Winter time brings with it the cold and snowy weather, but that doesn’t mean families with small children need to be stuck indoors. Skiing, sledding and snowshoeing with kids are great ways to enjoy family time and outdoor exercise in winter. However, skiing is expensive and sledding requires hills. Snowshoeing, on the other hand, is cheap and can be done anywhere. Children can strap on some snowshoes and practice their walking skills outside in their own yards. Family snowshoe outings can also be planned anywhere where flat trails are found.
Snowshoeing with the Family
A place we like to go snowshoeing is at America’s Stonehenge in Salem, N.H. At this historical site, we can rent snowshoes and enjoy the beautiful trails and outdoor winter weather with our kids. Sometimes we bring a lunch and picnic along the trail. The important thing when snowshoeing with the family is to be prepared for cold weather.
Preparing to Snowshoe with Kids
Kids should be bundled up in order to enjoy their family time snowshoeing. This means good socks and lightweight boots, snowpants, jacket, hat, gloves and scarf. If it is going to be really cold, you may want to include thermal underware in that list. Also, if it is snowing, bring along snow goggles or kids sunglasses to protect the eyes. To keep feet dry, plan on purchasing gaiters –waterproof material that covers or wraps around the top of the boot and prevents snow from getting in. Finally, similar to hiking in the summer, children will want to have a backpack with water, snacks and extra sweater or coat and dry gloves.
Snowshoeing Tips for Family Outdoor Fun
Snowshoeing is relatively easy to do. Kids will get the hang of it right away, but you may want to have them practice with the shoes first, and learn how to backtrack. You cannot really go backwards with snowshoes on, but need to make U-turns instead, always going forwards. Also, kids might find that using ski poles will help them keep their balance.