Saturday, June 8, 2013

Say Yes to Outdoor Play in Winter

Winter has arrived in Sydney, and with it Early Childhood Educators start to ask themselves the question: 

"Should we let the children play outside in the cold (wet, mud, rain)?"

I can hear our friends in the Northern parts of the globe laughing at us already.

It's a rainy day over at The Treehouse Preschool in Maryland, and the children are outside - wait for it - playing with water:

Winter in Canada is not exactly known for its warmth, but does that stop the children at Stomping in the Mud enjoying a walk?

Or heading outside for a spot of alfresco painting?

The children from Learning For Life in Ireland play outdoors whatever the weather.  In fact, their motto is:

"Sunshine is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces us up, and snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather." 
- John Ruskin

Look, it is snowing!  When was the last time it snowed in Sydney?  But do the Happy Hooligans let a little thing like snow stop them from having fun and learning outside?

So come on Sydney people.  What is stopping us?

Lets rug up and say "yes" to outdoor play in winter.

You might enjoy reading:

Learning in the Rain @ Squiggle Mum

Over to you.  How have you overcome barriers at your setting to playing outdoors during the winter months?


  1. YES! I miss cold, rainy, snowy weather. Truly such an enriching learning environment. My husband is always arguing with me about why I want to leave the hot Arizona desert and I tell him, you can bundle up against the rain and cold and still go outside, but when it's 117 degrees in the desert, there's nothing you can do but stay indoors. Cherish that 'harsh' weather!

  2. Hi Jenny & thanks so much for mentioning me in such great company. We are currently having a heatwave & I am starting to wonder how you all manage with the high temps & hot sun - give me rain anyday!!!

  3. Definately YES! Love all the photos and links connecting us around the globe. I took the kids to the park late on friday and was so pleased to see many families playing there till dark.

  4. Playing outside in the snow and/or rain is the BEST!

  5. Are you kids always loved playing outdoors in the snow. The biggest treat was when a whole bunch of nieces and nephews of mine came with their kids from Israel and there was a surprise snowstorm. What a treat for them. We borrowed boots and gloves from all the neighbors and they had a ball outdoors. Some of them had never seen snow

  6. Thanks , I needed to read this to know i wasn't insane for letting my kids play out in the frost this week. What a great motto from learning for life! Hannah @ Paint On The Ceiling

  7. "there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather."
    Spoken like a true child. That's just awesome. these days my kids have to remind me of this long forgotten truth. My little girl is the best at making the most out of any situation and staying happy with everything.

  8. Thanks for the link. Have fun getting outdoors this winter, it's weird thinking your in winter right now. Mind you our summer probably isn't much better than your winter right now ;-)

  9. Your photos show that outdoor play can be enjoyed in any weather as long as you are prepared and have suitable clothing. Provided children are comfortable, they love to play outside!

  10. This is my first visit here, and being from the Northern part of the globe, I cannot read this without laughing!
    I dream all year long of your weather, winter or summer(anybody wants to trade?)
    I wished we'd have a warmer weather all year long, but we don't, and yes, even in the worst winter snowstorm, we go outside and play.
    So please, enjoy your warm Aussie winter for us that can't!

  11. Jenny, I really enjoyed this post and loved the photos. Especially the snowy ones!

    Kids love getting out in the wind and rain. One fun activity to do whilst rugged up in rain coats and gum boots is to go on a listening walk. The sounds we usually hear in our environment are very different on rainy days. There are lots of dripping, splashing and squelching sounds to be discovered. Listening walks help children to tune in and develop listening and processing skills.

  12. Children should have access to the outside during winter. There are powerful learning opportunities to be had with a snow flurries to autumn leaves falling. Also, in the UK, if we didn't allow children to use the outdoors in less than favourable weather, then they would hardly venture outside with the British weather!

    Little Dot

  13. It is really nice to see our kids enjoying while learning. :)