A few minutes outdoors on a cold winter day helps keep the winter blues away

by Deborah J. Stewart, M.Ed. on January 24, 2013

in Outdoor Play, Winter Time Outdoor Play

I don’t know if it has been as cold where you live, but it has been super cold here. The problem with super cold weather is that it is tempting to just want to keep the kids indoors all day long. The process of helping a group of young children put on all those coats and hats and gloves and boots (depending on how cold it really is) can be a daunting task but in the end, a few minutes outdoors on a cold winter day does help to keep the winter blues away…

Outdoor Play by Teach Preschool

Since the beginning of the school year, we have been working with our students on how to put on their own coats. Most of my students (ages 3 to 5) can now put on their own coats, some of the children can zip up their own zippers, and a few can put on their own gloves.  I am glad we started early on the “coat management process” because it makes the “getting ready to go outside” run a little more smoothly…

Outdoor Play by Teach Preschool

However, if we hadn’t worked on putting on our own coats before now, winter time has a way of helping us make this a priority. I find that by taking the extra time needed to sit down with the children and go step by step on how to put on a coat to be a wonderful use of our time and a great skill for my students to master…

Outdoor Play by Teach Preschool

Even if we only take a quick walk outside or go for a run in our log maze and come right back in, the process of putting on coats and taking them off is an important life skill to spend time on and the time outdoors makes my students feel energized and happy…

Outdoor Play by Teach Preschool

The onset of winter weather also brings new outdoor experiences to explore. For example, we had lots of rain one week then over night the temperature dropped dramatically and every thing froze. On the rainy days, we were able to get outdoors and do a little puddle stomping and writing…

Outdoors on a Cold Winter Day by Teach Preschool

When the temperature dropped, our trails were now covered with a thin layer of ice.  The children loved crunching up all the ice with their boots and even tried a little “ice skating”…

Outdoors on a Cold Winter Day by Teach Preschool

And whenever we go outdoors during the winter, the children always find something they want to bring back inside to investigate a little further…

Outdoors on a Cold Winter Day by Teach Preschool

So we try to find a way to extend our outdoor play by bringing some of our findings back inside like the sheets of ice the children found and collected on the icy trails…

Outdoors on a Cold Winter Day by Teach Preschool

Our short walk on the icy trails, the collection of ice, and the indoor exploration of the ice led to the rest of our morning together engaged in winter time exploration…

Outdoors on a Cold Winter Day by Teach Preschool

There are many reasons to take a few minutes and get outdoors during the cold days of winter that far outweigh all the excuses we drum up to stay indoors. I say this to you as much as to myself because I can tend to dread the cold weather but whenever I am in the middle of putting coats on and interacting with my students outdoors, I am reminded how important this time is and suddenly, I don’t feel so terribly cold after all…

Outdoors on a Cold Winter Day by Teach Preschool

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