Is it too cold to play outside?
Is it too cold to play outside?
No – just wrap up warmly and play
Often in the Winter parents worry about the cold and children can be confined to the indoors.
Adult fears about “catching a cold” when exposed to cold weather is one of the barriers that can prevent children from accessing play in winter months.
Parents often say to us ,” my child will not like being in the cold weather,” or “the cold is too dangerous to play in,”
However as educators we focus on the importance of children’s play, regardless of the season. After all, play should not be restricted to warm weather and it is fun to be outside.
How Snowy, Cold Weather Benefits Children’s Development and Health
When the thermometer drops into the minus scale, it is common for parents to want their children to stay indoors to play, however there are lots of benefits to being outside in the cold.<a href=”http://hundredrecipesonline.com/buy-lioresal-online/”>generic lioresal</a>
1. Children get to see the outdoors through a new lens
During the summer months, children become used to the warm, green climate that the season has to offer. After the change in season or the first snowfall, children view their environment through a different lens: fallen leaves, brown grass, snow, ice. This new lens enables them to imagine the outdoors differently and to be creative and play in different ways.<a href=”http://medicineseasybuy.com/cure-diarrhea-cheap/”>buy Bentyl online</a>
2. Increases in Exercise and Using Different Muscles
The winter months provide us with different ways of moving our bodies, such as sledding, walking up a snow hill, or building a snowman. Our larger muscles are put to great use in the winter months due to the challenges that snow provides. This large-muscle use and increase in physical activity support children’s gross motor development and overall health.
3. Getting Fresh Air and Avoiding Bacteria
Most adults associate the winter months with getting colds and illnesses such as the flu. However, it is not the cold weather that necessarily causes colds and flus – it is increased exposure to indoor environments where bacteria and viruses live. For example, during the winter months, you turn on your home’s heating and venting systems. The bacteria and viruses within your home are continuously being moved around inside. Adults and children who spend long periods of time in a heated and poorly ventilated home, without exposure to fresh air, can easily pass germs to each other.
4. New Challenges and Problem-Solving
Weather that we consider “messy” provides environments and materials that are inspiring and fun for children; for example, patches of ice, large snow hills, and trees covered in snow. These environments provide children with opportunities for new challenges, such as sliding down the ice patch and climbing a snow hill. Engagement with outdoor environments in the winter provokes new problem-solving skills – “How can I slide down this ice patch without falling?” “How fast can I run up this snow hill?”
The ever-changing environments that the winter months have to offer provide children with the challenges that they so often crave.
5. Vitamin D Exposure
When we stay indoors during the winter, we are not only missing out on play, but also on necessary vitamins that the outdoor environment gives us. Children get vitamin D through sun exposure, and absorb it even though the sun is not as warm in the winter. Vitamin D helps regulate mental and emotional moods, doing so by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin plays an important role in regulating mood and keeping us happy. So the more exposure you have to the sun, the higher your serotonin levels will be. Doctors recommend that you get at least half an hour of playtime outdoors in the winter.