As it drifts and shape shifts, blows and blankets, snow is the outdoor play transformer par excellence. Wet and heavy, or light and airy like faerie dust, it’s a game changer. Even the thinnest carpeting effortlessly repurposes gradual slopes of green. Steadily accumulating flakes are a signal for kids to get outside and mix it up in a swirl of excitement.
This cool new surface that’s falling down is ideal for slip sliding around. The kids pull sleds and other slidey things out from storage and dust them off for the first descent of the season.
Here on this strip of land between our houses is the new found merriment centre. It’s St. Moritz without the long line ups, ski lifts, or chic boutiques. Limitless runs are the order of the day. Head first, flat on belly, or feet planted surely for a standing slide.
Late afternoon shadows lead the snow tamers down the incline. Balance is good form but falling is also fine. Up and down the slope, careful to avoid obstacles, muscles push and pull.
Movement and laughter warm things up. On the precipice the friends are oblivious to the crisp wind. The snow is tamped down, grassy patches peeking through. An empty grey sky holds no promise of a fresh fall.
Panda Power still slides true as the first of many winter play afternoons concludes. Already the kids are wishing for mountains of snow to climb and wade through, to fashion forts, build snowmen and make snowballs that unerringly find their mark.
Winter related question, how cold is too cold for recess?
It’s well chilly in Canada’s far east right now. Not arctic conditions by any stretch but bone penetrating cold from biting northern winds. The big freeze is later than usual and we of the wintry non-sportifying adults set are pleased with this tardiness. Recent temperatures are in the -10ºC range, say -20ºC with the wind chill.
Storytelling with Storehouse – click through for photo montage and short videos
The kids are the ones who get me out in this weather. Short walks, hand feeding chickadee expeditions and sorties of the sledding and skating variety are the order of the day.
It’s as if the kids have small furnaces at the core of their beings that keep them stoked, impervious to the elements. Fuelled by play’s exhilaration and the adventurous pursuit of hurtling velocity, these snow sliders are oblivious to the elements, inoculated against creeping chill (warm clothes are a must too).
It’s simple fun with uphill huffing and puffing and downhill squeals of delight. We have a small fright too. Lila, our youngest, stands immobile in the path of a sled barreling toward her. Brother and sister are on board but they are unable to veer away. It’s a direct hit and Lila is catapulted into the air her feet swept from under her. I’m thankful that aside from the tears, there’s nothing more amiss. I don’t think we’ll have any further standing still in the path of oncoming sled incidents…
Watch out for those sleds!
All told, we’re out for a couple of hours and pack it in just before we become walking popsicles. Even so it’s not a unanimous decision, a couple of the kids want to hang in for more. I promise we’ll return the next day. Really, there’s no better way to while away a few wintry hours than with the simple yet electrifying pleasure of some quality downhill sledding.
Get a taste of our winter fun here on Storehouse, the app that makes possible beautiful storytelling using video and photos.
The uphill slog
There’s another storm raging outside just as I’m about to hit publish and just after I’ve seen an update from Suzanna, PlayGroundology’s Pop-Up Adventure friend – she’s on an Australia tour and right now it’s 39ºC outside. I guess she’ll just have to look for ‘the cool within’. With more snow coming down, I hope we’ll be able to get out later today for downhill dashes the sequel.