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PLASP’s Top 5 Winter Outdoor Play Activities
Winter weather provides unique and fun outdoor play opportunities and we at PLASP would like to share some of our favourite winter activities with you!
Did you know that there are distinctive benefits to playing outside? Here are just a few:
Outdoor spaces tend to be larger, providing children ample opportunity to develop large muscle groups through gross motor play.
Children play louder and bolder outdoors when not restricted by four walls.
Large group games such as tag, scavenger hunts, and snow fort/snowman building, etc., help children learn to take turns, to listen to others, delegate tasks, make up and follow rules, as well as give children leadership opportunities.
The positive impacts of fresh air and time spent in nature have been shown to uplift and improve our mood as well as help us to self-regulate.
PLASP programs offer children daily opportunities to be outside and to be active. We understand the value of spending time outdoors while recognizing the unique benefits of being out in nature. Well-Being is one of the four foundations of “How Does Learning Happen?”, and is a pillar that promotes healthy patterns of eating, physical activity, and sleep, which have lasting impacts throughout one’s life. With this in mind, PLASP programs ensure that learning and development go beyond the indoor learning environment and are extended to the outdoors too. PLASP educators ensure children have daily opportunities to participate in planned learning experiences that reflect children’s interests while promoting physical, active play.
Looking for winter outdoor activities to try? Here are some of our PLASP favourites!
1. Painting snow – you can use spray bottles filled with watered down paint or food colouring, or paint brushes and block paints.
2. Creating a snow structure such as making a snowman or building a snow fort, or snow tunnel.
3. Going on a scavenger hunt. Create a list of items using either pictures and/or words and go for a walk to see what you can find!
4. Creating snow volcanoes. Build a snow hill, scoop out a hole at the top and drop in a cup or small container. Add baking soda, dish detergent, food colouring and vinegar to the container and watch the chemical reaction form “lava”.
5. Ice treasure experiments. Fill recycles containers, sand buckets, or ice cube trays with water and add miniature toys, cars, gemstones etc., and allow everything to freeze overnight. The next day, children can try to “free” the objects from the ice using different tools.
Lastly, outdoor play is best enjoyed when dressed appropriately for the weather, no matter the season. During the winter, PLASP recommends sending your child with the following items each day:
A warm coat
A neck warmer
Waterproof mittens or gloves
It’s also a good idea to pack an extra pair of mittens or gloves, a spare pair of socks, and extra clothes in your child’s backpack in case items get wet during outdoor play.
Do you and your child have a favourite outdoor winter activity? We’d love to hear it! Leave a comment below!
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