By Tia Wayling, recreation services co-ordinator with the Regional District of Central Kootenay
The first snowfall has arrived, and my kids cannot contain themselves. There wasn’t more than a skiff of snow before they were vibrating with excitement to get out and make snowballs and taste the snow. Since the weather cooled down, the big question in my household was when it was going to snow. I think we can all look back and remember a time when we were this excited about the white stuff falling from the sky. And for some that enjoy winter activities, it’s still an energizing time of year.
The magic of snow disappears as we get older, and we tend to shut ourselves indoors more instead of maximizing on the fun we could be having. Maybe the magic fades because once we start to drive, it makes commuting more challenging, or maybe we just get tired of shovelling our driveways year after year. Or, it could just be as simple as walking on slippery surfaces becomes more precarious as we get older.
Nonetheless, it’s time we bring back some of that magic. You could go all out and do the more traditional activities like skiing, sledding, or snowshoeing. Or, you could just go in your backyard or deck and build something fun. It’s easy enough to make a snowman or an army of smaller ones, but this is a chance to get really creative. When it snowed when I was young, which on the Lower Mainland was not too often, my mother and I would make pyramids out of snowballs on the deck. When it got dark, she would put a tealight inside them and it would make a beautifully-lit feature we could enjoy looking at on the back deck. To add an artistic touch, you could add food colouring to a bottle to add a splash of colour to the masterpiece.
I’m hoping this is the year sledding becomes an activity that my children will start enjoying more. Up until now, sledding has been linked more with fear than exhilaration. But, my husband and I are banking on this winter activity to become a new favourite because toddler energy levels have hit a new high, and we need more ways to prevent them from bouncing off the walls. I don’t think there is a better way to tucker someone out than to run up a slippery hill countless times. But, I will be right there beside them because I could benefit from a workout too.
When we are between snowfalls, don’t let the mud and gloomy weather get you down. Throw on some boots and go for a refreshing walk. Never underestimate the benefits of walking. Even if it’s just to your mailbox or meeting up with a friend, your body will thank you.
Winter can be a magical season if you allow it to be. Whether your activities are active or creative, it is your choice to make it a fun time like you did when you were a child.