Winter’s on its way but there’s no need to despair. There’s plenty of winter activities to keep dads and kids occupied through even the most dismal days.
As they say in Game of Thrones, Winter is coming. Happily, it’s unlikely that the armies of the dead will rise up to lay waste to the living in our world, so that’s something to be thankful for.
Actually, there’s lots to be thankful for in winter, especially for dads looking for fun and exciting activities to do with their children. Yes the nights can be cold and long and the days damp and short, but winter is a season filled with magical moments. Here are a few to try.
Try ice skating
As well established skating rinks, every year at about this time ice skating arenas start popping up in the most unlikely places, from the Natural History Museum in London to Deansgate Locks in Manchester and Millennium Point in Birmingham.
If you haven’t skated before, we can guess what you’re thinking. Why not take a hammer to your ankle right here and now and cut out the middleman. We strongly advise a change of heart. Beginner or not, you’ll laugh, scream and possibly fall over a few times, but the children will love it and so will you.
Make hot chocolate
What could be simpler or more satisfying than home made hot chocolate (and the kids can help make it)? When you’ve been out building snowmen or enjoying a muddy walk on a windswept moor, coming home to a cosy warm house and real hot chocolate is all the treat you need. All you really need to do is pour hot milk over chopped up chocolate and stir until the chocolate has melted, but there are more deluxe versions to try too.
Feed the birds
Food is scarce for the neighbourhood wildlife at this time of year so putting up a feeder will attract lots of birds to your garden or yard. You can even get feeders that attach to your window or window ledge. Get the kids involved by encouraging them to help choose feeders and food stocks, and let them use the internet or a book from the library to identify your winter visitors.
Play old school games
When the weather’s bad get the children off the Xbox by insisting they can have just as much fun playing games with nothing more than a paper and pencil. They won’t believe you and they’re probably right not to, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have quite a lot of fun with just a paper and pencil. And you won’t feel guilty about letting them play video games all day. Win win.
What sort of fun can you have without screens!? Well, what about noughts and crosses, hangman, battleships (yes, battleships), consequences…you name it. They might not sound like much, but put some sweets up as a prize and you can guarantee an afternoon of shouting, giggling, and piles of screwed up paper thrown angrily to the floor. A perfect afternoon, in other words.
Winter activities means doing snow stuff
We hardly need to say it but when the snow falls you’re spoilt for choice. Sledging is the best fun ever. (Gentle-ish) snowball fights can be a riot. You can probably make a better snowman than this:
Let’s face it, it doesn’t snow often these days, so when it does make sure you make the most of it.
Enjoy days out, inside
Think museums, galleries, soft play centres, climbing walls, libraries, cinemas and theatres. There’s loads going on indoors if you look for it. Indoor venues know they have a captive audience at this time of year, when the weather gets bad and the children get bored. So look out for perfect pantos, new Star Wars and Paddington movies, and special – child-centric – exhibitions. Visit stately homes and learn of the ghosts and ghouls of winter. There will be loads of Christmas activities coming up too, of course, but we will cover them in more depth next month.
And if all else fails, you can always make slime!