Home/ News/ Won't The Kids Get Cold?

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. And lets face it, in the UK it happens fairly often! That's why in our eyes, being outdoors no matter what the weather & teaching our children that it is OKAY to be outdoors is even more important in the UK. If we panicked & ran for the hills at the slightest drizzle of rain, we'd really never make it outside & would miss out on all the benefits & wellbeing of doing so! Having that mentality would teach children that there is nothing to be gained when the weather isn't as planned & that enjoying nature is a luxury only available on warm days. That kind of seperation from nature makes it seem like this distant place which is scary & something to avoid rather than this beautiful ever changing lifeforce that surrounds our homes & daily lives. 

Using Positive Language:

“My son moans about the cold” or “she hates it when it rains”. Firstly, we as parents need to make sure we are not imprinting our views of the cold & rain onto our child as this will create a negative feeling before it's even begun. Children are fantastic listeners & imitators, picking up everything we say without us even realising! Quite often they will adopt a mentality if the parent moans about forgetting their umberella or not going out because it's too cold. They will think "well dad doesn't like going out in the cold so why should I?" or "mum always moans about the rain so maybe I should too?". We need to make sure we are using positive language about our children spending time outside at all points to encourage them to do the same. Ultimately, they form their own opinion on what they like & don't like, so give them the chance to do so! We need make sure we are demonstrating it is okay to be outdoors no matter what the weather is & show them that fun can be had.

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 rather than the weather itself. By showing them how build a shelter from the rain, then building a campfire to toast marshmallows on is exciting & rewarding. Once we're all gathered round the fire, the outside temperature becomes irrelevant to them & a lot of fun has been had!

Suitable Clothing: 

The Scandinavian saying “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing” is a strong statement to stick by. Being outdoors in the cold & the rain is not a lot of fun if you are not prepared with clothing to make you feel comfortable. That means you must send your child in the right gear to keep the cold & wet out. By doing this they won't even notice the rain & be more inclined to come & enjoy it time & time again. Make a game of it! The more socks we wear or layers we put on the longer we can stay out & have fun! 

Our clothing suggestions for a comfortable and happy time at The Outdoors Project during the winter season are: 

- Waterproof jacket – this must be water repellent, as winter coats soak up water & become weighty & take heat away from the body
- Warm hat, gloves & scarf
- Waterproof trousers – which can easily fit over regular trousers
- Trousers – comfortable & preferably not jeans as these get heavy when wet
- Thick jumper or hooded fleece
- T-shirt or vest
- Long sleeved top
- Thick socks x 2 pairs – wool is the warmest & if they get wet retain heat (bring two pairs so there is a spare to change into if needed) 
- Wellington boots (aka wellies)

Our Activities:

Our childcare clubs encourage kids to move around. 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 their groups for the day straight away & before we know it, friendships are being formed, heart rates are up and coats are being thrown under the gazebo due to overheating! All instructors are well trained & we do realise the importance of keeping children warm. 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. For more on the format of holiday clubs click here. 

The suggested recommended daily exercise is at least sixty minutes each day for children aged 5-18 & this is moderate to vigorous, not a gentle walk. When we think about the colder months, children often spend more time indoors than at other times of year. Adults are often the ones who complain about the cold once outdoors, mainly because 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 & coming home with big smiles on their faces.

Camp set up: 

In all our sites, we set up heavy duty gazebos with additonal waterproof tarps in the woods to keep the rain off us during break times or certain activities. We have tarps & benches for the children to sit on. We have the option to set up campfires at all of our sites, for additional warmth.

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

If you'd like to read our blog on some of the benefts of being outdoors, check the related news below or for further benefits from Child Mind Institute on why kids need to spend time in nature.

Muddy wet weather - The Outdoors Project

Footnote: We take a practical, common sense approach to the weather. Should the weather be severe/dangerous (e.g. thunderstrikes & a risk of falling trees), we have the option to take the children indoors for games or an adaptation of the planned activity; or we reserve the right to cancel ahead of the club. We often have spare clothing at holiday clubs if we are caught out by wet weather, & our team are experienced in making sure everyone is comfortable & happy!