When the colder months start closing in on us, it’s easy to switch into hibernation mode isn’t it? The thought of braving the elements with a baby in tow isn’t the most appealing when the wind is howling and the rain is lashing.

But it’s important to remember that fresh air and exercise is vital for not only your baby’s health but also your own.

While it’s always lovely to snuggle up during the coldest of winter days and to spend time watching the weather from indoors, there’s also a lot of joy to be had from putting on some warm clothes and getting out and about. Here are some great ideas to help you keep out and active during the winter.

Plan a Nature Walk

You don’t need to live in the countryside to enjoy a nature walk with your baby or toddler. There will be a park or patch of green somewhere within walking distance of your home. This is a great idea for those who can’t drive or who don’t have a lot of time. You only need an hour or so to introduce your child to the joys of nature; if you have a baby and a toddler, invest in a good wheel board so your older child doesn’t get too tired.

Collect some Autumn leaves. Show your child the different colours, let them hold a leaf or two and show them how to throw up piles of leaves and enjoy the cascade of colour as they fall. Gather the prettiest leaves, berries and twigs and make an “Autumn Bouquet” to take home and put in a vase. Another fun activity is to collect the driest leaves and do some leaf rubbings with crayons when you get home.

Feed the Ducks and Have a Park Bench Picnic

Your nearest duck pond will have some very grateful occupants if you take the right sort of food. Remember that bread isn’t a healthy treat for ducks, swans or other wild birds. Instead take on of the following.

  • Commercial bird seed
  • Rice (cooked or uncooked)
  • Grapes cut up into smaller pieces
  • Wheat
  • Barley
  • Oats

If it’s drizzly or damp, make sure you’ve got a good quality rain cover on your pram or buggy. A toasty footmuff will make all the difference to your child’s comfort as they enjoy their own lunch, feed the birds and learn more about nature.

Winter Forest Walks

Woods and forests are like wonderland to small children. The sheer size of the trees and the special sort of quiet which is to be found in any dense woodland is utterly magical and your child will learn a lot about nature on a short trip to the woods.

You can pretend to go on a bear hunt if your children are familiar with the book or make up your own hunting game and see how many special natural wonders they can spot.

Ideas of what to look out for include;

  • Toadstools and mushrooms
  • Red berries
  • White berries
  • Animal burrows
  • Feathers

Both you and your children will benefit enormously from plenty of fresh air and exercise and outdoor activities like those listed above will foster a life-long love of nature as well as create many happy memories for your children and for you to enjoy over the years to come.