Kid stuff
Ideas for winter vacation with your family

Winter is here, so let's pack up the van, get the kid stuff and the kids and off we go to have some winter fun.  The winter trips with the whole family can be exciting and wonderful, but can also be very stressful, and very, very long.

When kids are bored, they become cranky, demanding attention of everyone present, including the driver.  Now it becomes dangerous. Winter driving in Canada is dangerous enough, without the distraction from the back seat. 

So, before you head off, make sure that you pack travel games and other portable entertainment, especially for the longer trips.  In a way, your life may depend on it.

To get more ideas for keeping your children busy during a long trip, please check the articles written by Laurel Smith, a former school-teacher and currently a stay-at-home-mom who has logged thousands of road trip miles both as a kid and a mom.  If you pass her on the highway, you might catch her singing loudly in her minivan while her three children sing backup. Visit her website at

One thing, you should pack for every trip is crayons and coloring books.  They can fit well on children’s laps and will keep them entertained for a long time. You, on the other hand will be blessed with some new artwork for the fridge.

Leave early enough to accommodate several stops at the rest area. Go get a cup of hot chocolate for everyone, and then let the little ones burn off steam by running a bit in the safe area of the parking lot, playing tag.  The snow banks, of course are off limits, you don’t want them to get all wet now. Make sure that they stretch, have some fun doing that with them. You need it too. 

 If your trip is more then 8 hours, try to stop for the night and rest.  Do not travel at night, in the unknown area.  You can stay in the safety of the resort, hotel room and regenerate for the long way ahead...  Or you can stay in your car, on not always safe road… and spend the night in the ditch somewhere.  Let’s make it safe.

When you finally get there, relax!  Unpack, go and eat, lie down, take it easy, you made it here, so enjoy yourself!  When you are rested, you and your children will have so much more fun together.  

Now you can go out and try dog sledding, fun and educational activity for the kids of all ages.  They will be amazed by the strength of the dogs, by the beauty of the trail.

Dress up warm, protect the skin form winter wind and sun and off you go riding the sled.

For those seeking to experience the faster pace and a bigger ride, try the horse sledding.  It is an incredible and fun experience.  Children will have the opportunity to take a closer look at a horse, maybe sit up in the front with the driver. That, they will remember forever! 

Then, you may want to try and track the animals on the snow covered forest floor.  The mystery and sense of discovery, will make any child thrilled and excited.  Make a game of it, and ask the children to first find the tracks, name them and then draw them back in the room.  The child with most correctly recognized or guessed animals, gets a small prize. 

The next day, new adventures await you.  Let’s allow the kids to trip over their own feet, while they learn how to walk in the snow shoes.  The simplicity of this activity allows you to teach the little ones about the days gone by and the pioneer settlers who used it for tracking and hunting.  

Children’s exploring minds soak up information and retain it even if they think they are not learning,  So sneak those learning activities through your entire vacation,  Your kid's ability to remember information acquired while they were having fun, will amaze you.  With that in mind, have some fun outdoors and make them figure out how to build an igloo.  They will love you for it.  Imagine, building a shelter from snow!  Cool stuff!

If you are near a ski resort, but you don’t ski, maybe you would like to try the thrill of snow tubing?  Activity available in most ski resort locations.  The bumpy, fast ride down the hill will make your kids shriek with excitement, while you discover how much you like it too.

What ever you decide, just let them have fun.  They will return happy and tired and maybe, just maybe you and your honey will be able to have some time for yourselves.

So have fun, enjoy the time with your family, this is the stuff the memories are made of!

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