Playing outside in winter is just like playing outside any other season, but colder. Yet as parents we are so often against our kids spending time outside in the cold. This attitude is then transferred onto the kids, making it a vicious circle. However, sending the kids to play outside during the colder months does have its benefits.
Why You Should Send Kids to Play Outside in Winter
I’m not a fan of the cold. As I grow older, I have noticed it bothers me more. My kids, on the other hand, don’t seem to be worried at all by it. They’d wear shorts all year round if they could! But while it is my instinct to curl up by the fire, they want to run outside, even if it’s raining! So, I let them! They dress up warm and go play in the dirt, the frost and the rain. If you’re still not convinced, check out these reasons why all children need to play outside in winter:
- Winter is another season to experience – our kids build a lot of their knowledge through play. By playing in different seasons, they build upon this knowledge. Winter provides different opportunities to summer, such as jumping in frost or muddy puddles, holding ice and throwing snow balls.
- New muscles are used – it’s harder to walk on sand than a footpath. You need to use different muscles to do the same things in winter. Walking on an icy path requires you to use your balance and leg muscles more. Or running in snow is harder than running on grass, meaning your body is more active doing so.
- Bacteria love inside – a warm or stuffy room makes a great breeding ground for bacteria. Sure, there are germs everywhere. But if you think about it, being in close proximity them inside means you are more likely to catch them than in the same sized space outside.
- Vitamin D – while we all know the sun can harm us, if we don’t get any, we can get sick too. Vitamin D helps us to feel happy and regulate our moods. SAD or seasonal affective disorder happens when we don’t get enough Vitamin D, leaving us feeling depressed, tired and run down. Just 30 minutes play outside each day can help prevent this.
- Stops cabin fever setting in – we all know what happens when kids are cooped up inside. They go stir crazy and take us along for the ride! Stop this happening by bundling up and heading outside regardless of the weather!
What should your kids wear outside in winter to stay warm and dry?
If you need outside rainy day inspiration, check out these great ideas from Outdoorsy NZ.
Whatever you do this winter, make sure you get outside! What are you planning to do? What do your kids like doing outside in winter? Share below and let’s see if we can get a great list of ideas together.
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