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Won't The Kids Get Cold ??

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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 the weather and teaching our children that it is OKAY to be outdoors is even more important in the UK. If we panicked and ran for the hills at the slightest drizzle of rain then we'd really never make outside and would miss out on all the benefits and wellbeing of doing so! Having that mentality is teaching our children that there is nothing to be gained if the weather isn't as planned and that 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 and something to avoid rather than this beautiful ever changing lifeforce that surrounds our homes and 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 and rain onto our child as this will create a negative feeling before its even begun. Children are fantastic listeners and imitators, picking up everything we say without us even realising! Quite often they will adapt a mentality if the parent themselves moans about forgetting their umberella or not going out because its 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 and 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 the weather and 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 and rewarding. Once we're all gathered round the fire, the outside temperature becomes irrelevant to them and a lot of fun has been had!

Suitable Clothing: 

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

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

Waterproof Jacket – This must be water repellent as winter coats soak up water and become weighty and take away heat from the body.
Warm Hat, Gloves & Scarf
Waterproof Trousers – That can easily fit over regular trousers.
Trousers – comfortable and 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 and if they get wet retain heat (bring two pairs so there is a spare to change if needed) 
Wellington Boots

    Our Activities:

    Our childcare clubs encourage kids to move. There is little standing around and at least one main 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!  All instructors are well trained and 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 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, 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 and come home with big smiles on their faces.

     

    Camp set up: 

    In the parks 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 and benches for the children to sit on. At Basecamp Ditchling we have permenant shelters set up all year round and we use the chook shed on the farm which is a renovated barn for some activities. We usually have the option to set up camp fires if needs be for additional warmth at all sites. 

    "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 related news below or for further benefits from child mind on why kids need to spend time in nature.

    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. We have spare clothing and our team are experienced in making sure everyone is comfortable and happy.