If the snowy weather whirling from Maine all the way down south to Georgia wasn’t a clear indicator that winter was coming, today officially marks the first day of the new season. This year, today is also the shortest day of the year, otherwise known as the winter solstice. A new season brings with it a lot of excitement — different sights, smells and opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. It can also be a great educational tool for kids!
In today’s technologically inclined world, many kids may be tempted to park themselves in front of a television or computer after school or on the weekends, especially as the weather becomes cold. However, the changing season provides ample possibilities for outdoor learning that is both engaging and exciting. Let the youngsters get their hands (and feet!) dirty as they explore all the changes a new season brings.
If you want some creative ways to help your youngsters experience all that the seasons have to offer, check out these suggestions:
Mix and Match Game A scavenger hunt and puzzle combined into one! Hide items like leaves, flowers, seashells and a snowman's carrot inside and outside the house and use clues to take your kids on an adventure to collect objects associated with the seasons. (If you have multiple kiddos, time the treasure hunt for some added fun!) Once they've found all their hidden prizes, have them put on their thinking caps and sort them into which season they belong to — a fun, interactive way to exercise the body and mind.
Family Cooking Teach your kids about the seasons and get some extra help in the kitchen! Set aside a day for “Cooking Through the Seasons,” in which you come up with creative, kid-friendly recipes using seasonal foods. Now that winter is upon us, try out some new recipes like these pomegranate orange scones or peppermint shortbread cookies. Cooking while enjoying a nice cup of nutella hot chocolate while playing holiday music from around the world is the perfect way to spend a cozy afternoon inside.
Seasonal Art Before you break out the crafts supplies, lace up your winter boots and head outside with your youngster to collect a few sticks. Let your kiddo pick four sheets of colored paper to represent each season and help them glue one stick to each piece. Trace their hand above the stick and then help them decide how to decorate the "tree branches," depending on what each season looks like: bright red and orange Pom Poms for fall or wispy cotton balls for winter. To keep your Picasso's masterpiece lasting as long as possible, frame each piece in a shadow box and hang it up when the season changes!
Kids can learn in just about any setting, and the outdoors are no exception. Ditch the TV and head outside to show your youngsters the marvels that surround them. Download the Jenzy app today to find the perfect fit on great sneakers and boots to keep your little one on the go, discovering all the wonders of nature.
This article was written with love by Jenzy writer, Jen Colletta.