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Tips for Getting Outdoors in Winter

We know spending time outdoors is good for us physically, emotionally, and socially but for most of us, that’s easier said than done in winter.  Cold air, gray skies, and snow-covered landscapes can be a deterrent to enjoying what this season has to offer.



Here are a couple of tips to help you reap the benefits of being in nature and getting your children outdoors in winter. 


Make it a Priority


We make time for what is most important to us.  Do you understand the value of being outdoors? Is it a priority for you? If not, read this >>Benefits of Outdoor Play in Winter.


If you decide to make going outdoors (even on cold, snowy days) a priority, you will do it.  This may mean intentionally scheduling it into your day, just as you would brushing your teeth or eating meals.  It will get easier once it has become part of the rhythm of your day. 


The therapeutic benefits of nature are available, regardless of the weather, your mood, or your age.  Make it a priority and it will happen.



Start Small


Here’s some good news: You don’t have to be outside for a long time to reap the benefits.   In as little as 15 minutes of playing outside, children can get their daily dosage of vitamin D.  Start small and go from there.


Dress Appropriately


You’ve probably heard of the importance of “the right tool for the job”.  When considering outdoor play in winter, the right clothes for the weather make all the difference, too.


The goal is to stay dry and warm, not make a fashion statement.  If you can make it cute AND warm, then, by all means, do so.  However, a bulky pair of insulated overalls is a priority over cute leggings when getting outdoors regularly is a priority.


Layering quality and effective clothing will make all the difference in being able to enjoy the outdoors when the weather is unfavorable.  You can find more tips on layering and selecting winter clothing here >> The Right Clothes for Winter.




Keep it Simple


Nature is constantly changing and is filled with resources for children to play with.  While most children will find enough to do on their own, you may want to provide a few materials to enhance their experience.  These could include basic art supplies, building materials, buckets, containers, scoops, shovels, or sleds. 


For the biggest impact, follow your child’s lead and provide materials based on their interests.  Don’t overdo this.  Less is more when it comes to providing a rich, play environment for children.


If you are looking for specific activities to try, download this free PDF:





Invite Friends


There is something very motivating about inviting others to join you in outdoor play.  Not only is there built-in support for adults, but children enjoy the interactions with their friends.  Everyone will enjoy being outside for longer periods and mixing it up with friends makes things fun and exciting. 



Just Do It


Winter is a beautiful season filled with a variety of play opportunities that cannot be found any other time of year.  Getting children outdoors in the winter is a priority worth making with benefits work reaping.

 

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