With winter storms battering the country from coast to coast and the mercury dropping, it’s easy to want to huddle inside by the fireplace. But most of us find that we’re happier when we get outside. For my husband and me, some of our happiest memories have been when we’ve been exploring nature and the outdoors together.
In fact, a recent Ispos Reid poll conducted by the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) shows that more than 97 percent of Canadians believe that getting outdoors is important to their family’s well-being. Furthermore, the research conducted in 2011 that found that Canadians are happier when they are outside.
There are so many ways for you to get outside and enjoy Canada’s winter wonderland with friends and family. Why not try some of these ideas:
Spot the species
Bring your binoculars and this winter bird identification booklet on a hike or snowshoe and work together to identify the species you encounter. Or, try identifying animal tracks in the snow to see what animals are out and about.
Get crafty and creative
Nature certainly looks different with all of that snow on it. Bring your camera to take photos of the snow-covered winter wonderland to send a holiday e-greeting to loved ones.
You can also pack paper and crayons and make bark rubbings of trees on your route, to embellish a special holiday or New Year’s card.
Let nature inspire you
Nature and the outdoors make great inspiration for any poet. Jot down notes about your day (or record your thoughts on a voice recorder, if the temperatures are too chilly and your mitts too thick to hold a pen) and send that special someone a nature-inspired poem or love letter, mentioning all of the species, sights and sounds you encountered.
Bring out your inner snow child
Sure, a fresh blanket of snow makes a great canvas to build snowmen or snow angels. But why not break with tradition and use all that snow to build figures in the shape of your favorite animal — making you the creative snow figure builder on the block!
Share the love with our furry friends
Winter is the time where food is scarce for the furry and fuzzy creatures that have not migrated to warmer climates. Help make the food hunt a little easier for them by making pine cone bird feeders for birds and squirrels and hanging them around the neighborhood.
How do you enjoy your winter wonderland?
Let us know by adding a comment below, or send a photo or video of your time in nature to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can share them with others!
This post was written by Christine Beevis Trickett, managing editor of LandLines, the blog of the Nature Conservancy of Canada.