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Making the Most of Rural Winter as a Family

Making the Most of Rural Winter as a Family

Winters can be beautiful in the Midwest. One of the best things about rural winter is “the quiet.” When there is a blue moon hanging in the winter sky, the hoarfrost glows on the trees and there is no sound. No fall leaves clinging to the trees as the wind blows. No frogs croaking. No crickets chirping. Just quiet.

Rural winters are beautiful, yes, but also very challenging. Ethan, is always ready to go outside, but Nick and Rudy, the teenagers, prefer to curl up and sleep or resort to their phones or gaming system, which we try to limit. I’ve created a little cheat sheet of activities that make the winter seem, well, not so harsh, including those inevitable snow days with cancelled school.

Here are a few ideas:

– Board games with a big bowl of popped corn and hot chocolates keep everyone engaged, junk food at bay and brains working. 

– Might I recommend teaching your kids how to bake bread? Whether it’s exploring gluten-free ingredients or making traditional yeast bread, it is becoming a lost art. Here’s a recipe I thought looked fun and easy using a plastic zipper bag to mix the ingredients. Kids love to feel it in their hands and actually have a chance to knead the dough. Breadmaking – every stage of it – is an experience. Kids actually see what happens as the dough rises, is kneaded and turns from ingredients into something they can eat. 

– The area we live in is mostly gently rolling hills, but there are some excellent hills for sledding nearby. Grab the round saucer sleds next time it snows and take a few extra pairs of dry gloves. Don’t forget to bring snacks and bottled water. Other thoughts … snowshoeing and building an igloo!

– Don’t forget our little winter friends, the birds. Making these bird treats and hanging them in the trees will keep them fed and the family entertained for hours. 

What are your strategies for surviving the winter? 

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Thanks for reading my blog, A Bushel and A Plate.

As a mom who cares about eating good food and knowing the farmer who grew my food, I want to help other families to nourish your families with good, traceable, sustainable food.

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