I find the kids always play very well in the winter also. There is so much that they can do out in the snow. It takes a bit to get them outside and sometimes I just have to kick them out, but once they're out they find plenty to do and usually don't come back all to quickly. Unfortunately it has been quite a cold winter and so I didn't send Matthew out, although he sure would have loved to. A few times I let him go out, but he has a hard time maneuvering in all the clothes. One time he fell face in the snow and nobody saw it happen right away. He couldn't figure out how to get up again, so there he lay until he was noticed ... poor guy.
Since it has been so cold (often -15C) sledding really wasn't all that appealing, for once you add the wind factor it's just bone chilly. There was one time we tried it out. We weren't quite sure what to do with Matthew and then decided that since he has no fear he would surely enjoy the ride ... so off we went. Well it appears that our dear little boy does have some fear in him ... for he one ride down that hill had him crying up a storm and now he refuses to go near a sled, even for a nice calm ride on level ground. We didn't last very long at the hill that day as it gets rather cold just sitting there holding a scared boy and watching others sled.
A couple weeks ago the weather warmed up and all the snow melted. Knowing that it was all going to melt away we decided to head out sledding while the weather was a nicer temperature. This time we figured it was warm enough for Matthew to play at the bottom of the hill. We usually hit the Water Treatment Plant ... a common sledding area ... but decided to try something different this time. So instead we went to Olympic Park on the West Mountain. This is a smaller hill, but still a good size for the girls. The best part was we had the whole hill to ourselves (not sure if this is normal). There was a nice little ramp that someone had made and the kids thought this was great fun since they've never attempted these at the other hill with it being bigger.
Rebecca and Marietta
Rebecca and Rob
And Matthew hung out at the bottom of the hill. He enjoyed watching and would point and laugh. At first he hardly dared move on the unlevel snowground, but by the end he was playing around with the snow.
At the end of January Hamilton celebrated Hamilton Winterfest. There were various free activities throughout the city which we (or the girls) partook in. Several of the recreation centers had free craft, cooking, games or something of that assort sessions that you could sign up for. The girls went to two of these sessions where they did crafts and some "cooking" (in quotation because all they really did was stir the chili together but didn't come near the stove). As a family we went to one of the parks for a morning. They had various games there (not very well attended) and a horse and wagon ride, as well as indoors you could enjoy a free snack, hot chocolate and lunch ... so being the dutch people that we are we went out for that.
The girls played at the park for a bit ... Rob and Matthew joined in.
The other winter fun that the kids got to do was go to Bronte Creek with the whole school for a day. The school started a new event (they hope to make it annual) and the kids had an amazing time. They spent the entire day at Bronte Creek each taking turns going sledding, skating, playing in the playbarn, having lunch, and playing different snow games (and snowballing their teachers). The girls begged me to come along as one of the helpers ... but I only like winter from inside my house and don't much like being cold ... so the idea of spending a whole day out in the freezing cold was not appealing. In the end they had a nice day of around -5C, so it was rather ideal weather ... but still I was happier inside my house. Needless to say, the kids slept good that night!!