After the last couple of weeks with some VERY cold temperatures and wind chills I’m thinking that travelling southward sounds like a nice change. I have always believed that we are fortunate to experience the variety of seasons that we get in Canada, and particularly on the prairies. I still believe that - in theory. I love to see the white snow banks just after a snowfall when they are pristine. Catching a glimpse of amazing sun dogs is still a treat. One of my favorite things is hoar frost as it covers everything and turns trees and tiny branches into spectacular works of art. Watching big, fat, snowflakes as they fall silently on a calm day is special. Winter provides us with beautiful landscapes.
But too much cold can leave us feeling worn out, and we end up with a case of the Blahs. Curing the Blahs seems to be different for everyone. Some escape the Blahs by running south for either a prolonged period, or for a week or two. Some shake the Blahs by embracing the situation, dressing very warmly and entering into snow sports – snowmobiling, skiing (downhill or cross country), skating, snowshoeing, or simply going out in the yard and building a snowman, or a fort, or having a snowball fight.
On the other hand for those of us who can’t travel and have no desire to play outside, we can take this time, either individually or as a family, to make good use of long evenings by ignoring the TV and reading instead. Choosing a good book as a family and taking turns reading can be great fun. Make a big bowl of popcorn, get comfy and read a grand adventure. Here are a few suggestions – some are better for younger children and some are great for ‘tweens and teens:
- The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
- Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
- The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
- The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
- The Dog Who Wouldn’t Be by Farley Mowat
- The Thirty-nine Steps by John Buchan
- The Call of the Wild by Jack London
- Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
- The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
- The Thirteenth Child by Patricia Wrede
Immerse yourselves into a story and read most evenings until the book is done, or, take it slower and read one evening a week to prolong the enjoyment and fit your schedule. Reading as a family can be fabulous fun and will certainly encourage your children to read on their own. Don’t forget to use as much animation in your reading aloud as you can find, because it will make a huge difference.
If you are having a hard time finding a book that you can all enjoy, please ask us, we would enjoy helping you find just the right story.