How often do you and your family connect to nature? Such a simple element to our wellbeing, but it can feel like an overwhelming ask in today’s busy world. I, myself, can get stuck inside as I move from the gym, to my computer, to the kitchen many days a week and it takes a conscious effort to not only get out and enjoy the fresh air, but also appreciate the healing power of our natural surroundings.
This post is not to say that you need to build an igloo in order to reap the rewards of the great outdoors. There are MANY simple ways in which this can be done (more ideas coming soon). This is just an opportunity to share one of our family’s recent endeavors and the benefits it brought.
A couple years ago the boys received an IceBox by Grand Shelters as a Christmas gift. It’s a user-friendly, legit igloo maker designed for winter camping and backpacking. I highly recommend you check it out if you have any interest in igloo building in your own backyard or out on your winter adventures. Our family has always enjoyed camping in the spring, summer and early fall, and igloos have been a way to expose us all to sleeping under the stars during the winter months as well.
What we’ve enjoyed and learned through this process:
- It’s not a one man job – all hands on deck! We have to help each other out to get the work done.
- Family time OUTSIDE! No screens. Unplugged.
- From year to year we’ve strategized how to build the igloo for greater warmth (a bigger base, an entrance lower than the sleeping level, use of candles, etc.).
- Experimentation: using thermometers in different places and at different levels to learn about warm and cold air.
- Learning about safety and survival during winter camping.
- Grounding: there are health benefits to sleeping on the ground.
- An increased appreciation for the warmth and shelter of our home and cozy beds.
This year we enjoyed evenings of sipping hot tea, playing UNO, and reading stories in our igloo before turning in under the moonlit sky.
Good night, sleep tight!! What’s your favorite way to get a dose of nature during the winter?