HKQ Kids

BUNDLE UP AND PLAY!

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Nothing says wintertime more than building a snowman! A generous snowfall is an open invitation for kids to run outside and play. And, winter play can actually be very beneficial, assuming the temperatures and wind chill factors aren’t dangerous.

The winter months provide us with different ways we move our bodies. Sledding, climbing a snowy hill, or building a snowman engages large muscle groups which support kids’ gross motor development and overall health.

Fresh air. Increased exposure to warm, indoor air is a breeding ground for colds and flus – where bacteria and viruses live and are recirculated through heating and venting systems. Adults and kids can benefit from spending a little time outside in fresh air.

Problem solving skills are developed. Fresh, packable snow can become anything from a hill to slide on, to an igloo to a snow sculpture. Problem-solving such as “how can I slide down this hill without falling” or, “how many bricks of snow do I need to make to build a wall” provide kids with a new set of learning skills.

Dose up on D. We all get our Vitamin D through sun exposure, and we absorb it in the winter even though the sun isn’t as warm as the summer. Vitamin D helps regulate mental and emotional moods, increasing serotonin levels. Try to get at least a half hour of playtime outdoors in the winter.

Be creative! Play Target snowball. Put a target on a tree, away from homes and automobiles, in a clear area. Let your kids try to hit the target with snowballs. Fill a spray bottle with food coloring, let your kids “color” in the snow. Play tic tac toe with sticks and pine cones in the snow. Draw out a grid, use pine cones for the “O”s and sticks for the “X”s. Look for additional activities online for hours of fun!

Dress warm.

Layers are important for outside play. Your kids’ body heat stays close to them and they are able to play for longer periods of time. Think base layer, middle layer and outer layer.

Mittens are better for keeping hands warmer than gloves. Choose waterproof and insulated mittens to keep their little fingers warm and dry.

Hats are very important. Choose one that covers the entire head, including their ears.

Snowpants are a great option. Choose waterproof snowpants with suspenders that ensure they stay up during play.

Boots that are waterproof and insulated will help keep feet dry and warm. Make sure the boots fit snug at the top or have a drawstring that you can tighten. Don’t forget warm socks. Wool and down are great choices.

Coats that block wind, allow for easy movement and are waterproof or water resistant are a must. And don’t forget a scarf, especially if it is windy.

Winter can be fun, especially for kids. Make sure they stay safe, warm and dry.

Stay warm, stay safe, and stay healthy! For additional safety tips go to HKQKids.org, find us on Facebook and Instagram.