Rosy cheeks, marshmallow jackets, sleds, and hot chocolates, the perfect combination for a day in the snow. Do you need tips for playing in the snow with kids? Other than avoiding yellow snow and snow angels in dog parks, here are some tips from the locals of Banff National Park.
1. Snowball fights for the win
There's nothing more exciting than a playful snowball fight. Gather your nearest and dearest to form a team and work together to build a fort. Use your hands to make the perfect snowball and let the games begin. Remember, no headshots and no yellow snow!
2. Get creative in the snow
Get lost in mazes dug through snow or paint masterpieces with environmentally friendly paint. Be strategic and play tic-tac-toe, or think of warmer days with beach toys and make some snow castles.
3. Try a new activity in the snow
Discover more of Banff National Park and explore on snowshoes. It’s entertaining to watch the kids get used to snowshoes, but it’s also a great way for them to burn energy. Until the end of April, book a snowshoe tour in Banff and Lake Louise, to learn about the winter ecosystem and hibernating wildlife.
4. It’s all about the layers and extras
An obvious tip is to keep kids warm when playing in the snow. Sounds easy, but it can be complicated. Different seasons, ages, and activities means different gear for each time. Remember to dress in layers and bring extras! Don't leave the house without the spares, especially on those soggy spring days.
5. One-piece snowsuits for the tiny ones
To remove the risk of snow in unwanted places, one-piece snowsuits work best for kids under three. Get a suit where the gloves fold over so you can sneak mittens underneath, then they can't pull them off. Talking of pulling mitts off, get hats that have the tie under the chin so you aren't losing hats!
6. Be smart with your accessories
No matter the age or activity, neck warmers are invaluable. They keep the neck warm but can also protect the face from unwanted snow spray. For extra protection, it can also double as a mask.
Adults enjoy stylish woollen mitts. Although they look pretty, they don’t keep little hands warm or dry enough to delve into the snow. Invest in a pair of mitts with waterproofing, and add extra comfort with some hand and feet warmers.
7. Don’t ever forget the snacks
Kids burn a lot of energy playing and keeping warm in the snow, meaning hungry bellies. Keep the hangry tantrums at bay and the party happy with treats (or bribes). Pack little mandarins, trail mix, or a sweet treat like M&M’s.
A thermos with hot chocolate or hot tea to warm up and reenergize makes for a perfect break. Keeping hydrated is key to having a good time, so don't forget the water. If you haven’t prepared ahead of time, don't stress, you can pick up snacks in Banff or Lake Louise.
8. No really, don't...
Unless you need entertaining birthday images, don’t let kids lick metal poles or anything metal. Don’t ruin the holidays with sunburn, make sure you lather exposed spots with a high-grade SPF. And on a serious note, don’t let your kids dive headfirst into a snowbank.
Leave the iPad and electronics at home, the batteries die fast in the cold anyway. Switch off and reconnect with each other and nature. Take note of these tips and have fun playing in the snow together as a family.