3 Benefits to Cold Weather Play
How do you manage the seasons change with your children? Are you more apt to keep them indoors on cold days? Or do you bundle them up and embrace the cold head-on? What about the kids? Do they complain about the wind, rain, and low temperature outdoors? Or are they excited about the new adventures the changing weather brings? Did you know that our children’s attitudes toward the cold weather months are shaped by how we introduce Nature in Winter to them? Remember, the cold weather is good for all of us.
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Proper clothing is a must when taking children outdoors when the temperatures begin to drop. Think layers. The time it takes to put on the snow pants, hats, gloves, and boots every time you go out in the cold is worth it when you understand the benefits of cold weather play.
These benefits include:
1: A Stronger Immune System: Spending time outdoors not only builds character, but it also builds your child’s entire immune system. Children need to get dirty, breath in the fresh air and escape the germs that grow indoors. Inviting children to take walks and play outdoors can do wonders for their overall health.
2: More Opportunities for Physical Exercise: Today’s children don’t move enough. Taking children outdoors in the cold weather allows for expansive gross motor play and exercise. Children should not be sedentary during these months. Think of the cold weather as an invitation to introduce new cold-weather activities like skating, sledding and fort building.
3: Boosts children’s imagination: Exploring nature in winter offers boundless new activities. Imagine being excited about the cold weather and all the exploring that comes with it. Many forgot how much there is to discover in nature during these cold months because everything seems dormant for the winter. I invite you to take a second look.
Making a Snow Volcano What do you need?
- Empty water bottle
- 2 spoonfuls of baking soda
- 1 spoonful dish soap
- A few drops of food coloring (red makes it look like lava)
- 1 ounce of vinegar Next steps:
- Make a volcano in the snow with a hole in the center to hold the water bottle.
- Add everything except the vinegar to the water bottle.
- Add the vinegar and watch the eruption!
Tip: If it doesn’t work so well, add a bit more dish soap and vinegar.
Why is this science? Vinegar (an acid) and baking soda (an alkali) react together to neutralize each other. This reaction releases carbon dioxide, a gas which is the bubbles you see, these bubbles make the dish soap bubble up to give the reaction.
(Activity: Complements of Science Sparks)
Come join us or gift your favorite teachers the Exploring Nature in Winter Master Class. Enjoy cold weather activities at your fingertips all winter long.