Brr… it’s cold outside!
It’s the middle of winter, so you might be finding yourself spending more time playing with little ones inside. As parents, we know it’s tough to keep play and learning exciting during the coldest months. But play is an essential part of childhood, no matter the weather, so we compiled a list of resources to help you and your family get through these cold months. We hope it helps! First let’s start with the essential question:
Why Does Play Matter?
Because for young children, play is fundamental to young children’s development! Through play, children develop cognitive skills, physical abilities, new vocabulary, social skills, and literacy skills. Here are 10 Things Every Parent Should Know About Play. You can also learn more about the specific skills that are developed through different kinds of play through this great handout from Erikson’s Town Square.
Outdoor and Indoor Play in Winter – Tips for Parents
Is weather really “bad” when we are equipped with mittens, scarves, hats, and snowsuits? No way! Every day is a beautiful day for outdoor play. As long as children are dressed for the weather, they can play outside all year round!
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a good rule of thumb for dressing children warmly is to dress them in one more layer of clothing than an adult would wear in the same conditions. You can see many more of their tips to keep children warm, cozy, and safe here.
When going outside is not an option, or kids have already had their fill of romping in the snow, there are many activities that you can do with your children in your home that are hiding in plain sight.
Emptying out a couple shelves on a bookshelf to build a pretend world or making a ‘fancy banana’ 🍌 are just two of the 21 indoor activity ideas from Brookes Publishing. For activities that include tips for building vocabulary, Talking is Teaching has an Indoor Toolkit PDF for parents at home with young children. Pro tip: don’t forget the magic of water. Water play is mesmerizing for many little ones.
Other resource for local places and events that you can take advantage of this winter:
- Kidlist, if you have not yet discovered it, is an astonishingly robust “Resource for the Western Suburbs of Chicago.” Take a peek around their website and start discovering places to explore.
- If you are looking for other family-friendly local spaces to spend time with little kids, take a look at our Parent Resources page and click on “Places to Play and Explore.”
- Our Early Childhood Resource Directory has many local listings, just filter your search by “Enrichment” and see places for kids to make music, arts, dance, and more.
Want to share what activities you and your family are doing this winter? We’d love to see it! Tag us on social media. #Collab4Kids