As the cold weather gets closer and closer, we start to worry more about whether our children will get outside enough. In the fall it’s not too much of an issue, but as the winter months roll around, children seem to get outside less and less often. It makes sense—we’re hesitant to send kids outside because of all the things that could go wrong.
Nobody wants their child to get frostbite; however, if you take the proper steps, you and your children can enjoy all the different benefits of playing outside in the cold! From proper hygiene practices that work year-round to not over-bundling your kiddos, once you take these steps, you and your kids will love the quick reward of outdoor play. We list a few of those great benefits below—check them out!
Gives them a chance to escape indoor germs
Many people associate the cold with getting sick, but it’s not going outside that means automatic sickness. In fact, most often, the reason kids get sick in the winter is because they’re trapped inside all of the time. Your kids are more likely to get sick if they’re constantly indoors because of the exposure to a poorly ventilated environment and stagnant air. Getting your kids outside in the cold will give them that fresh air their body needs. To put it simply, outdoor play in the cold strengthens the immune system—so make sure you and the kids are spending time outdoors.
Gets their exercise in
The summer is full of children running around and consistently getting their exercise in, and they can still do that in the colder months. Daily exercise is vital for children, so playing outside in the cold is a fabulous way to do that and keep them healthy. What’s even better is that outdoor play in the winter can be more beneficial than in other seasons, since it takes more muscle and movement to get through snow and even just to breathe in that cold air.
Provides vitamin D
All of us end up feeling the effects of a little sunshine in the cold months, and kids tend to feel that even deeper. Since very few foods actually contain vitamin D, sun exposure is one of the few ways children can get the essential vitamin. Getting outside in the cold—especially when it’s a sunny day—will have a large impact on their mood. If there have been a few days of no sunshine, make sure you spend a lot of time outside once the sunshine returns.
Helps burn extra energy
Probably one of the benefits that parents love the most about playing outside in the cold is how that extra energy gets burned off. Whether you head to a playground when the snow’s cleared a bit, or go on a winter wonder walk, you and the kids are sure to enjoy the fresh air and the chance to burn off some of that extra energy. You don’t have to stay indoors all winter long—and you shouldn’t!