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Raising a Child who Loves Winter

Winter is a time that many adults dread. We think of scraping the snow off our car, black ice on the roads, and running to the house because we aren't dressed for the weather. Unfortunately, all of the negative talk causes our children to dislike winter.

Winter is a magical time of the year with icicles, snow, evergreens, birds, animal tracks, and much more. Many forest school teachers say "there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear." This statement is so true! If we dress for the weather, even the coldest days can be amazing.

There are many benifits to being outdoors during the winter including:

- children are less likely to get sick because germs cannot survive in the extreme cold

- children are able to partake in a variety of sensory experiences created by nature

- children are encouraged to preserver when they have a hard time grabbing items in giant mittens

- children develop better motor skills and body awareness as they learn to manuver around in bulky gear

- children are able to run, jump, climb, and be loud which is often discouraged in indoor settings

- snow and ice create new mediums to challenge their creativity

One of the most important things I've learned as a forest school teacher is that snow pants are not just for snowy days. Snow pants provide an air-filled layer which is important for holding warm air around the body. Don't forget to layer up also.

In addition to proper gear, it's wise to bring activities. Snacks, books, containers, paint, or any other types of materials are great for demonstrating fun things to do in the cold. Remember, you don't have to have snow to play outside in the winter. Go outside. Even if there is no snow!

We hope this article inspired you to take those kiddos outside. If you still have fears, struggles, or reservations, write about them in the comments below. Maybe we can help you find a way to overcome those challanges. Children love what we love and hate what we hate, so lets help them love winter!!!

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