Family life

Winter Wipeout Kids: How one dad made this awful winter awesome

Tracy Chappell’s daughters participate in a friend’s backyard Winter Wipeout Kids course, and remember that playing outside together in winter can be super fun.

Photo: Tracy Chappell

Photo: Tracy Chappell

Follow along as Today’s Parent senior editor Tracy Chappell shares her refreshingly positive take on parenting her two young daughters. She’s been blogging her relatable experiences for our publication since 2005.

Where we live, it’s spring, but we’re getting one last (oh, please let it be the last) blast of winter. Whether you’re in the “that was brutal” camp or the “suck it up, we’re Canadian” camp, I think we can all agree that we deserve to put winter behind us. It was too much—too much cold, too much snow, too much indoor time. But one day will stand out for my family as being way too much fun.

Read more: 50 fun, free spring activities>

My friend Mike “Crazy Legs” Conley was a contestant on Wipeout Canada in 2011. He conquered the big red balls but, in the end, didn’t take home the main prize. Mike’s wife, daughter and two sons were huge supporters of his quest for reality TV fame and fortune, and when Mike returned home from filming the show, he hatched an idea to keep his Wipeout love alive: build a mini Wipeout course on his street for his kids and their friends. It’s what any dad would do, right?

Mike’s homemade course was awesome, and the series of Wipeout Kids videos he shot became a huge hit on YouTube (check them out here). Mike got accolades in the international media for going above and beyond in the name of fun, but his goal has always been to remind us all that getting outside to play with your kids really can be a blast.

Read more: 6 things to do outdoors with your kids>

And that means going outside to have fun even in the middle of a too cold, too snowy winter. We were excited when Mike asked if Anna and Avery wanted to join in on the latest incarnation of the web series: Winter Wipeout Kids. How could we say no? My girls have cheered, laughed and winced in vicarious pain watching Mike’s videos on YouTube, so they were pumped to be part of the action.

There was the fast descent on a sled, the candy-cane crossing, the zipline and, of course, the infamous big red balls to run across. Despite a cold, windy day, you couldn’t wipe the smiles off the kids’ faces and they couldn’t wait to go again and again. In the supporting roles were a team of parents from Mike’s neighbourhood who offered up their time, braving the weather to build the course and serving up hot chocolate and Timbits to keep spirits up. The undercurrent for all of this was Mike’s unwavering enthusiasm for fun, right to the last take.

Check out this teaser for Winter Wipeout Kids (those are Anna’s pink mittens as she does the zipline!), and visit the site again soon for the upcoming episodes.

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