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Coming In Is Part of Being #OutdoorsAll4

Age: 0 to 5
Time: 1 hour+
Materials: yourselves!, cozy options (books, clothes, a heating element of some kind, cocoa)

‘Coming In Is Part of Being #OutdoorsAll4’ is all about the deliciousness of coming back into warmth after you’ve been outside in the cold.

The Guide

Set up:

Have whichever elements of cozy you incorporate into your "come back in" ritual at the ready, so you can get right into it when you walk through the door. We often agree on a warm beverage (99% of the time hot cocoa wins) and set out a book, blankets and extra socks before we head outdoors.

Invitation: Get Cold to Get Warm!

  • We love to use soft blankets to wrap each of us, sometimes even wrap us together to get cozy on the couch. With minimal pillow shifting, they can easily be reallocated for post cocoa fort-making too.
  • In winter, we comb the library with an eye for books that appeal to all ages in our troop and categories that feel "right for winter." My oldest likes imaginative stories you can hunker down for. My middle loves books about winter animals. And, my youngest is just happy for story time with her siblings and us.
  • Leave socks on the radiators/over the heat vents so they are extra toasty on our chilly toes (make sure toes warm a bit before you put them on, though—can be too much contrast if toes have gotten seriously chilled).
  • Once you are cozy, wonder about what your favorite parts of time outdoors was. If you had a rough patch (or even if the whole time felt like a struggle), cheer for the time you spent outdoors. If you are part of #OutdoorsAll4, color in your trees!

Why is this activity great for kids?

Having an engaging, active (and cold!) time outside and then following it with cozy time inside, reinforces the value of both. If kids are reluctant to step out in the cold, knowing that there is a special ritual to welcome them back in can help them (and us) get over the hump, and provides an opportunity for kids to feel the rush of pride around a physical feat or experience.

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