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Winter Survival

The Ultimate Winter Survival Kit – A few ideas that will help you and your family survive the winter blues.

Winters in Canada seem to go on forever, don’t they? It’s usually at about this time of the year that everyone starts to go a little stir crazy, as it’s already been winter for a while, we all know there’s quite a bit of it left, and we’re running out of things to do. Well, just as you may have an emergency kit in your car, or your home, think of this as your Winter Survival Kit – A few ideas that will help you and your family survive the winter blues.

Build a snow shelter. While it’s helpful to know how to build a snow shelter for emergency purposes, it’s also a fun thing to make on a relatively warm day and can keep kids busy for hours. So, how to do it? Well, if the snow is deep, just dig. Dig until you hit the ground, and then clear an area about two metres by one. On the windward side, build up a wall of snow as high as you’d like along the length of the cleared area. To make it just a bit cooler, fill a couple spray bottles with water, add a few drops of food coloring to each bottle and spray the shelter for decoration.

Keep warm. Keeping warm is crucial to winter survival. Though you may not exactly be stranded in the woods in a horrible storm, it’s still good to stay cozy and avoid the winter chills. Making a fire, inside or outside, is a great way to spend time together as a family, and embrace that snug feeling that only sitting around a fire in the winter can provide. If you have an indoor fireplace, start it up, grab some blankets and board games, make some hot chocolate, and just spend the day together. If it’s a nice day, head to the backyard or a recreational area (such as Kananaskis or Ghost Lake) and build a campfire there. Bring hot chocolate, marshmallows, tons of warm clothes and blankets, and enjoy!

Avoid frostbite. Staying bundled up in the winter is a necessity, but one that can be difficult with children at the best of times. Get your kids to make their own fleece mitts and they will like them so much they’ll be pleased to put them on and show them off! Go to a fabric store and pick out some fleece (a metre is plenty for a few pairs of mitts), fold the fleece in half with the patterned or outer side on the inner part of the fold. Next, have your child put their hands on the fabric, palms down, fingers somewhat spread. Using a fabric pen (or even a marker), trace around the outside of their hand, leaving about three centimetres between the line and their hand, as well as about five or six centimetres at the base of their hand. Cut the mitts out of the fabric, ensuring both layers are cut out together. Sew the layers together around the edges (by hand or with a machine), leaving the bottom open, then turn them right side out. Afterward, have your child decorate the mitts with fabric paint and ribbons, and use scissors and a hole puncher to create a neat border along the bottom edge.

Though winter tends to be tiring and frustrating, and many people find it tough to fight the winter blues, it’s always heartwarming to spend time together as a family. Enjoy the coziness of the indoors when it’s extra cold: read a book, watch a movie or make some crafts. When a Chinook hits, get outside and enjoy the warm temperatures: make a snowman, go ice-skating or get a tube at a tire shop and go tubing! Try to make the most of the season; it’ll be over before you know it.

Calgary’s Child Magazine © 2021 Calgary’s Child