Outdoor Play in the Winter: Is it Necessary?
Yes! So be sure to bring your child bundled up (coat, hat, gloves, boots, etc.) because we will be playing outside for at least a few minutes today (pending weather stays as predicted)! Even with the ground covered with snow our Preschool classes will be going outside. Allowing children to play outside is vital for their health and development for so many reasons.
1) It Provides Exercise! Playing outside provides children with gross motor development. Climbing on the playground, playing tag with friends, building a snowman, and other outside activities get the children’s bodies moving raising their heartbeat and helping to maintain a healthy weight in a lasting Fun way.
2) It Stimulates the Imagination: Playing outside in all seasons provides children an opportunity for learning in a different environment. Playing outside helps children develop their imagination in a way quiet, indoor play cannot.
3) It Promotes Problem Solving Skills: Children who play outside learn how to solve real life problems in positive ways, independently. They might be learning how to get along with friends or trying to figure out the best way to build a rock tower – they’re problem solving!
4) It Provides Vitamin D: Just 10-15 minutes out in the sun will give your children their daily dose of Vitamin D that growing children need. Vitamin D, which is provided by the sun, helps promote better moods, energy levels, memory, overall health and more.
5) It Builds Up their Immune System: When your children come into contact with nature on a regular basis, they are less likely to develop autoimmune disorders and allergies. Upper respiratory infections and flu are caused by viruses, not exposure to cold air. These viruses spread easily during the winter when children are kept indoors in close proximity. Generally, infectious disease organisms are less concentrated in outdoor air than indoor air, which is why you will find our classroom doors are left open while playing outside.
It doesn’t matter if it is summer or winter outside, your child needs everything listed above and playing outside is a great way to get them all at once! Obviously, if the conditions outside are not appropriate, your children will stay inside and play in our Indoor Gross Motor Room, but if it’s nice outside then be sure to bring your child bundled up because we will be playing outside for at least a few minutes!
How do we decide? Using the Child Care Weather Watch Chart.