Why We Go Outside, No Matter the Weather,and What Parents Must Do

“Seems it never rains in southern California…”.

So the old ’70’s song goes. Because our state has been in a drought cycle for so long, have we become alienated from rain in our lives? Is it a severe weather condition? We are accustomed to living in a climate with mild year-round weather.  Has it turned us into rainy-day wimps? We’ve forgotten the rest of the chorus in the song:  

“It pours!  Man, it pours!”

Imagine if we lived in Alaska. In some localities they take infants outside to zero degrees, toddlers to -10 and preschool to -20. Scandinavia is making news because parents put their babies outside to nap in the snowy cold of winter. It’s not a new practice; they’ve been doing it for generations.

At Kid Works we love weather!  We welcome the rain, in any season, for its beauty, its place in the life of our earth and community, and its effects on our health and souls. 

Resilience, a Key Building Block to a Happy Life

We especially welcome rain and cold because they are a manageable type of adversity, a challenge to grow from. Yes, we go outside in light rain. We go outside after heavy rain to play in the rainwater. Children actually look forward to going outside when it’s cold and wet.  We have to bundle up.  The air is cold on our faces.  Our noses start to run.  “Kids who play outside in challenging weather are more positive, more creative, and more adaptable”. If you read only one thing today, read this:

More than Fair Weather Friends

Our staff https://www.kidworkschildrenscenter.com/staff/ takes care of children during hot summers by applying sunscreen and ensuring that physical hydration and appropriate clothing is monitored. Likewise, we also take care of children during cold winters by ensuring that they are warm, appropriately dressed and dry after cold, watery play.

Last week…

Franklin’s smile was wider than his face when he thrilled at skipping stones in our “monkey bar lake”. Garden Room https://www.kidworkschildrenscenter.com/garden-room/ friends Maeve and Sofia relished the impromptu lake for the sheer joy of jumping in and landing on their fully-clothed bums!

Many, many parents are fearful of their children playing outside in the cold and wonder why we do it. As it turns out, there’s lots of reasons! Let’s look. 

It’s Healthy! 

Contrary to “you’ll get sick if you go outside in the cold”, you’ll actually get sick if you stay cooped up indoors with the viruses and bacteria that wouldn’t be caught dead outside in the cold.  Keeping children and adults inside with the same air circulating is the best way to make sure they all get sick.

Another reason why it’s healthy to be outside in the winter is because in general, the more time spent outdoors the stronger the immune system.  Being outdoors increases activity, increased activity builds a stronger immunity.

It’s Part of Life! 

Being in nature is simply part of life.  We want to nurture children’s comfort in being outdoors in all weather so they can go forward in life with confidence.  We want them to play in nature–cold weather to be exact–so they will grow to be adaptable, hearty, and have good attitudes toward unexpected challenges. 

It Encourages an Active Lifestyle! 

Children can learn at a young age that cold weather is no reason to stay inside in front of a screen.  With the alarming number of hours children already spend sedentary in front of screens, wintertime is all too easy an excuse to stay sedentary until it’s more comfortable outside. At Kid Works we act on our value that outdoor time is crucial to healthy child development.  We are not deterred by low temperatures or rain. 

Problem-solving Opportunities Abound! 

The backyard sometimes floods with heavy rainfall.  Children who want to stay dry from puddles have to figure out their best path to walk.  They must estimate how far to stay away from them when their friends run through, splashing.  Umbrellas become more than colorful novelty toys.  Efforts to open them are done in earnest when keeping dry is at stake!  How many friends can fit under one? The children solve problems of providing shelter to all when there are too few umbrellas for all the friends. .

“There is No Such Thing as Bad Weather; Just Bad Clothes”

What Parents Must Do.  

Our backyard is a cold trough in the morning and late afternoon.  The temperature is significantly colder than out front on Broadway.  Parents, please send your child to school adequately dressed, even if they don’t like it. You know weather, they do not.  You are in charge.  They are not. You get them to school. We will take it from there.

If you are from a snowy or colder climate, you are experts in winter clothing needs and can be helpful guides to us natives.  

Layers Layers Layers

Thin layers are better than one heavy jacket.  This allows for “fine tuning” the regulation of comfort. Children lose heat faster than adults so the general guideline is to dress your child in one more layer of clothing than you would wear.  When it’s very cold, keeping the head and neck warm is important.  Much body heat is lost through the head.  Warm head, warm body! 

Foot Gear  

Rain boots are great but have drawbacks.  The main one is that water gets inside within ten minutes, rendering them useless.  If your child wears rain boots, send a pair of shoes. No matter what.

Extra Clothes – And Labelled!

Whatever your child’s cubby will accommodate, put it in there, including socks. Names on everything.  

The more equipped your child is physically, the more equipped they will be to meet whatever comes their way.

Thank you for making your child’s outdoor experiences more enjoyable and beneficial for them!

 

 

 

 

 

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