I was lucky, because both my husband and I grew up in families with the same belief. Yes, I admit we do not have sub-zero temperatures here, but I have lived in much colder places. We grew up sledding, cross country skiing, ice skating, ice fishing and more. In fact, when we visit with the kids, my friends from up North comment that my kids spend more time outside in one week than their kids do all month. Cold is not an excuse (Dangerously cold is!)
Unstructured play means that we just let our kids be. They play. They create. They use their creativity. Although we do many activities outside, like gardening and painting, I am working harder at not providing them with how to play, rather just encouraging it!. Our natural playscape area has helped. A recent addition of this (not very pretty, but usable and inspired by this post) and the kids went to work weaving – I didn’t say that was what it was for, but I was sure hoping they would use it!!!
I know that I am not alone on preaching the importance of playing outside… Just look around the web at some amazing families and blogs.