Family Time Calendar: Chase Away Winter!

Some countries celebrate the end of winter in a rousing display of noise and fun every March 1. In Switzerland, costumed children celebrate Chalandra Marz and drive away winter by ringing bells and cracking whips. In Scotland, they celebrate Whuppity Scoorie to mark the beginning of spring. And Cherokees tap the outsides of buildings with sycamore rods to drive away bad spirits from the winter months.

Let the kids have their own fun chasing away winter with these fun activities. Costumes are optional but would greatly add to the fun.

  • Simplest of all: Wave twigs, ring bells and run around the yard, yelling out, "Go away, winter!"

  • Play human chain. Have two kids hold on to each other's hands and chase other kids around the yard. When they tag someone, that kid joins the chain and the game continues until everyone is caught.

  • Play crack-the-whip by having at least half a dozen kids hold hands and run around the yard. One kid at the front of the line is the "leader" who tries to shake off the last kid or kids in line.

  • To celebrate like children in Scotland, have kids tie a ball of paper to a short length of string and swing it above their heads as they race around a building (in Scotland, usually a church) three times counterclockwise. When the three laps are over, a grown-up tosses a pile of coins up in the air for the children to gather. If you prefer, treat kids to a light-up spinning toy they can wave in the air.


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