- Dr. Liz Homan
Cold Weather Play
Well, we are getting our first snow as I write this on Monday morning! It is beautiful outside and I absolutely love the snow! But what does it mean for outdoor play time with the kids now that the weather is getting colder? Well, I did a little reading and found some great tips that I want to share with you all!
Make sure they are dressed properly! And this means more than just putting a puffy coat on them and sending them outside!
As we all know, layering is a great first step in preparing to go out in cold weather. And what has been found, and from my personal experience as well, is that a starting with a warm base is essential and then layering on top of that. And then for the top layer, a bib snow pants with a warm jacket over the top is going to be much warmer and prevent the wind from gusting in!
You want to make sure to keep their feet warm and dry! This could mean waterproof, insulated boots with fleece or wool liners with a wool or synthetic socks. Cotton does not wick moisture away from the skin and it takes a long time to dry.
You also want to make sure to keep their little hands warm! You want to find a pair of gloves, or mittens that have an outer layer that is waterproof. Another great option is to find ones that overlap the jacket cuff to keep the cold from sneaking in.
So beyond making sure that our kids are dressed properly, you also want to make sure that you are dressed warm as well.
And then when you get outside you want to have some fun activities planned! This could include Red Light Green Light, a scavenger hunt, or the basics of building snowman, a snowball fight, making snow angels or sledding. When they have something to do while outside, the cold will not affect them as much and you will get them nice and tired for a good rest later in the day.
When playing out in the snow or cold, the body uses more energy, and we can also become dehydrated faster. So, bringing out a warm thermos of tea or hot coco can be a fun little treat. You can make this into an activity by having a ‘tea party’ by bringing a blanket (waterproof on one side) and a few snacks out as well. Just make sure to bring snacks that can withstand the cold, for example trail mix, freeze-dried fruit and crackers will be better in the cold than granola bars or fruit pouches.
I hope that you all are able to get outside and enjoy the beautiful winter wonderland with your family!
And if your child is resistant to going outside at all, tell them that we will only stay out for 10 minutes. Pretty soon that 10 minutes turns into 20 which then turns into 30 minutes and you need to drag them inside for lunch.
But, if there is a time that your kids are really resistant to being outside, do not make it miserable for them. If they are overly uncomfortable, listen to them and head indoors as it is not worth giving them a bad experience that they will cling to.
Here is to a fun winter and lots of fun memories made outside!