5 Great Benefits of Cold Weather Play
When the weather turns frigid, it’s tempting to stay indoors. Parents often fear for their child’s health and safety once temperatures drop. But did you know playing outside—even in winter—offers plenty of benefits for you and your child?
Before you close your doors completely to the blustery weather, consider these important pluses of cold weather play:
1) Fresh air
Many parents mistakenly think illnesses are caused by colder weather, when they’re actually often caused by increased exposure to indoor environments. Bacteria, viruses and toxins can build up and be incubated inside your home. Getting outside allows you to avoid these harmful organisms and keep healthy!
2) Mental stimulation
A change in season is a learning opportunity for your child. Your child can discover through exploration that leaves in the fall give way to cold, snow and ice in the winter. This change can also allow your child to be creative and play in different ways than he or she would in the summer months.
Exercise and gross motor movement is just as important during colder months as in warmer months. Children use different (and important) muscles when walking in snow, skating on ice, building snowmen, sledding and making snow angels.
4) Mood enhancement
Vitamin D helps regulate mental and emotional needs by increasing serotonin levels in the brain. Children naturally get Vitamin D through sun exposure, which is why it’s recommended that kids get at least half an hour of outdoor playtime in winter.
5) Great winter memories
Perhaps most important, kids can quickly develop positive associations with wintertime and cold weather by playing outside. Memories of decorating a snowman with a scarf or warming up with cocoa by the fire may last a lifetime.
For other ways to help your kids expel some wintertime energy, check out our blog post on ways to play in the snow or Gogabo’s fun (and stimulating) play options.