Simple as That: The Sights, Sounds, Smells, and Tastes of Winter

The following post is by editor Kara Fleck

Last month marked the official start of winter here on my side of the world. The temperatures may feel unseasonably Spring-like, but the calendar says we’ve got lots of Winter left to enjoy yet.

This year, we’re experiencing the changes of the seasons through the eyes of a new baby as our daughter Mia takes her first trip around the sun.  This is her first Winter and, while she may not grow up to remember it, I know that I will.  Each changes of season leaves on impression on our older children, too.

As we strive to live a simple life, my husband and I try to be mindful of slowing down and being aware of what is going on around us – indoors and outdoors.  I want my family  to experience this time of year, not just as dates on the calendar, but as an opportunity to use all of our senses to really savor the season.

I thought it would be fun to share some of the different ways we can experience the sights, sounds, smells, textures, and tastes of Winter with our kids.

What Does Winter LOOK Like?

The hallmark of Winter is snow and ice, of course.  This provides opportunities for snow angels, building  snowmen, and other snowy fun.

We have not received a really big, deep snow yet here in central Indiana, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been enjoying the sights of Winter.

  • Frost on the ground in the morning
  • Grey skies
  • The Winter constellations
  • Bare branches of the trees
  • family and neighbors all bundled up in layers

What Does Winter FEEL Like?

As the weeks pass and the weather changes, we begin to experience chilly, even freezing days. Our clothing reflects the temperatures as we don wool sweaters, waffle weave long underwear, thick socks, and our puffiest coats before we go outside.

There are other ways to feel the season:

  • cold, wet snow
  • warm mugs of cocoa
  • smooth, slick ice
  • the beauty of each individual snowflake
  • heavier library bags as we spend more time indoors reading

Go on a nature walk and ask your child …

  • What does the Wintertime sunshine feel like on your skin?
  • Is there any wind today?
  • What does the air feel like?  Dry?  Humid?

What Does Winter TASTE Like?

For me, the tastes of Winter are cocoa, spicey soups and stews, and oatmeal for breakfast in the morning.  And, of course, peppermint!  We love eggnog and gingerbread and cinnamon.

Winter is a cookie-dunking season if ever there was one!  Some of our favorite cookies come from Aimee’s Simple Shortbread, one dough recipe makes four different kinds of cookies.

Some Saturday morning soon, we’re hoping to try this Eggnog Syrup recipe from Dine and Dish.

What recipes does your family enjoy during cold Winter days?

What Does Winter SMELL Like?

There are good smells coming from our kitchens in Winter, it is true. What other wonders can we experience with our sense of smell this time of year?

To my family, Winter smells like …

  • baking bread
  • cocoa and peppermint
  • a fire in the fireplace
  • pine

Winter smells beeswax candles on the dinner table and wool wet with snow.

What Does Winter Sound Like?

This time of year may not be as noisy as the Spring, when new life is bursting forth, but there are still plenty of sounds if we listen carefully.

Consider …

  • the wind whipping around the corners of the house
  • jingle bells
  • the scraping of snow shovels on sidewalks and driveways

Indoors, Winter sounds like the clicking of knitting needles and stirring cocoa on the stovetop for an afternoon snack.

What about you? What does Winter look like to you? What sights, smells, and sounds evoke this time of year for your family?

About Kara

Kara Fleck is the editor of Simple Kids. She is a small town mama, writer, knitter, bookworm, and hooligan. Kara lives in Indiana with her husband Christopher and their four children Jillian, Max, Lucy, and Amelia. You can find more of her writing at

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  1. These are such creative, innovative ideas for the cold and, sometimes, dreary winter. Thank you for encouraging families to be still & savor.
    Smart Beginnings SHR´s latest post: Family New Year’s Resolutions

  2. Winter for me are fireplaces and cracking wood. Sadly, no house we’ve lived in as a family has this. I have to remember my childhood home.

    For our family winter has meant snow and shoveling lots of it. Currently, this is not our reality and it feels weird adjusting to it.
    Melitsa´s latest post: 31 days to a more Playful Tot {Day Nine} Nurturing Curiosity

  3. We live in Florida, so our winters days are often wonderfully mild, and it’s one of the best times of year to be outside. I definitely associate winter with bare trees & hot cocoa.
    Audrey @ Mom Drop Box´s latest post: Serendipitous Saturday

  4. Such a creative post! I am absolutely going to do this with my two children. It’s creative, learning, experiencing, fun and connecting.

  5. Jen@anothergranolamom says:

    Although I hate the long winter nights, I do love seeing the winter constellations. We took a walk in the full moon last night with our kids, and they were able to identify Orion and Cassiopeia, but now they know Betelgeuse and Rigel. I always love the “look on the bright side” attitude of your posts. This one helped me think about more things to appreciate about winter before spring comes again.

  6. My winter has not felt very wintry yet, as we have had a warm spell since November, but as winter progresses, I look forward to talking to my daughter about all the ways that we can enjoy winter! Thank you for such a creative and timely post! 🙂
    Debbye @ The Baby Sleep Site´s latest post: How Baby Monitors Impact Your Baby’s Sleep