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Bring Back Winter Play

January 23, 2014 by Normand Richard, Certified Exercise Physiologist

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What's so great about winter?

Well from my experience growing up with snow, we had a great time building elaborate snow forts, tobogganing, playing street hockey, and going on nature hikes. My friends and I went outside to have fun and PLAY!

Going outside in the winter to play should be part of every child's day. It's also a safe and fun way to get in their daily 60 minutes of physical activity. If you have concerns about being active in the cold, have a look at these tips on dressing for winter activity. Here are also some ways to make sure your toddler is warm when the temperature drops. All in all, wintertime provides some new and exciting opportunities for kids to get outside, play and be active.

ParticipACTION wants to help you take advantage of all that winter has to offer. They'll be providing a month's worth of winter play ideas, a weekly winter challenge and lots of inspiration to bundle up and get outside. Check it out here.

In milder climates:

  • Rubber boots make walking in wet grass, muddy trails, and puddles fun!
  • Cooler weather means no mosquitos! This is a good time to explore local ponds, look at ducks, and maybe even sail some paper boats.
  • Don't let rain/fog stop you! Once it's dark out, in a safe area, use a flashlight (the light will reflect in the water drops) for "sword fights" with your children. You'd be surprised at how much fun this is.

In colder climates:

  • Building snow forts or a snowman takes a good length of time, strengthens muscles, encourages creativity, and will guarantee a good time!
  • Most summer activities have a winter counterpart: Hiking becomes snowshoeing or Nordic skiing; soccer is replaced with street hockey; and bike riding becomes tobogganing!

Photo credit: iStockphoto

References and Resources:
ParticipACTION: Bring Back Winter Play

Related Blogs:
Physical Activity in Colder Weather
Bring Back Play. Continuing to Inspire

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