Well, we certainly have been having some cold days. This is the type of weather my Grandmother would come to me to check that I was wearing a singlet so my “kidney’s didn’t catch a cold”. While I am not sure of the medical accurateness of this, there are often concerns about children playing outside in the winter.
Children really need outdoor play so it is just a case of being prepared. “There is no bad weather just bad clothing” as the saying goes. Put on some warm layers and add boots, coats and hats and go out for a winter walk. Even a short walk of ten minutes can help with ‘cabin fever’ which we can get when stuck inside all day. Here are a few ideas for winter outdoor play as well as some ideas for inside, to chase away the winter blues. We would love to hear your tips for fun over winter.
- Plan ahead for rainy days – make up some play dough, store it and collect items for collage into containers all ready to go. Collect some natural resources from your walks too. You could also write down your children’s ideas for fun activities and put them in a jar to pick out one a day. Planning for learning.
- Make a bird feeder – roll a pinecone in peanut butter then in different seeds and grain and hang from a tree and watch the birds feed. Learning about the natural environment.
- Have the movies at home. Set up some pillows or bean bags, close the curtains, pop your own popcorn and snuggle down. You could even video the children at play and watch your own home movies. Family fun time.
- Track the temperature over a week. Using a thermometer, record the morning temperature every morning and then make a graph with the children. If you don’t have a thermometer watch the weather on the news together. Science and math skills.
- Set up the paddling pool inside and fill with warm bubbly water or fill your standing water table outside with lovely warm water. I promise it’s worth the effort when you see their happy faces! Sensory play.
- What is better on a wintery day than making some vegetable soup and homemade bread together! Have the children chop and grate the vegetables alongside you. Math and science through cooking.
- Light up a charcoal BBQ outside or make a small campfire and toast some marshmallows. Science and learning about safety with fire.
- Make your own snow globe with a lidded jar, water and glitter – get creative with what to put inside.
- Go to the park for a soccer game, or at home, clear the hallway and use a foam bat and ball for cricket. Active play.
- Give the children the opportunity to take photos of the effects of the winter weather outside and make a book together. Literacy skills.
- Lucky enough to be visiting the snow or know someone that is? Ask them to bring you some snow home in a chilly bin. Great for children who don’t get to see the snow. New experiences.
We’d love to hear about your winter ideas. Comment below or send us a photo of some of your great winter experiences.