By the middle of December we had a really nice amount of snow. There was enough snow in the yard that we were able to create some hills to climb and pathways to explore.
Some of the babies were not sure this was a good thing. Boots and snowsuits limit mobility even on a flat surface. I kept a section of the deck clear of snow so the little ones could practice and build their confidence before they tackled the hills and deep snow.
The older children are already trail blazers – eagerly marking the path through all the fresh snow in the garden;
Still, some days the little ones just quit. They lie on the deck and wait until it is time to go in. I try to persuade them that they’d be warmer if they moved around like the others. Some of them cannot manage to climb the stairs to the door. Others scramble quickly to the top – proving to me that their outerwear doesn’t slow them down if they have enough incentive to move.
My husband looks at me as I bring the troupe back inside. ‘Why do you even bother? It takes so long to get them dressed and you’re only out for such a short time’. I answer, ‘The same reason I keep giving them vegetables at lunch – it is good for them even if they are a little reluctant to try it.’
Last winter my older group enjoyed hunting for coloured ice cube ‘gems’. This year I decided to go bigger. There were squeals of delight when the babies first saw the bricks of coloured ice. Everyone scrambled up on the snow hill to investigate.
The little ones are not interested in hide and seek games with the coloured ice bricks. Instead they like to collect any ‘strays’ and pile them together with the others. Each day when new bricks are made I put them in areas of the yard that are slightly beyond the babies’ comfort zone. Once they’ve been collected and stacked with the rest of the bricks the babies are done for the day.
It’s a start. They now have a purpose to venture out into the snow and it is something they enjoy. Hopefully they will not be deterred when they return next week and see all the new snow that has accumulated in the yard. Our new task will be to search for the lost city of ice…