Yes! This is my first ever blog story. I have been thinking of creating my blog many years back but finally now I have the courage of doing it and I will write whenever I have time. I mentioned in my “about me” page that I have four kids, so actually now I am currently on parental leave for my youngest,
One advantage living in Finland for families who have small kids is the possibilities to stay at home with them for longer time especially if you are working mom. The maternity leave starts a month before the expected delivery date+ parental leave + homecare leave can take up to youngest is 3 years old and parents don’t have to go back to work if they want or take turns of taking caring of kids. I will have a separate blog about becoming a mom for the first time in Finland. As a mom who came from a country with whole year summer, winter is a big change. So being said that, question is, how to keep them active when winter comes. Well, I can understand moms who are used to live in warmer country and moved to winter wonderland, it takes time to adjust, advantage for me, I started as student here in Finland so I had to go to school whatever the weather was-and by bicycling for about 5 km one way every day from home to school..
Back to kids, it´s important to make sure that they have activities indoor or outdoor otherwise they will start being hyperactive and needs a lot of attention or will ask for games or watch videos in gadgets. They sleep better in the evening too when they have been out in the day time. Though there is limit temperature for outdoor, for under 3 years old, its -5C to -15C depends if it’s sunny or windy. Also depends to you mommies. Proper clothing keeps them warm, so I make sure they don’t get cold. Small kids don’t really yet know how to say if they are cold especially if they are so busy playing or if they are sleeping in the baby pram. Really?? Putting baby outside in minus degrees? Yes, its been a part of the Finnish culture and Ive proven that its worth to try.
Here is a sample of what I put to my baby who sleeps in the baby pram average of 2 hrs outside even its minus degrees, before putting these, baby has already the indoor clothes and depends to the temperature, I add warmer blanket when necessary. Make sure there is also cover in the pram so direct wind is not coming to babies face. Almost the same layer for other kids except the warm blanket unless they sit on the sled or pram too.
For bigger kids,I have listed here activities our family likes to do during winter.
I walk with the two younger kids at least once a day minimum of 30 minutes, while two others are in school. Usually the youngest is sleeping in the pram right away when we are outside. We have two kinds of pram, one is twin baby pram where I can put both of my younger kids. Now that there is much snow, my little boy likes to sit on the sled while I push the single baby pram. Half way he also likes to walk with me while he pull his own sled and shouts “running!running” and greets everyone who pass by “Hei!” (hello in Finnish). Isnt he sweet?
2. Trip to playground
Our house is between four playgrounds, the closest is about 2 minutes walk so we are often changing playground to playground. Kids are very creative when they can explore and play around. Sometimes there is too much snow so we rather play in the yard.
Skiing started in our family from 3 years old, there is the first skii sets where kids of younger as 3 years old don’t need to have special shoes. They can just put their normal shoes and they are off to learn it. My other kids who are in school, often skii twice a week in school and even more when they come home. We have big area in the backyard where they enjoy cross country skiing even its already dark.
Skating is fun but takes more time and effort to teach the kids. Lucky enough I am married to Fin who used to play ice hockey as hobby before, he is the teacher for all of our kids. We are living close to school also where they have the ice rink prepared outdoor during winter, so we go there in evenings and weekends whenever we have time. I know what youre thinking, do I know how to skate? Answer is, I can stand on the skating shoes yes but compared to my kids, I am way a beginner. I can have a lot of funniest home videos when I skate, so being said that, maybe my final answer is NOOO but I will surely have five teachers soon 🙂
Sledding downhill is so much fun. Its good exercise too because you have to walk up back to the starting point after sledding to start a new.
6. Trip to the forest
Trip to the forest shouldnt stop during winter. Its nice to explore on the woods and see what changes in this four seasons. Kids usually have so much questions about everything when they are out in the woods. I will have separate blog about this.
7. Playing in own yard
It doesn’t need to be anywhere far, if you don’t want to bring kids somewhere or if they are still so small to do those other activities I mentioned but doesn’t want to sleep anymore outside in a pram, why not just be outside. Play on the snow. Let them be creative while playing with us. We do snowman or castle if its wet snow or play with car toys, or make snow cake. Hide & seek or anything you want, imagination is the limit. You probably notice by now from the photos, I like using reflector whenever we go outdoor fun, its for safety purpose even it doesn’t look fashionable.
Thank you for reading this far! Hope you enjoy reading my story!