Play Time During The Winter: Tips & Tricks
Winter is officially here! And, while it may be easier to just hunker down inside with the kids at your school to avoid the cold weather, it’s actually still a good idea to get them outside to play, if it’s not too terribly cold out, of course.
Why it’s Still Important to Play Outside in the Winter Months
We talked a lot about the importance of outside play in one of our previous blog posts, The Benefits of Outdoor Gyms for Schools, so we won’t go into too much detail here. But here’s a quick recap of some of the top reasons why it’s so important that kiddos play outside.
1. Physical Activity
Winter weather or not, kiddos still need lots of physical activity a day. According to the American Heart Association, children ages 3-5 need “plenty of opportunities to move throughout the day,” and kids ages 6-17 should aim to get at least “60 minutes per day of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity.“
2. Fresh Air
Fresh air can help improve one’s mood, energy, and self-esteem.
3. Skill Development
Outdoor play can help kiddos with their gross motor skills, language skills, and even social skills!
Keeping Kids Safe and Warm Outside During the Winter Months
We get it, winter can be cold, and there will be many days during the season where it’s safer to just stay inside.
But, you will definitely see some days when it’s on the chilly side, but it’s still safe enough to get outside for a bit. And, on those days, there are several things you can do to help keep your students safe from the winter weather and wind.
5 Tips for Keeping Kids Safe When Playing Outside in the Winter
1. Have them wear layers.
Layers are great for keeping kids warm when they are playing outside in the cold. Children’s Health actually suggests having kids dress in one more layer than an adult would wear. So, encourage parents to keep extra clothes in their respective kiddo’s backpack, like an extra long sleeve shirt or sweatshirt.
2. Don’t forget gloves and hats.
Children’s Health advises anyone in charge of children during winter outdoor playtime to have them wear their hats and gloves, “especially when the temperature falls below 40 degrees.”
3. Have them change out of any wet clothes.
The winter lends itself to wet, snowy, and icy weather, which can lead to wet clothes. But, allowing kids to play outside in the cold in wet clothes can be really dangerous and even lead to hypothermia. So, make sure any kiddo that gets wet is not outside for too long in those wet clothes. Have them change as soon as possible.
4. Make sure they stay hydrated.
Just like you would during the summer months, make sure kids have some water either during outdoor play, if water fountains are available, or right after they come inside.
5. Encourage kids to use sunscreen on exposed areas of the skin.
According to Children’s Health, sunscreen is still important in the winter because kids can still get a sunburn on the parts of their skin that are exposed to the sun.
Keeping Kids Active Inside During the Winter
Like we said earlier, there will be days where it’s simply not safe enough for kids to venture out to the playground. Here are some fun activities you can have kids do during indoor recess to stay active.
Inside Winter Activities
1. Play active indoor games, like:
- Red Light, Green LIght
- Simon Says
- Freeze Dance
- Jump rope
- Shadow, Shadow
- The Floor is Lava
2. Install indoor playground equipment, like a rock wall or indoor GaGa Pit.
3. Set up an indoor obstacle course.
4. Hold relay races.
5. Conduct a timed scavenger hunt.
Southeast Outdoors Solutions Has Your Indoor Play Needs Covered!
Southeast Outdoors Solutions has so many different types of indoor play equipment and structures, including GaGa Pits, SnugPlay systems, and rock walls.
We can install safe and fun indoor playground equipment that will keep your students active inside during the winter months. To learn more about our indoor or outdoor playground equipment, give us a call at (770) 709-5605 or click here to fill out our contact form.