Why Your Kids Should Play Outside this Winter
By Sara Butler
When it gets cold outside you may have concerns about your child playing outside, but you shouldn’t worry! A child’s playtime is important no matter what the season, which is why you have to spearhead the effort to get your children out and playing even when it’s cold. Here are a few ways you can do that.
The cold, snowy weather actually has benefits to a child’s health and development. These benefits include:
- A new perspective – It’s easy to love the outdoors in the summer when it’s warm and everything is green, but a change in season offers a new perspective to the outdoors. It offers them new ways to be creative and imagine the world just a little bit differently.
- New moves – Winter weather requires you to move your body just a little bit differently. Activities such as ice skating, sledding, or building a snowman put muscles to use that may not get used as much any other time of the year. This contributes to your child’s motor development and health.
- Fresh air – The reason why people get sick in the winter is because everyone stays inside, which means germs stay inside too. When you and your children get outside then you’re avoiding germs that can get you sick.
- It’s challenging – Messy weather provides materials and environments to children that are fun and new. Ice, snow, branches free from leaves – they’re all opportunities for your children to discover new things and be confronted with new challenges.
- Vitamin D – Your child needs to get outside and get some sun in order for their bodies to create Vitamin D, a vitamin very important to mental health and mood. Sun exposure just helps you to feel happier and better during a time of the year that can get you down a little bit (or a lot).
Activities to Try
If you have a hard time convincing your child to play outside because they complain there’s nothing to play with, then you need to enlighten them and arm with things to make it fun. You can:
- Create snow flags – Tie a white cloth to a stick and hide them around snowy areas for kids to find.
- Snow spray paint – Get some cheap plastic spray bottles and food coloring, then mix the food coloring with water in the bottle and voila! Instant spray paint for the snow!
- Snowball target practice – Get a target and hang it from a tree, then take turns throwing snowballs against it and see who can get a bullseye!
- Snow tic tac toe – Create tic tac toe boards in the snow with sticks and use objects like pinecones to make your mark.
There are many things you can do to get your kids interested in outside play when it’s cold. All you have to do is explore!