One of the realities of life in northern Vermont that winter brings us extreme low temperatures. Rather than deny it or bemoan it, I suggest that we embrace it!
When I know that we are going to have a Arctic like temperatures I like to seize the opportunity to make: ice lanterns, ice balls, and other icy explorations for my preschoolers. This post is a round up of pictures to inspire you to try your own hand at making the most of the frigid temperatures!
ICE LANTERNS – gather up large plastic containers and fill with water to freeze, add some natural materials like pine boughs. When frozen solid, put on eye protections chip a little indent with a screwdriver and insert tea lights or small candles. Some sources suggest using two different containers one inside the other, but my method makes a really solid lantern that will last a LONG time! I use mine outdoors and love the glow amongst the dark night!
As the lanterns are used the crevice becomes deeper. You can try adding more water on another frigid night so that it will last longer. The ice lanterns I made in 2021 lasted for almost 2 months!
No exposed skin is the way to survive (and even thrive) in the frigid temperatures. It turns out that with layering and getting out of the wind, you can still get outside even when an Arctic blast rolls through! I shared this rather unflattering photo on Instagram recently with the caption: “Question: What would you do to spend some quality time with your teenage son? Answer: Travel to the planet Hoth for some ice fishing while hoping that a Tauntaun might come offer a warm spot to defrost! “
Unlike Elsa who said, “Let the storm rage on. The cold never bothered me anyway.”…many of us just are NOT comfortable being outdoors in the cold. In one of my recent trainings, “Nurtured by Nature: Winter Wellness” I shared some of my tips for staying warm outdoors.
Staying Warm Strategies:
- Get the right gear & wear layers. Not sure what to buy ~ borrow gear from friends to test out & talk to others. Outdoor stores are happy to talk about options to keep you warm. You don’t have to break the bank when you learn how to layer. (which is a post for another day)
- Try going outdoors for shorter lengths of time
- Be active while outdoors – keep moving and PLAY!
- Go out at the warmest part of the day
- Avoid windy areas
- No exposed skin — get yourself a Balaclava type mask which is made of stretchy, breathable fabric that protects your face while wicking away moisture. Function before fashion!
- HYDRATED before going out
- Consider using toe or hand warmers
- If the cold really bothers you…invest in heated gloves, socks, vest, or jacket! It’s not a sign of weakness but rather a strategy that might motivate you to go outdoors more often this winter!
Additional blog posts for winter ideas:
Winter Science for Preschool – https://aprilsteachingtree.com/2020/12/18/winter-science-for-preschool/
Winter Inspired Math Activities – https://aprilsteachingtree.com/2020/12/21/winter-inspired-math-activities/
Children’s Books for a Winter Study Unit – https://aprilsteachingtree.com/2017/11/15/childrens-books-for-winter-studies/
Snowflake Catching Necklaces – https://aprilsteachingtree.com/2017/01/19/snowflake-catching-necklaces/
Upcoming Training ~ “Nurtured by Nature: Winter Self Care”
Sponsor: Northern Lights at CCV
Instructor: April Zajko
With shorter daylight hours and frigid weather you might find yourself ready to hibernate. This two-hour training will give you a toolkit of simple wellness and gentle self-care strategies to integrate into your daily routines. You will learn ways that nature can gently nurture you and help you feel invigorated throughout the winter months!