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Won't The Kids Get Cold ??


Won’t the kids get cold outside?  We get asked this question a lot by parents; especially when the weather takes a turn for the worse.  

“My son moans about the cold,” or “she hates it when it rains.”  Of course, our clubs do not go without the odd moan from kids, but often the grumbles are about losing the Nerf battle or not being able to continue the games they are playing.  The old saying “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” is a good one but we see children running around in t-shirts when adults are walking by in woolly hats.  

Sure, parents struggle to get an enthusiastic response when they ask their children if they would like to go for a walk-in sheet rain, let’s face it most people aren’t jumping for joy at the idea. However, open the door, teach the kids to build a shelter from the rain, then build a campfire and toast marshmallows and the outside temperature becomes irrelevant to them.

Our childcare clubs encourage kids to move. There is little standing around and at least one activity happening throughout our sessions.  Whilst there is no typical day at an Outdoors Project Club, the rough structure of an all-day holiday club looks like this;   we always start the session with an active game, this gets the kids moving, helps any children who have come on their own not to feel nervous about making new friends. They are often put into pairs straight away and before we know it, friendships are being formed, heart rates are up and coats are being thrown under the gazebo due to overheating!   As parents ourselves, we do realise the importance of keeping children warm, and once they have cooled down, we will ask them to put their coats on again until the next time they ask to take them off.  Depending on the club activity that day, for example a the Harry Potter day may have wand making, kids head off into the trees to find some sticks and we will teach them to carve a wand.  

The activities throughout the day include games, learning skills, communicating, making and of course, plenty of playing. Clubs are non-competitive and there is something to suit everyone from the quiet and methodical to the louder and livelier.

Our clubs at our Base Camp on The Macs Farm, Ditchling always have a little less structure to the day than our other clubs. This is due to the location, which is part woodland, part field with a permanent outdoor classroom, fire pit, mud kitchen and hammocks to swing on.

The suggested recommended daily exercise is at least sixty minutes each day for children aged 5-18 and this is moderate to vigorous, not a gentle walk. When we think about the colder months, often children spend more time indoors than at other times of year.  Often adults are the ones who complain about the cold once outdoors, because let’s face it we tend not to be racing around at the same full pelt speed as our children most of the time.  This is why parents feel good about the kids coming to our clubs, they are outdoors, breathing in the glorious fresh air, blowing the bugs away and come home with big smiles on their faces.

Don’t the kids get cold outside? Not really, they seem to actually love it.

Footnote:  We take a practical, common sense approach to the weather.   During After School Clubs, should the weather be severe/dangerous we will take the children indoors for some games or Nerf Target practice.  During the Holiday Clubs, we reserve the right to cancel due to bad weather, in 8 years this has only ever happened once after a hurricane when there were unsafe trees in the park.  At our park holiday clubs we are well equipped with shelters and at our Base Camp we are lucky enough to have use of the Barn or Vintage Marquee.  We have spare clothing and our team are experienced in making sure everyone is comfortable and happy.