It’s January, and the weather is alternately wet, windy, or cold – and sometimes all three at once. Why on earth would you want to leave the warm and comfortable sanctuary of your home to venture out into the miserable winter weather? There are, however, several very good reasons.
- It’s better for your health to get some fresh air and exercise
- It’s good for the kids to get outdoors and play
- It feels fantastic when you come back into the warmth of your home for a hot drink or a bowl of soup!
Wildlife in winter
You might think winter is a bad time to be watching for wildlife, but it’s actually a great time to look for birds in your garden, as they’re hungry enough to be bolder, and there aren’t any leaves for them to hide in.
If you have a shed, you can use it as a hide, although many birds will ignore you as long as you’re not too close when they need food in the winter. Hang out plenty of different types of bird feed to attract different kinds of birds, and wait to see what comes over.
Robins may be fairly common, but the sight of a red-breasted male against the dull surroundings is still something to warm the heart, and that glimpse of gold could well be a goldfinch come to take advantage of the Niger seeds. If you’re lucky, you may get to see a winter visitor, migratory birds that come over to Britain for the winter months like Bramblings and Redwings.
Ponds in winter
If you’ve got a waterway near where you live, take advantage of the higher water levels to play a few rounds of Pooh sticks. Kids never tire of this game, and the speed of the winter water makes it very exciting. Your garden pond may look a bit drab at this time of year, but there will still be plenty of life under the surface. Remember to keep your pond pump running or use a water heater to stop the pond freezing over completely, which could be a problem for frogs and newts if it lasts more than a few days. Check out the best equipment to use in the winter at www.water-garden.co.uk
Snow is a cherished event for kids of all ages, and an excellent reason to get out and have some fun. Even a small amount of snow can be used to make mini snowmen, and you can put them in the freezer to preserve them. As well as building snowmen, there’s snowball fights, snow angels, snow writing, and sledging if the snow is deep enough – hours of entertainment to be had.
Make sure everyone is wrapped up warm but not too restricted; plenty of thin layers is best. Add waterproof gloves and trousers to stop snow from melting through trousers and mittens, which can be horribly uncomfortable.
There’s a lot of fun to be had outside whatever the weather, and you’ll feel much better afterward than if you’d stayed in getting drowsy in a centrally heated atmosphere. Every day is a good day to get out and have fun, so don’t miss out just because it’s winter.
This is a collaboration post