.
Remember to make sure they have all gone to the bathroom, before you get all the winter gear on.
When you get outside start on the snowman but also have other things to do.
Our front yard has about 12′ of flat area and then a slope that goes down to the road of about 70′ so it makes a good area to go sliding. There is a row of trees and a large bank left by snow plows so little chance of them sliding out onto the road. This makes it a bit easier to get them outside. Although my grandson one year said “but we don’t have a sled.” This was not a major problem.
I had him sit down in the snow and gave him a push. Nylon snowsuits are very slippery and make great sleds in a pinch.
Getting The Grandchildren Back Inside
So now you have been out for about 20 minutes and you are cold and exhausted, but they want to stay out longer.
So 15 minutes later you start with the treats inside. “Would you like some hot chocolate?“, no response so you up the anti. “We can have peanut butter cookies and hot chocolate with marshmallows in it.”
When that doesn’t work, you start begging, “Aren’t you cold yet? Grandma is kind of cold, so can we go in and come out later?”
After another 10 minutes and being told by the children you love dearly that only old people get cold, you say “Times up we are going in.” After all you are in charge here. Right?
Now this little foray into the cold has taken about 2 hours, you are tired, cold and think you will never get warm and you still have to get out the cookies and hot chocolate. At times like this just remember they are going home in a few days, this usually makes it bearable.
After they’re gone you can sit and remember the visit, while you watch the snow storm outside your window, as you sit in your easy chair with the cat curled up on your lap.
Missing them, as much as you do most of the time, can be put off for a few days, while you enjoy the memories and attempt to get warm again.