The temperature drops. Frosty eyebrows, toques pulled low, runny noses – and NEVER ENDING RAIN (or snow). Mindful calls from the grandparents reminding you that cold weather means every child will contract bone-crunching illness if they’re not draped from head-to-toe in wool or fleece.

You don’t want to go outside, in other words. In fact, you’d prefer to stay in your pajamas and tackle the stack of movies you’ve been unable to attend to in the past months. Or get on board with the latest Call of Duty. Nice try. You’ve got a kid — who may (or may not) prefer their pajamas, but probably couldn’t give two figs about old-school Japanese film-makers. And Lord knows you can’t play video games in front of them…yet.

So we need some bad-weather ideas. Even if it means momentary exposure to the elements.Some suggestions, for better or worse:

  • Go Outside! Seriously. Even if it takes you half an hour to get everyone dressed for an outdoor excursion that may only last 20 minutes. Do it. The world is different in cold weather. Sounds, smells, tastes. Why not add to your child’s empirical repertoire. Pile up leaves and jump through ’em. Pack hot-chocolate in a thermos (and a bag of marshmallows).
  • Excursions. An obvious solution, but it doesn’t have to be a trip to the mall or Canadian Tire. If you’re in the Vancouver area, try Maplewood Farms. White Rock or South Surrey? Try Semiahmoo Family Place or Tong Louie YMCA. Ontario people, well the world is yours as there is a ton of things to do — especially in the Niagara Region.
  • Indoors Only. Are pajamas the general consensus? Turn the television off and engage with your kids. Do some baking with them, simple stuff that allows them to feel like they’ve contributed. Create a tent city in your living room (requires broom handles, chairs, possibly a step-ladder, blankets and several clothes pins or clamps). Get your groove on with some old records. Have a picnic in the living room. Paint pictures and hang ’em up around the house.

The nice thing about bad weather is that…well, it’s only weather. Not sure why we’re so preoccupied with it these days. We often arrange our lives around the potential for bad weather (a-la early morning forecasts). But there’s not much we can do about it other than put up with whatever comes our way. So man-up.

And it’s not that difficult is it? More importantly, if you can tucker the kids out during the morning, maybe you’ll open up a bit of time in the afternoon to crash on the couch — catch half a movie before they wake up. You may have to take down the tent-fort to see the television though. Just saying.


When Harry Tournemille runs out out of things to say, he looks to the weather.