It is so hard, in our hectic life, to make the time to keep the kids as connected to nature as I think we all need to be. I find myself having to come up with things to make us take time each day - it's pretty crazy. Whatever small things we can sustain are what I look for, though - whatever works.
One thing we do, starting at Thanksgiving as a tradition, is make pine cone bird feeders - the kind where you slather peanut butter all over a pine cone, roll it in birdseed, and hang it somewhere for the birds to find. The Lone Star Baby brought a bunch of pine cones home from her grandmother's house in Denton and we have been busy with the peanut butter and birdseed since we got back. I'm not sure this sort of thing really even helps the birds, but I hope so. It's fun and it does make little kids feel like they are taking care of the birds in winter. I think fostering that feeling of compassion and protectiveness toward nature is the main point (second always to just fostering their enjoyment of being out in it) when they are young.
Do you have any winter traditions that bring your family closer to nature?