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  #1  
Old 12-07-2020, 02:52 PM
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Default Outdoor Play in Winter

I was searching through older posts & see that most providers take kids outside even when it's pretty cold. I have several who hate going out in the cold, but we all need the fresh air & the exercise. I'm already feeling couped up & it's only been in the thirties here for a couple weeks. I think I'm going to start implementing a required outdoor play time every afternoon, maybe right before something fun for incentive to play happily. Haha. My question is, how long do you keep kids outside when it's cold? I mean, today is 34. Would a 30 min play time be appropriate or just like 15 min bursts here & there? I feel like this should be common sense, but since at least 3 of my school age kids are going to fight me, I thought I'd get advice from all of you!
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Old 12-07-2020, 03:08 PM
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We were required to be outside 1 hour, minimum, per day, (in accordance with inclement weather sheet)but in reading the newly published regulations it seems this year they see it as less important and no minimum time is given. No specific guidance, of any kind, is given, now.

"Children should play outdoors daily when the conditions do not pose a safety risk, a health risk specific to an individual child, or a significant health risk of frostbite or of heat related illness. Caregivers should monitor weather conditions daily."
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Old 12-07-2020, 03:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joyfulnoise View Post
I was searching through older posts & see that most providers take kids outside even when it's pretty cold. I have several who hate going out in the cold, but we all need the fresh air & the exercise. I'm already feeling couped up & it's only been in the thirties here for a couple weeks. I think I'm going to start implementing a required outdoor play time every afternoon, maybe right before something fun for incentive to play happily. Haha. My question is, how long do you keep kids outside when it's cold? I mean, today is 34. Would a 30 min play time be appropriate or just like 15 min bursts here & there? I feel like this should be common sense, but since at least 3 of my school age kids are going to fight me, I thought I'd get advice from all of you!
I think this is dependent upon where you live.

34F here would be an entire afternoon outside.
If the sun was shining it would mean a lightweight jacket verses a heavy snow coat.

There is a weather chart posted on the frontpage of the site as well to help give guidelines for how cold is too cold.

You can find that info here: https://www.daycare.com/news/daycare_and_weather.html
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Old 12-07-2020, 05:07 PM
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if they are cold bundle them up, snow pants are to keep the legs warm, snow or not.
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Old 12-07-2020, 06:04 PM
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so we go out to 0 with kids 2 and up. My kids have been complaining any time it hits 30. So its snowpants and boots even though were snowless. I also sewed mittens to adult size socks (cut open at the toe). They go all the way up to the shoulder so once the coat goes on they cant come off! The parents love them (and Ive had a few ask if they could get there own pair). so 0-20 15 mins max, 15-30 about 30 mins, 30 degrees to 35 were out a hour in the afternoon (3-4) 35-45 we stay out from 3 to 530ish. 45 or more and were out 3-6. Our playground has lights
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Old 12-07-2020, 08:09 PM
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Originally Posted by flying_babyb View Post
so we go out to 0 with kids 2 and up. My kids have been complaining any time it hits 30. So its snowpants and boots even though were snowless. I also sewed mittens to adult size socks (cut open at the toe). They go all the way up to the shoulder so once the coat goes on they cant come off! The parents love them (and Ive had a few ask if they could get there own pair). so 0-20 15 mins max, 15-30 about 30 mins, 30 degrees to 35 were out a hour in the afternoon (3-4) 35-45 we stay out from 3 to 530ish. 45 or more and were out 3-6. Our playground has lights
My grandma did something similar

Several of my kiddos have these
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Old 12-08-2020, 12:11 AM
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I donít know how you all do it with going outside. All of my outdoor equipment is put away for winter. If I leave it out it always gets ruined by the temps (Iowa). Without equipment there is nothing to do but run but they canít do that when theyíre all bundled up. Last year a made a snow course that curved around and let them sled down it and most of the 3 and up crowd had fun but the younger children were miserable.

I finally have enough snow pants, hats and gloves so I donít have to rely on parents remembering but in prior years it just seemed to be a waste. It seems like our entire morning is gone in the time it takes to put everything on, go outside for an hour, take it all off, clean up the wet floors etc. then we have to rush to change diapers, eat, wash up and maybe get in a book before nap. This, on top of about half of the children looking miserable the entire time, and itís the last thing I want to do.

We do spend basically all day, all summer outside but rainy, snowy, chilly weather keeps us indoors.

How do you do it?
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Old 12-08-2020, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by nanglgrl View Post
I donít know how you all do it with going outside. All of my outdoor equipment is put away for winter. If I leave it out it always gets ruined by the temps (Iowa). Without equipment there is nothing to do but run but they canít do that when theyíre all bundled up. Last year a made a snow course that curved around and let them sled down it and most of the 3 and up crowd had fun but the younger children were miserable.

I finally have enough snow pants, hats and gloves so I donít have to rely on parents remembering but in prior years it just seemed to be a waste. It seems like our entire morning is gone in the time it takes to put everything on, go outside for an hour, take it all off, clean up the wet floors etc. then we have to rush to change diapers, eat, wash up and maybe get in a book before nap. This, on top of about half of the children looking miserable the entire time, and itís the last thing I want to do.

We do spend basically all day, all summer outside but rainy, snowy, chilly weather keeps us indoors.

How do you do it?
Its hard when the snow gets deep but some of the things we do outside are digging.. I keep shovels and buckets in an area for "sandbox" type play. I use garden trowels as they dig in the snow better than plastic sand shovels.

We make a small sliding hump. Just big enough for toddlers to get to with bulky snowpants and sit at the top and slide down (like 3-4 feet total). It's enough to keep them occupied.

I also have an area where we keep small paths cleared and the kids push bigger cars/trucks around and around the path. We have a curved road way and a circle track.

We have an outdoor kitchen so as long as that is clear of snow the kids love playing with snow in the pots and pans.

We sidewalk chalk in all seasons. Sometimes the older kids use snow spray (water in spray bottles tinted with food coloring).

There is always the classics too! Building a snowman, digging a tunnel and making snow balls or a snow fort.

My older kiddos are pretty good about dressing. We do it as a group. I lay everyone's snow pants out and put the other items next to the snowpants. TOGETHER we all get in our snow pants.

Then we get our coats on. Then boots.
Then I go around the circle and zip, tie, tuck, straighten and fix any fasteners that they can't do themselves.

I plop their hats on and out we go. The whole process is pretty quick (>15 mins) and the kiddos learn how to do alot of it on their own simply by watching over and over every day. Of course there is the element of competition there too so that helps.
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Old 12-08-2020, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackcat31 View Post
Its hard when the snow gets deep but some of the things we do outside are digging.. I keep shovels and buckets in an area for "sandbox" type play. I use garden trowels as they dig in the snow better than plastic sand shovels.

We make a small sliding hump. Just big enough for toddlers to get to with bulky snowpants and sit at the top and slide down (like 3-4 feet total). It's enough to keep them occupied.

I also have an area where we keep small paths cleared and the kids push bigger cars/trucks around and around the path. We have a curved road way and a circle track.

We have an outdoor kitchen so as long as that is clear of snow the kids love playing with snow in the pots and pans.

We sidewalk chalk in all seasons. Sometimes the older kids use snow spray (water in spray bottles tinted with food coloring).

There is always the classics too! Building a snowman, digging a tunnel and making snow balls or a snow fort.

My older kiddos are pretty good about dressing. We do it as a group. I lay everyone's snow pants out and put the other items next to the snowpants. TOGETHER we all get in our snow pants.

Then we get our coats on. Then boots.
Then I go around the circle and zip, tie, tuck, straighten and fix any fasteners that they can't do themselves.

I plop their hats on and out we go. The whole process is pretty quick (>15 mins) and the kiddos learn how to do alot of it on their own simply by watching over and over every day. Of course there is the element of competition there too so that helps.
Thank you! I will try to put some of this into action this winter. As I say that I realize how much I dread it and itís not just the kids, I hate the cold! Lol
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Old 12-08-2020, 01:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanglgrl View Post
Thank you! I will try to put some of this into action this winter. As I say that I realize how much I dread it and itís not just the kids, I hate the cold! Lol
I going to have to add bc suggestion to my fun list too.

Last year was my favorite winter, DCK arrived with snow pants and boots on or they put them on at arrival. Ate breakfast and then boots, coats, and mittens. Out the door for the bus then as long as we could handle in the playground. Last winter it had snowed, melted, and then froze. So that there was a nice soft layer of ice in the playground. The kids had so much fun pulling each other around in the sleds. (this year the bus comes 30 minutes later, so I switched things up and have a craft at the table ready as the kids arrive, they do that and then breakfast)

The biggest problem was that I would freeze because they were having so much fun that they did not go inside. This year, I am getting snow pants!

Oh and my DS is 2.5 and has mastered putting his coat and snow pants on by himself. So I only have to dress the baby and the 3-year-old now (he won't even attempt to do it). I put the baby in the highchair and dress him in there so I do not have to chase him around. Then give him toys to play with so he does not get in others' way. (My entryway is a small space)

I have kids get ready in waves based on their ability and speed, which has helped me a bunch. Then I get my stuff on.
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