Keeping our kids active in the winter can sometimes be a challenge. It’s cold out there! But, remaining active, and getting plenty of outside time, is essential to our kids’ well being just as much as it is during the warmer months. Here are some tips to make the most of winter outdoor time and stay safe with the proper clothing:
Take Advantage of Daylight
Although the shorter days can make outside time a little harder, get your kids outside while it’s still light out. Not only is it safer to play outside during daylight, but the temperature will also be warmer than if it’s dark out. Take advantage of sunny winter days. Vitamin D will help shake those winter blues.
Find Fun Activities
If there is snow on the ground, the possibilities for outside time are endless. Building a snowman, making snow angels, sledding, and snow forts are all great activities that will keep your kids active outside for hours. Skiing, snowboarding, or tubing is also a great physical activity to do outside in winter.
If snow isn’t in the forecast, there are still plenty of great things to do outside. The leaves have fallen from the trees so break out the binoculars and see if you and your little ones can spot any wildlife. Head to your local park or playground, the slides and swings are still fun even in the cold!
For your child to enjoy and be safe during winter outdoor activities they need to be warm and mobile. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends layering children in one more layer than you would wear as an adult in winter. Layers help trap pockets of warm air, keeping your child warmer than if you were to just put one, big coat on them.
Layering is essential to keeping your kids comfortable while they’re outside. The three-layer system is a great guide to follow.
- Base Layer– sits close to the skin and wicks moisture keeping your little one feeling dry. Wool or polyester are ideal for a base layer. Avoid cotton as it holds moisture and takes a long time to dry.
- Insulation Layer– holds the natural heat little bodies produce. A wool sweater or a fleece jacket are both good choices. Synthetic or wool are the best choice. Avoid cotton, like jeans, if possible.
- Shell Layer-protects against rain and wind so the other layers continue to work. Choose a material that is wind and waterproof but still breathable.
Faces, Fingers, and Toes
These areas are particularly vulnerable to cold injuries like frostbite. The following items will make sure your child’s extremities are protected and they stay nice and toasty:
- Warm, wool socks (again, no cotton)
- Waterproof boots
- Waterproof gloves or mittens
- A Scarf
- A well-fitting hat that covers the ears