4 Health Benefits of Winter Outdoor Play

Cold weather & outdoor play is good for kids and adults too! Just layer up and keep moving.

1. Breathe fresh air

Nothing is more refreshing than the first deep breath of cold, winter air before playing outdoors for hours.

It is a common myth that cold weather is to blame for Winter colds and flu. Being indoors, where the air circulates in closed environments, is the main cause for children getting sick in the Winter months.

2. Strengthen immune system

Being outside escapes the indoor germs and bacteria. Just bundle up in warm clothes and move around to generate warmth. Studies have shown that children in rural areas, or those who are active outside, have the best overall health.

3. Engage in physical exercise

Children don’t lose their energy or desire to play because it’s cold outside. Playing outside gives them the opportunity for large muscle activities, like climbing trees and ropes and swinging on the monkey bars, which is important for gross-motor development. And this is important all year round, as they’re still growing whatever the weather.

4. Stimulate the imagination

Playing outside in a variety of ways stimulates the imagination. Climbing like Spiderman, swinging like a monkey, camping out in a cubby. With technological advances kids are using their imaginations less and getting them outdoors exposes them to an environment where they create, learn, take risks and problem solve.

SOURCE: Dodds, A ‘Cold Weather Outdoor Play Boosts Immune System’, Pennsylvania Department of Health. Vol 5, Number 1, Get Smart Newsletter.