For many of us, winter is sticking around for a few more weeks, which means more fun in the snow. Remember, there is no such thing as bad weather; there is just bad clothing.
Playing outside during cold weather is very beneficial for children.
It builds resilience, helping children learn to cope with uncomfortable or challenging situations, and builds mental and emotional strength.
It improves creativity and imagination; being outside provides endless imaginative play and exploration opportunities.
It promotes physical activity, playing in the snow, and engaging in winter sports like sledding, skating, and skiing supports physical activity and healthy habits.
Lastly, it enhances sensory experiences; snow, and ice provide unique sensory experiences that stimulate and calm the senses, helping children develop sensory integration skills.
Stephanie McKinstry owner of Caterpillar Clubhouse Nature Preschool, shares some fun photos of her program enjoying the snow!
The winter season brings with it added hazards. Child care providers can take steps to keep children safe from winter hazards.
Children need extra protection from cold weather as they are not able to regulate their body temperature. It’s vital that children wear appropriate clothing for the weather.
- Wear layers of loose-fitting, lightweight clothing
- Wear a hat, coat, and gloves/mittens
- Caregivers should check children’s extremities for normal color and warmth at least every 15 minutes
This infographic created by the National Weather Service serves as a great tool to help guide what clothing is needed in the cold weather.
Wondering what to do when the temperature drops to keep the children busy and motivated with outdoor play? This resource from Natural Learning Initiatives and North Carolina State University has many ideas for how to keep children engaged in outdoor play during the winter months.