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Oct 27

Yes, You Can Have Fun in the Cold! Here’s How.

by Meghan Fitzgerald

​​In the very first season of Tinkergarten, the threat of playing with kids in the spring rain terrified me. How could I make this work? Would anyone come? And, if so, would they enjoy it? 

Then, the best thing that happened: It rained. Nearly everyone came. We made umbrellas from burdock leaves. We splashed. We sang about the rain and drank it in. It was memorable for all (my own child still talks about it), and I got more positive feedback from that Tinkergarten class than any of my dry ones. We had all stretched outside of our comfort zones, and it felt great.

But winter is just like my rainy day. Playing outside in winter is not only delightful—like all play in nature, it also makes for powerful learning

Practically speaking, as long as everyone is well dressed in warm, appropriate layers of clothing, there’s neither danger nor discomfort in being outdoors in the winter. As an elementary school principal and a mom, I’ve also seen the impact on kids’ wellness when they stay indoors.

Winter is Good for Kids.

As an elementary school principal and a mom, I’ve seen the impact on kids behavior and bodies when they stay indoors.

Health professionals agree that time outdoors in the winter is healthy for kids, as long as they have the right gear (find our Winter Gear Guide here). We know when cold is too cold to be safe, and most winter days are just fine. Plus, if we teach our kids techniques for staying warm, we arm kids and families with the knowledge and the confidence to enjoy outdoor time all year long. Kids will also develop resilience and grit—and the gift of regaining a quarter of their potential lives in nature!

Plus, if we teach our kids techniques for staying warm, we arm kids and families with the knowledge and the confidence to enjoy outdoor time all year long. Kids will also develop resilience and grit—and the gift of regaining a quarter of their potential lives in nature!

Winter is Fun!

There are so many fun winter games and activities for kids and toddlers that make play long-lasting, from snowman-building to excavating frozen treasure to listening walks or imaginative hikes.

Whether you are cracking ice puddles in St. Louis or celebrating the arrival of migrating birds and miracle berries in Miami, your winter is full of amazing sights, smells and sensations that are not to be missed.

Lean into Winter in Your Way!

For more winter wellness ideas, join and ask in our #OutdoorsAll4 Facebook Group—a perfect place to connect with thousands of caregivers, educators, and Tinkergarten Leaders all working to build purposeful outdoor play into their routine!

Get tips and ideas about how to dress kids (and you!) to enjoy wintery time outside in our Winter Gear Guide.

Once you're geared up, we wish you the best of adventures outdoors this winter. And, we’ve got all of the play ideas you need to keep kids active, joyful and learning outside. Check out our free DIY Activities for at-home ideas, sign up for our free monthly play calendars or learn more about Tinkergarten classes with a curriculum that’s designed to fill your weeks with outdoor play.

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Meghan Fitzgerald

Founder

After 20+ years as an educator, curriculum developer and school leader, I have my dream gig—an entrepreneur/educator/mom who helps families everywhere, including my own, learn outside. Prior to Tinkergarten®, I worked as an Elementary School Principal, a Math/Science Specialist & and a teacher in public and private schools in NY, MA and CA. I earned a BA with majors in English and Developmental Psychology at Amherst College, an MS in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College, and was trained to become a Forest School leader at Bridgwater College, UK. My worldview is formed in response to a my environment, culture, family, identity and experiences, and I love to learn from others. What I write in this blog will inevitably betray the blind spots I have as a result—we all have them! Please reach out if there are other perspectives or world views I could consider in anything I write about. I welcome the chance to learn and update any pieces to broaden our shared perspective!
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