21°F! Twenty one degrees. Oh, and did I mention the wind was blowing in 35MPH gusts. Needless to say it is cold and feels colder. When I was walking out the front door today, to take my kids to school, we all quickly noted how chilly it was. And yet everyone of my kids (besides our 1 year old) asks us everyday if they can play outside. Why? Well, I’m still thinking they are crazy, but it’s probably because kids have a lot of energy to burn off everyday and being stuck inside during winter months makes it harder to burn off that energy.

So what is a parent to do? How can you ensure your kids have plenty of chances to burn off that energy and not spend 20 minutes bundling them up for 10 minutes outside? My wife and I have tried to tackle this in many ways, including the “bundle and release” method. We have found some that work well and some that were less than ideal. There is a constant tension between fun and functional.

I want our home to be a place of joy, of fun, of being a blast, almost to be a little theme park.

Jeff Bethke

This is a foundational value we regularly come back to – our home should be a place of joy and enjoyment – even in winter months. While the cold months can seem more challenging to run off energy and have fun, this time of year offers opportunities other parts of the year don’t. Take advantage of the cold to help your kids burn off that extra energy. And for a few ideas check out Jeff and Jeremy’s article “Five Ways to Help Your Kids Burn Energy in the Winter“.

The last one Jeff mentions is one we are in constant trial and error mode. What about you? Which idea did you find helpful? What would you add to the list? I hope these help make your weekend better and as always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.