Winter Family Challenge

Join the David Suzuki Foundation’s 2015 Winter Family Challenge!

This winter, Canadian families coast-to-coast are pledging to get outside in nature together, no matter the weather!

We signed up for the 2015 Winter Family Challenge, and the David Suzuki Foundation sent us four fun weekly activities (starting January 26th), complete with step-by-step instructions and tips.

How is your Neighbourhood Group involved?

Each week, we posted links and information about local resources you could use to complete each challenge,  sharing what we know about some of the best places around Guelph to get out in the winter sunshine.

As the David Suzuki Foundation says, it’s great for your health:

…outdoor winter play can strengthen the immune system, sharpen the mind and decrease stress. And you’ll be nurturing a nature connection that will last all year.

Photo credit: Ellyn Lusis.

Photo credit: Ellyn Lusis.

For more information, follow the links above or go to the David Suzuki Foundation website:

Week 4: Winter Picnic!

Enjoy the quiet beauty of winter by planning an outdoor meal; see the David Suzuki Foundation’s tips for winter picnicking here.  Not quite ready to plan a full meal?  What if someone else prepared the cookies and hot chocolate while you enjoyed riding a 250′ luge?  Check out the Community Luge event happening March 1st: Ride the Luge.

Week 3: Ice Lanterns!

Why not make a beautiful ice lantern to use this long weekend? Download the instructions at the David Suzuki Foundation, choose your containers and away you go.  Use them to illuminate your local outdoor ice rink, take small ones with you on The Coldest Night fundraising walk, or just enjoy them in your yard.

Week 2: Bird Bingo!

Get to know the behaviour of your local birds by downloading the Bird Bingo page and playing along.  How many avian activities can you spot?  If you enjoy this activity, why not join a local Snowy Owl trek, or Chickadee Day?

Week 1: Animal Tracking!

Our first challenge is to get to know the winter wildlife; get your eagle eyes ready!  Download the Animal Tracking Activity page and plan a hike.

Guelph has some wonderful parks that a lot of critters call home — check out a full map and visit a new one today (have you been to Howitt Creek Park?  Or the Sugartree Woodlot?).  For a bigger adventure, why not try a trail at the Ignatius Centre (trail map here) or Hanlon Creek Park (trail map here), where there will certainly be many signs of animal life.

Taking tracking further…

If your family enjoys this activity, why not take a look at the Nature Guelph Tracking Club? They organize outings for anyone interested in identifying animal tracks; their next one is planned for February 22nd.