>> Friday, 17 February 2012
Having foolishly wished for snow to lift the interminable greyness towards the end of last year, I am now rather regretting my foolhardiness in longing for the white stuff. Obviously, there are things about it I like, but there are also plenty that I’m not so keen on. Dirty slush, for one. Nincompoop drivers, for another. And the fact that it becomes even more difficult than usual to get my sons to play outside.
Don’t get me wrong; at school they have outdoor playtimes no matter WHAT the weather, but by the time they get home and even at the weekends, their interest in playing outside seems to have waned a little. Oh, who am I kidding? They’re not that interested even at the best of times, but now - when the snow lies thick on the ground - rounding them up, into their snow kit, and out of the back door for some healthy outside time is like herding cats.
I can’t blame my sons mind you; snow is cold, and it can be wet, and living in Moscow we do get a little bored of it, but they can’t spend the whole of January, February and March skulking inside. I’ve been casting about for ways to get them out of the house then, so when I was contacted by Tiger Sheds with some suggestions of outside games to play at this time year, I welcomed the additional input.
All of the games Tiger Sheds suggested are old favourites but I have to admit, not necessarily ones I would have thought about reminding the boys of in cold weather. There was ‘Red Rover’ (where children form two opposing lines, link arms, and shout for a child from the opposite team to try and break through their line), ‘What’s the time, Mr Wolf?’, (also known as ‘Grandmother’s Footsteps’), and ‘Stuck in the Mud’ (like tag but for two teams, and where a tagged child has to stand on the spot until a fellow team member slides between their legs to release them back into the game) which for some reason seems like it would be even more fun played in a foot of snow than it would normally.
The other tip Tiger Sheds have is to make hot chocolate and to take it out to the garden shed so the children have somewhere sheltered to drink it. Now, you may scoff at this as being a way of bringing their product – garden sheds – into the frame but it has one major advantage; it does avoid the problem of getting children to break off their outside play to come inside for a warming drink with all the accompanying removal of clothes that ensues. Have you ever done this and then tried to persuade them to put all their now cold and damp outdoor gear on again to go back outside for some more fresh air and fun?
With tv, ds’s and a warm bedroom with endless den-building possibilities calling, any sensible parent knows that just isn’t going to happen...