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    News — outdoor activities for kids

    Winter Biking with the Kids? No Problem, but Gear Up with These Tips First

    Winter Biking with the Kids? No Problem, but Gear Up with These Tips First

    It’s that time of year already for those of us North of the Equator! We’ve all put the snow tires on the car, and we’re ready for snow. It’s also the time when many of us have already put our bikes away for the winter. But what if, instead of patiently waiting for the spring, you got ready for some winter wonderland adventures?
     
    Everyone’s version of winter will be different depending on where you live. If you have colder winters with frequent snow, you’ll need more winter gear. For rainier climates like the west coast of Canada, rain gear and windbreakers will be necessary.
     
    So, what do you need to remember for winter biking?
     
    It's Getting Dark Out There
    Days are much shorter in the winter, and this means darker mornings and evenings. Instead of worrying about the diminished light, try bringing lots of light with you. Outfit your bike with plenty of light, so that you’re easily visible and attach lights to your little one and yourself. Make sure to also bring a headlamp to help you navigate if you find yourself in particularly dark conditions. Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. We go out for a ride, end up losing track of time, and it starts getting dark on your way home. Don’t get stuck in a situation like this, plan ahead. Make sure you have plenty of light in the winter, and this won’t be such a big issue.
     
    Your Bike Needs its Winter Gear, Too
    Winter conditions call for a few adjustments to your bike. With mountain bikes, you already have nice, wide gripping pedals. That’ll give you more stability if you’re out riding with bigger footwear for the cooler temperatures.
     
    It can also help to change out the tires on your bike for winter. If biking with your kids in the winter is on your list of things to do this year, invest in good quality winter tires for your winter environment. On the west coast, when it does snow, it can get slushy and slippery. In some cases, this slush freezes into a dangerously uneven, icy surface. If you get heavy snowfall in the winters, consider buying wider tires that are designed for the snow.
     
    Balance bikes in the snow can be made even more fun by attaching a ski kit to them. Kids biking in the winter can seem like a lot of work, but we’ve found that it’s a lot of fun and worth the added effort to be prepared.
     
    Dress to Impress in the Winter
    Impress mother nature with your seasonal prowess by dressing effectively for the temperature and conditions. Layering is key in the winter. It allows you to be more flexible if the weather changes or your child gets too warm.
     
    Make sure everyone has a base layer with wicking properties to move sweat and moisture away from the skin. Nothing is worse than cotton shirts that get wet and turn cold when they dry. Next, add a mid-layer for insulation, like fleece or wool. Make your jacket suits the conditions you are riding in. If it’s a chilly, rainy day, you’ll need a rain shell to keep dry. If you’re in freezing temperatures with snow, opt for a snowsuit or big warm snow jacket. Also, gloves. Gloves are extremely important, especially in the cold months of winter. Make sure you have an extra pair in case they get wet. This rule applies to socks, too. And lastly, make sure you keep your head warm with a winter hat under the helmet or a specifically designed helmet for winter. These clothing rules apply to everyone on the ride. However, your child is up front and they will not be working as hard as you are to peddle. Make sure they are dressed extra warm to be able to enjoy the ride in cooler temperatures.
     
    Taking your kids’ biking in the winter months can be a lot of fun, but they require a little more work than in warmer months. You may have to pack a little more than usual, but the terrain is new and undiscovered, which makes the same old adventures something to look forward to. If you’re using a child's bike seat, remember they’re exposed to wind a bit more than a carriage behind.
     
    Helpful tip: bring something for them to cover their face with if it gets cold from the wind. Try Buff, they make kids sizes, they’re super comfy, and we’re big fans.
     
    We believe in family adventures year round. Getting out on the trail together doesn’t stop just because the days are shorter and the temperatures are lower. If you’re prepared for the season, winter biking can be an exciting adventure for the whole family. The biggest trick we have found is always making sure that the kids are dressed appropriately. Check out this great little video to help you remember all the right gear for a ride.
     
    Looking for a child's bike seat for your toddler to enjoy the trails with you this winter? Shop our inventory and be ready for that first picture perfect, sunny snow day.

    Why Kids Need to Spend More Time Outdoors

    child bike seat

    We've all seen them. A ghostly pale child sitting in the buggy of a shopping cart staring blankly at a device while the parents try to get the evening shopping done ASAP. We get it, parenting is hard. Sometimes, handing a bright screen over with the latest cartoon fixation feels like the only way to keep a modest amount of sanity in a public place. Many of you already know of the negative effects that all the screen time and time indoors are having on children. So despite how hard it is, it’s important to find the time and make a plan to go outside. Here’s why:
     
    Being Outdoors Helps Kids Grow Big and Strong
    Being active is an important part of a child's health and development. Being physically active helps children develop motor function and muscle required during this stage of rapid growth. By starting them young, it sets a strong foundation for healthy adulthood later. According to Statistics Canada, only one-third of Canadian children are meeting the minimum requirement of daily physical activity. That's a shocking statistic! One study found that when a child played outside for an hour, it meant 7 extra minutes of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity on top of that. They also discovered that children who play outdoors are more likely to have better relationships with their peers. This is because...
     
    Children who Play Outdoors Learn Important Problem-Solving Skills
    A UBC lecturer believes that being outdoors helps children of all ages learn better, and he’s not the only one. Many researchers have studied the positive effects of outdoor play on children and have come to similar conclusions. For one, they gain more knowledge about the sports and activities they enjoy. It also allows them to work on their problem solving and observation skills, as well as develop motor skills and risk assessment. They'll learn about environmental factors like what the temperature outside is and how they'll need to dress for it. Physical activity is a vital part of a child's development and can help children expel the energy that gets pent up when they sit watching TV or in a classroom. By being more active, children pay better attention when it comes time to sit down and listen in class.
     
    Lead by Example — It’s Time to Get the Family Outdoors
    So we know that getting our kids outside is good for them — and it's not just kids who need to stay active. It can be hard to find the time though, we understand. Between working and keeping the house running and tummies full, when do you have the time? Instead of a gym, try running with your child to the local playground for a bit of fun after work. Or get in touch with your inner child — playing tag, grounders, and other such games are great for quality family time and exercise for the family. There are many outdoor activities for kids, which parents can also participate. In fact, when your child has to work hard to try and keep up with mom or dad, it can help them to push themselves as well.
     
    Biking is one of our favourite outdoor activities for kids (if that wasn't clear already!). At a young age, a child bike seat can allow a child to go on longer adventures with the family. Learning the feeling of a bike early on can help a child develop the skills to be on a balance bike in no time and soon their very own pedal bike. This ability to develop skills provides a child with the chance to physically progress at something that'll have positive lifelong effects on their physical, emotional and mental health. Being able to go biking with friends will help them to meet their recommended daily activity requirements plus explore new environments that can teach them new lessons.
     
    There are a lot of positive reasons to get your kids outdoors more. Get a child bike seat and pick a day each week that you can go adventuring as a family. Getting children excited about these outdoor adventures at a young age will help them fall in love with nature and the activities you love, too. You’ll set your family up for successful outdoor pursuits for years to come.