Rec Perspectives with Tia Wayling (File photo)

Rec Perspectives: Winter Can Be Fun For Everyone

“Put down your phone, turn off the TV and put on your woolly socks, snow pants, boots and jacket, and leave the confines of your warm house to explore your capabilities while you appreciate what’s in our backyard.”

“Rec Perspectives” with Tia Wayling, the recreation services coordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay

We were fortunate to get some snowy weather to fulfill many requests for a white Christmas holiday. My boys get very excited about the snow even though they’re terrified of sledding. But they did thoroughly enjoy walking the trails near Schikurski Park whilst spotting small candy canes on trees that a “sweet” local resident kindly adorned during the month of December.

However, our weather has been pretty mild these opening weeks of 2021, with a mixture of sun, rain and snow. I know we’re all anticipating the Farmer’s Almanac’s prediction for a cold winter in February, even if it’s likely only for a couple of weeks. I say we all bring some fun into our lives and take a lesson from Albert Einstein’s quote, “Play is the highest form of research”, to make the most of this season while we learn a little more about ourselves.

Put down your phone, turn off the TV and put on your woolly socks, snow pants, boots and jacket, and leave the confines of your warm house to explore your capabilities while you appreciate what’s in our backyard. Don’t be afraid to get a little sweaty and try some of these classic winter activities (age is irrelevant):

  • Make the best snowman with all of the accessories, including the classic carrot nose
  • Grab your toboggan or crazy carpet and slide down a few hills
  • Live dangerously and stand under a few snowy trees while you give them a shake
  • Pack a lunch and visit the local ski hills, snowshoe on the Summit, cross-country ski on the flats, or skate on our frozen lakes
  • Get kids excited and make up your own game with your kids/grandkids using snow or simple household items – you’d be surprised how imaginative kids can be

Forget the worries of the world and embrace the present. Stop to tap into all of your senses when you go for a winter walk. What do you hear? Feel different temperatures and textures without gloves. What do you see? Catch a few snowflakes on your tongue. Does winter have a smell? It’s amazing how much you will enjoy your time outside when you take off your blinders.

I frequently get emails from a great organization/social initiative called Active for Life (www.activeforlife.com). They are an amazing resource for ideas to keep you and your family active. Their vision statement is “Raising Physically Literate Kids”, and they have done an amazing job providing fun and creative ideas to keep families active during this past year, both indoors and outdoors. Check out their articles online for some new ideas for yourself and your family. Some of their content has even been an inspiration for some of my past articles.

Physical literacy has been given a huge push in recent years as a mainstream topic to teach good habits to keep our future generations healthy. Having good, basic movement skills builds confidence and self-esteem which, in turn, sets our children up for success in all aspects of their life. However, it’s never too late to learn something new or improve a skill. The benefits are the same, if not more rewarding.

If you’re still out of ideas on how to get moving, especially with kids, try googling “Minute to Win It Games” and you’ll have hours of entertainment. Bonus points if you adapt it to play them outside! Dress warm and have fun outdoors.

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