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For some, a rainy day, windy or snowy day means a house day – some people may be more than happy with this but for parents of outdoor-loving children/toddlers this could be a nightmare. We are certainly in that camp.
But should bad weather necessarily mean a day spent indoors? Are children and parents missing out by not getting out there and adapting to what mother nature throws at them? Although some bad weather can be too bad to go out we feel that people are missing out by not embracing a bit of adverse weather from time to time. Here’s why.
Why you should let your kids play in bad weather
No such thing as bad weather only unsuitable clothing
A famous quote from Alfred Wainwright in his book “A Coast to Coast Walk” suggests that the biggest barrier to many not wanting to tackle bad weather is simply not having the right clothing. For children this can also be true, most people worry about being cold or wet if they go out in bad weather… but if you buy the right items you can get past the majority of these worries.
The first item on an outdoorsy child or toddler’s shopping list should be a puddle suit which covers them from head to toe in waterproofing which keeps them nice and dry. Second, put some thick insulated clothing underneath to keep them warm, then add a hat and gloves to cover their hands and head. Last is a good pair of wellies to give them some grip and keep their feet dry. We have reviewed first walker wellies and older kids wellies.
All you’ve got to do now is sort yourself out!
Exercise is exercise
Children benefit just as much from physical exercise than us adult, perhaps even more. The NHS recommend that children aged 5 to 18 should get at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise per day – moderate being something that gets their heart rate going. Now this could quite easily be achieved indoors with some wrestling on the bed or a run around but not everyone is lucky enough to have a home which can accommodate this.
Unless the weather is absolutely terrible then wearing suitable clothing can mean you and your children can continue to exercise in bad weather.
Resilience is built by tacking tough challenges and overcoming them with positivity. By being exposed to bad weather early on children can quickly learn how to deal with and learn how to adapt and make the best of it. By regularly being exposed to bad weather but supported to get through it they can grow up into young children and adults who do not see a rainy day as a miserable experience but an opportunity to have a different kind of play that day.
Adults can often not avoid bad weather and must be exposed it to do the shopping or the school run or whatever it may be. By building this foundation early you can set the tone for what kind of adult they will can become. Imagine the opportunities they could miss later in life if they are taught that rainy and cold days put a stop to everything.
Get those wellies on and get out there!
Lets them experience the world in all of its glory
The world looks different in all four seasons and in every kind of weather – fog, rain, sunshine, cloudy, windy, snow, frost etc. Every child should see the world in all of its glory in their life and learn how each weather type affects it. This is also important for their sensory development so that they not only learn how weather looks but how it feels.
Everybody loves sunshine, it’s warm and everything is green, but equally autumn has its charm with bronze colours and moist air. Winter is a challenge but that’s when the lights come out and the frosty air tickles your nostril hairs. Spring can be wet but you can start to see little flowers grow and trees come back to life.
Wouldn’t you want your child to experience all of those things and potentially come to love the world 12 months of the year?
Helps them how to deal with different dangers
Like Cirquest say, children need exposure to risk to learn to be careful and sensible. Adverse and bad weather does bring with risks, as does good weather. For example, heavy rain makes the pathways slipper and wet, walking on this can help them understand how to adapt to stay on their feet. Frost, snow and ice bring with it low temperatures and slippery surfaces. Children who may be stubborn about putting their coat on but a couple of walks in winter will teach them otherwise. Likewise, children who try to run on frozen surfaces will quickly find out that slow is best here.
By deliberately preparing to go out in bad weather it will help them learn how to deal with any bad weather comes their way unexpectedly.
Encourages discussions about geography
There’s no better way to learn about weather systems and different climates than seeing it and feeling it yourself. Going out with your children when the weather isn’t great can prompt curious discussions about why the weather is like that and what causes it. Later on, the subject of global warming and climate change can be discussed especially when the weather is particularly rough such as extreme heat and cold.
Avoids ‘cabin fever’
Staying indoors for too long can have negative effects on your mental health as well as your children which can lead to anxiety, mood swings, frustrations and sleep troubles. Being exposed to fresh air and natural sunlight can help negate these effects and provide a well needed boost of oxytocin. If the forecast for the week or even longer looks grim it can make people anxious about having to make do with whatever’s in the house. But, learn to dress properly and be safe and that week doesn’t look so bad.