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Outdoors and Winter 🍃❄

With the cooler weather set in it is common to hear of children being restricted to indoor play for warmth or to avoid sickness. When in fact, it is it more important for children to be outdoors during autumn and winter! 🍂

Outdoor play promotes physical development and wellbeing, as well as encourages whole body movements which is vital in our little people. Exploring the outdoors during autumn and winter provides unique sensory experiences and learning opportunities that aren’t possible during the warmer months ⛅️

So let’s debunk the sickness myth… 🤦🏼‍♀️

First things first, exposure to cold weather does not cause viruses. In reality, children are more likely to get sick from poorly ventilated indoor spaces which are breeding grounds for bacteria and viruses. Being outdoors has been proven to boost the immune system, with daily exposure to fresh air and sunlight increasing circulation, vitamin D intake, contributing to healthy sleep patterns and lowering stress! 😮‍💨

Besides the incredible health benefits that come with being outdoors in the cooler periods, it can also provide both social and emotional benefits for our little people 🥰

Exploring the outdoor environment in winter can build self-confidence, extend their ability to assess risk and identify hazards, moderate their own behaviour and problem solve independently 💪🏻

Children who are provided with opportunities to engage with others outdoors develop stronger collaborative social skills, extend their communication skills, stretches their imagination, and build on socio-dramatic play 👩‍👧‍👦

Winter and outdoor play provide us with so many teaching opportunities for our children, like teaching them how to dress for the cold, how to manage challenges, build persistence and resilience. Let’s start to shift cultural perspectives that outdoors is dangerous and open the conversation that not being outdoors could be far more dangerous 🌟

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