It is not easy being a winter city sometimes! It’s cold, it’s dark, and it can be hard to get past the feeling of being “stuck” instead. Finding fun winter activities can be challenging for families, especially when you have a child with special needs.
Winter in Edmonton may be long, but it shouldn’t be miserable. We’ve put together a list of a few fun and inclusive things to do around the city, including in your own backyard!
- Snow Day
Sometimes it’s best to just embrace the weather head on. If it’s not too cold, bundle up and get out there to make snow angels or snowmen. Another great way to incorporate some sensory play in the winter is snow painting. Grab some squirt bottles (old condiment bottles work well) and fill them up with water and drops of food colouring. Then use the bottles to “paint” the snow bright colours. Not only is this fun, but it requires minimal clean-up for mom or dad.
- Botanical Gardens
Transport yourself to a warmer climate at the Muttart Conservatory. Edmonton’s glass pyramids are home to 700 species of plants in 3 climate-regulated biomes – arid, temperate and tropical, as well as a feature biome. The building is accessible and open year round.
- City of Edmonton Sensory Room
The City of Edmonton has its own Sensory Room available for drop-in use 7 days a week. Multi-sensory environments have many benefits including providing a feeling of both relaxation and stimulation. They are failure-free environments as there is no specific task to be completed, and participants can choose and explore the stimuli around them.
- Art Gallery of Alberta
Another fun indoor activity in Edmonton would be the Art Gallery of Alberta. Explore the exhibits on your own time, or look into joining one of their art classes (their Art Express program offers classes for adults with special needs). Children under 18 are always free, and Thursday nights are free for everyone!
- Jigsaw Puzzles
If you are reluctant to leave the house, or even venture out to the backyard (those -20 days are rough!), you can still find activities for the family. Puzzles are fun for all ages, and can help with both fine motor skills and with visual-spatial processing. There are so many options when it comes to difficulty levels, number of pieces, and puzzle types!