Seasonal Parent-Child Bonding on the Cheap

A winter storm watch has been issued for my neck of the woods.  Meteorologists are predicting nearly eight inches of the white stuff will fall in less than 24 hours.  As a parent, who was born and raised in Hawaii, and despises the snow and cold, I am really not looking forward to dealing with icy roads and below freezing temperatures.  Still, my kid is a Wisconsinite, so I have to do what any good mother would do—suck it up.

Sacrifice; it’s the hallmark of good parenting, right?

Winter presents a unique challenge for many parents.  Some days, Mother Nature’s wrath traps you indoors which can lead to a severe case of cabin fever.  On other days, you and your child can make the most of the seasonal splendor outside.

If you are looking for inexpensive ways to bond with your child this winter, consider the following fun outdoor activities:

Snowball Roll:  It doesn’t get much easier than a good old fashioned snowball roll.  Simply pack some snow together and see how big of a ball you can make.  Roll it around your yard, down the driveway and along the sidewalk to gather as much snow as possible.

Hat Toss:  Build a snowman together and then find a sturdy hat to place on his head.  Only don’t do it the traditional way.  Instead, make a line in the snow and stand behind it before taking turns tossing the hat at the snowman’s head.  The person who can get the topper to land on the snowman’s head first is the winner.

Snow Obstacle Course:  Carve out an obstacle course in the snow making sure the challenges are age appropriate.  If you don’t have enough snow to work with, use sticks to jump over, patio chairs to crawl under or safety cones to run around.

Snowball Toss:  Set-up a series of buckets.  Then, make a slew of snowballs of varying sizes.  Next, have a contest with your child to see who can get the most snowballs in the buckets.  Be sure to make the challenge fair by allowing your child to stand closer to the buckets before taking aim.  You could also set-up a pyramid of empty cans or plastic bottles and take turns trying to knock them down.  If you are playing with a younger child, consider placing a hula hoop in the snow or hang it from a tree branch and have kids use it as a target.

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.