Top winter activities with children
We know how hard it can be to keep children occupied when it is cold outside and the nights are drawing in. We have come up with a list of winter activities you can do with your children outdoors, to ensure you don’t miss a minute of that precious daylight. So wrap up warm and go on an adventure!
Make a mud pie
Ensure you have plenty of mud, some leaves, sticks and nuts, plus one larger stick (for all the mixing you need to do!) and a mixing bowl that you don’t mind getting a bit dirty. Combine the leaves, sticks and nuts with the squishy mud and stir. Make sure you wash your hands after making your pie – it won’t be good enough to eat!
Make nature art with pine cones
Collect some pine cones which have fallen to the ground and turn them into little hedgehogs to decorate your home with. All you need is a little bit of felt, a permanent marker and some glue. Stick the felt to the top of the pine cone, draw 2 eyes on the felt face and your hedgehog is ready!
Collect fallen leaves
See how many you can collect during your walk, then lay them out and count how many different species of tree you can identify.
Make a nature home
Create a 5* bug hotel for insects looking for a winter hideaway. Use anything you can think of that might provide shelter for bugs such as old terracotta tiles, straw, bamboo canes, old pallets, soil, sand, dried leaves, kitchen roll tubes, or strips of wood. Don’t forget to add a roof and ensure the site you pick is suitable – normally the best site is cool and damp, but not wet and out of direct sunlight.
Start a nature journal
All you need is a blank notebook and 5 minutes a day to stop and pay attention to your surroundings. Write down what you see and maybe even draw some examples of the creatures and plant life you spot.
North Norfolk is a haven for migrating birds and Pensthorpe provides the perfect inland resting ground. This time of year is perfect for spotting birds, particularly if you’re making a special trip to Norfolk.
Take bark rubbings and learn about different species of tree
Take a wax crayon and some paper out on a family walk and see how many different species of tree you can identify from their bark. This activity is perfect for winter as the undergrowth around trees has died back.
Make your own bird feeder
Gather together suet or lard, wild bird seeds, string and an empty yogurt pot. Add the dry ingredients to a bowl and stir in the melted suet or lard. Make a hole in the middle of the bottom of the yogurt pot and thread the string through, leaving 10cm of length on the inside of the pot and 20cm on the outside. Fill the pot with your mixture and leave to cool so it sets solid. Cut away the pot and hang your home-made bird food!
Run in the rain
Make sure you’re wearing suitable (waterproof!) clothing and don’t let the chilly weather deter you from going outside and experiencing nature! Have a splash through puddles, stomp in the mud and look up at the sky as the rain falls on your face.
Make sure you’re wrapped up in all of your winter warmers and find an outdoor space on a cold, clear night to sit down and look up at the sky. Can you spot the North star? It is the brightest one in the sky!