How to Keep Kids Playing Outdoors During the Winter
As winter arrives, parents wonder how to keep children entertained without outdoor play, especially when many families are quarantined indoors. In fact, 80 percent of parents said their children prefer playing outdoors, even if it’s cold outside. Outdoor play is possible, even in the coldest time of the year.
“So if you’re staring down the barrel of the impending winter with dread, visions of cabin-fever-induced meltdowns dancing in your head, fear not. Yes, your kids can play outside in foul weather. And what’s more, they’ll love it,” writes Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan, a contributor for the New York Times.
Elizabeth recently consulted winter sports & recreation specialists on playing outdoors during the winter. We believe in year-round play, so we wanted to share these tips with you.
Playgrounds are the perfect place to spend time outdoors during the winter
Wear Appropriate Apparel
An essential element of outdoor play during cold weather is wearing proper winter clothes. Dress your children in multiple layers, and make sure to cover their heads, hands, and feet.
Don't just dress them in warm socks. Make sure they also wear warm, water-proof boots or shoes. Choose mittens over gloves. Experts agree mittens trap heat more effectively than regular gloves.
Pack Suitable Snacks
Snacks and drinks are essential outdoor adventures, but they are especially helpful during cold days. Hot tea and hot cocoa keep your kids hydrated, and they help keep you warm from within.
Use a thermos for your hot beverages, and choose snacks that are less likely to freeze. Fig bars, freeze-dried fruit, trail mix, fruit snacks, or pretzels are ideal choices for cold weather. Avoid fruit gummies or granola bars - they can become hard in cold weather.
GameTime can help upgrade your community playground any time of year
Make Sure Your Park is Ready for Cold Weather Play
We believe there’s no better way to keep kids active and entertained than a playground. If your community playgrounds are outdated or have unsafe play components, families have fewer options for outdoor play. We can help.
Upgrade your park this winter with traditional playground or more adventurous play areas, like a rope challenge course, zipline, or climbing wall. We also offer play activities for children of all ages and abilities, like our ECHO products for preschool children, and inclusive playground equipment like our merry-go-all.
If your playground is in need of renovation or updated equipment, you can contact your local GameTime representative to make sure your outdoor recreation spaces are ready for winter.