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6 Simple Ways to Welcome Winter

Date: November 20, 2013 Author: admin Categories: SunnySide Up Program


Is it already feeling like winter where you are? We have been enjoying some night walks around our neighborhood in the brisk, damp air. I’m enjoying bundling up in my scarf and gloves, followed by something warm to drink on our return.

As of December 21, it is officially be winter. On the winter solstice, the northern hemisphere has its “shortest day” or least amount of sunlight. Traditionally, it is celebrated as the promise of light, warmth and the return of spring.

Here are 6 simple, peaceful ways to welcome winter with your kids.Whether you are hustling and bustling this time of year, or keeping it mellow, I hope you and your kiddos will enjoy a few moments connecting with nature and the changing seasons.


1. Enjoy some outside time.

Build a snowman. Jump in rain puddles. Take a night walk. Gather pine cones, acorns, and fallen evergreen branches. Whatever the weather where you live, make some time to enjoy nature and say a big “Hello!”to winter.


2. Light a candle.

After the winter solstice, we get just a little more sunshine each day as we approach spring. Celebrate the sunlight and take advantage of the early darkness to eat dinner by candlelight. Maybe your family would enjoy the quiet of no electricity for the whole evening. My girls are going to have a surprise candlelit bath this year, followed by cozy winter stories – I think they are going to love it!

 3. Measure your shadow.

During the winter, the Earth’s northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun. The sun is lower in the sky, creating longer shadows. If you are lucky enough to have some glimpses of sunshine next week, head outside to see how long your shadows can be. My girls have been making silly shadow poses for me to photograph.




4. Read a poem together.

Choose a wintery poem that you can read and reread during the cold winter months. We’re going to illustrate our winter poem and hang it up where we can all read and enjoy it. I won’t be surprised if my girls memorize it before I do! Here’s our poem of choice this season:

I Heard a Bird Sing
by Oliver Herford

I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December
A magical thing
And sweet to remember

‘We are nearer to Spring
Than we were in September,’
I heard a bird sing
In the dark of December.

5. Feed the birds.

You could make the traditional peanut butter and birdseed pine cones, or try making birdseed cookiesorange cup hanging feeders, or a cranberry/popcorn garland. The National Audubon Society also has a nice list of simple bird feeders to make with kids. Don’t forget that birds need a source of fresh water in the winter, too!


6. Be a moon-watcher.

If your kids are night owls, they can enjoy watching a total lunar eclipse that happens to coincide with the winter solstice this year. For those of us in North America, the eclipse will begin around 9:30 pm PST. I’m hoping for clear skies so we can see the reddish glow of the moon during the eclipse. (For more detailed timing information and an animation of the eclipse, head to the Shadow and Substance website.)