3 ways that kids handle winter better than adults

Do you find yourself grumbling about snowfall warnings or griping about shovelling the driveway? If you’ve lost your winter mojo and need some inspiration, look no further than your kids. Here are three ways that kids handle winter way better than adults:

1. Kids bundle up.

Or, more accurately, we parents and caregivers bundle them properly. We send our little ones to school fully Thinsulated in snow pants, jackets, boots, mittens, and cozy hats with ear flaps. In contrast, we’re completely impractical when we dress ourselves, choosing to suffer for fashion or vanity.

I grew up in Winnipeg, so dressing in layers is instinctive, and even a point of pride. There’s a smugness that comes with outsmarting the cold with polar fleece, wool socks, fur-lined hoods and long underwear. As a bonus, today’s winter outerwear uses high-tech fabrics and is more stylish than ever before.

I am such a believer in dressing for the weather that it bothers me when kids’ movies portray it as unnecessary. In Disney’s Frozen, why was Elsa wearing a prom dress when she lived in an ice palace? In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it seemed highly unfair that Chewie gave Han Solo a parka, but Rey had to do battle in the snow wearing her desert garb (featuring sleeves that were nothing more than glorified Tensor bandages). Kids, don’t try that at home.

2. Kids keep moving.

They don’t stand around letting the cold seep into their bones; they’re way too busy exploring, sliding, digging, constructing a fort, or building a snowman. Let’s bring back winter play and rediscover winter’s fun side.

Physiologically, it’s harder to get cold when you’re in motion. Have you gone sledding with kids lately? It’s a heart-pumping, body-warming workout. Or, if you’re looking for something with less of an incline, even a short walk will give you a mood-boosting combination of physical activity, fresh air and sunshine.

3. Kids are genuinely excited about winter.

On the first snowfall of the year, kids yelp with delight while adults groan in the background. Visit any elementary schoolyard around 3:00 pm, and you’ll see parents shivering and lamenting the wind chill as their kids burst out the doors and beg to play on the snow hill.

Try to let a little of their enthusiasm rub off on you. As adults, there is a tendency to underappreciate the beauty of giant snowflakes clinging to evergreen branches or overlook the fascinating formations created by snow and ice. Recently, I caught myself trudging down the sidewalk, calling impatiently for my five-year-old to catch up. When I looked back, I realized he was absorbed in carefully making footprints in the untouched snow. I immediately chided myself for misplacing my sense of childlike wonder.

Follow the kids’ lead, and don’t be a winter wimp. The time you spend outdoors can also help you check off winter activities from the ParticipACTION 150 Play List. This is Canada, after all – put on your toque and join the fun!