5 Benefits of Playing Outdoors in Winter
Spring, Summer, Fall are months that we don’t think twice about getting kids outdoors. Why is it that we think twice about getting kids outdoors during the winter? Why do we keep children inside when the colder months begin to settle in? All of a sudden the rain, cold and snow become reasons to stay indoors; along with the growth of technology. With a little bit of preparation and planning, winter play outdoors can be a sensational experience with incredible lifelong benefits.
1. Fresh Air Strengthens the Immune System: Playing outdoors in the winter months is especially critical. Breathing in fresh air strengthens the immune system and allows children to escape the recycled indoor air that may be filled with germs and bacteria.
2. Creative Problem-Solving: Outdoor Winter Play invites children to think differently about their outdoor play space and forces children to use their imaginations for new outdoor learning challenges that come with the colder months. Winter Play gives children the opportunity to take risks. Learning how to puddle jump, pack snow, and track animal footprints are important lessons that can only happen during the colder months of Winter.
3. Reconnecting with Nature: Research says that children are spending more than 5 1/2 hours in front of a screen. Therefore, it is critical get children outdoors in nature year round. Winter weather can offer challenges with ice, snow, and rain. On the other hand, it can open also incredible opportunities for curriculum development and growth.
4. Exercise: Research says “20% of children will be overweight before they start school.” Getting outdoors during the winter months is especially invigorating. Make getting outdoors easy. Make sure you have appropriate clothing and a plan. To begin, take a simple observation walk and get curious about the season changes.
5. Vitamin D: Getting outdoors gives us the needed Vitamin D that we need; especially during the winter months. Vitamin D is key to fighting off many diseases. Therefore, if you can get your kids outdoors for at least 15 minutes a day this Winter, you will be making a difference in their overall health!
How do I start? There are many ways to get children outdoors this winter. If you are interested in playing outdoors with our community of Natural Teachers, come to join the Exploring Nature in Winter Master Class. I promise you will not “run dry” of ideas for playing outdoors this Winter. Learn more.
Now I want to hear from you. What is your favorite memory of playing outdoors in Winter? How do you feel when you come in from an outdoor winter adventure in the cold? Share in the comments below.