This is the time of year when it is so tempting to hibernate and stay inside as much
as possible, especially if you live somewhere “north” (AKA Cold) and are a parent of
The enormous task of wrestling toddlers into winter clothing is enough to make any
sane person think carefully about how often they want to bother with the hassle.
But, despite all the trouble, getting outside in the winter is good for your kids,
yourselves AND (believe it or not) your sanity! Here are a few benefits of getting
outside at least 15 minutes every day:
- Encourages active movement
- Promotes creative play with natural objects (sticks, rocks, dirt, snow or ice)
- Boosts moods
- Helps increase immunity
- Provides a change of pace and scenery
- Makes it easier to unplug and focus primarily on your family
We are firm believers in the fact that good gear and smart layering also helps
tremendously with making sure everyone is staying happy outside. Some of our
best tips for winter warmth include:
- Start with a wool or polypro base layer
- Stay away from cotton, especially for socks and base layers – they trap body moisture and result in being colder faster
- On really cold days, double up on mittens (use a liner + a waterproof shell) and stick a hand warmer between the layers if you need to.
- Be aware that sedentary children (in strollers or carriers) need to be dressed warmer than active children or yourself. Check hands and feet often for warmth. Use extra blankets (fleece is great) over kids in strollers and wearbabies in carriers close to your own body heat.
Finally, the most important part of getting outside as a family is to remain positive.
Kids are keenly aware of your own attitude, so stay upbeat and make it as fun as
- Play games – engage with them instead of just sending them out to play on
- their own
- Look online for great winter back yard games. A few inches of snow is just as
- much fun as a sandbox (and much bigger too!)
- Go sledding, snowshoeing or on walks (all of which require no special skills)
- Be silly. Laugh, run, jump and enjoy snow (or whatever you have in your
- own back yard.)
- Try a new skill as a family – Ski, ice skate, build snow forts, etc. You may be
- surprised with what your own family members end up loving.
- Come inside to hot drinks to warm up little bodies again.
Kids of all ages (that means you too, parents!) need fresh air to clear their minds,
boost endorphins and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Embrace it this winter and get
Contributed by Amelia Mayer of Tales of a Mountain Mama