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  1. #1
    Expansive... Other Mummy's Avatar
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    Winter Outdoor Time

    Just wondering how many of you make a daily trip outside in the winter months. I try to get outside at least 3 out of the 5 days with the little ones. However, with 5 children + my own two little ones...getting them all ready with snow pants, sweaters, scarves, hats, mittens, gloves, boots, etc...it takes me approx 20 - 30 min to get them all ready. By the time the last one is ready, the first and second one are complaining about being hot. Someone invaribly is missing some gear...proper boots, or mittens, etc. Then we get outside and most of the time they just stand around in the snow...walking around...will use the little snow shovels I got but then want to go inside after 15 min or so.

    Why do I even bother?? They get more excercise inside when we turn on the music and we dance and shake around. Every other season we are out for hours at a time. Physcial outdoor time is very important...but I'm thinking of scrapping it to maybe 1 day a week, if the weather is cooperative and not too cold.

    Parents don't seem to care...in fact...get the impression that most would rather their little ones don't go outside at all.

    So my question is what do you all do? Do you do outdoor time every single day? I have to say I am sweating buckets by the time all 7 kids are ready and out the door only to have them all complain a few minutes later to get inside

  2. #2
    Euphoric ! Inspired by Reggio's Avatar
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    We go outside daily all year long unless it is colder than -10 in winter or there is a heat/smog advisory in affect that is dictating do not go outside at all for our area ... if I had my way my entire program would be outside whenever possible!

    I also look at the 'dressing and undressing' that it entails as part of the self help learning program so do not mind the time it takes this time of year cause they are 'learning' while doing it and the gross motor skills of dressing are important ... it is an investment in giving the children time to master getting dressed and undressed themselves, fine motor skills, independence and confidence etc.

    By 18 months most of my crew is able to get dressed almost independently with just needing help with zippers and tucking stuff in or over this time of year. I also help the children in stages so that no one is sitting dressed for long periods of time ... so everyone gets help with the snow pants on together, everyone gets coats on together, boots on together and finishing touches are last etc so that they are all basically dressed at the 'same time' or within minute of each other so no one is sitting fully dressed while others are 'undressed' so to speak ... the older quick to dress independently children are encouraged to help the younger ones with me to keep us all on track ... so it is a team exercise!

    I being outside though which I think makes a huge difference to being motivate to see the benefit for myself and the children to make the effort winter dressing requires.
    Children construct their own intelligence. The adult must provide activities and context, but most of all must be able to listen. Children need proof that adults believe in them. Their three great desires are to be listened to, to understand, and to demonstrate that they are exactly what we expect."
    Loris Malaguzzi

  3. #3
    apples and bananas
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    I'm with you! I HATE getting them all dressed to go outside. Someone always seems to be missing something and the littlest one just walks towards to the big drift of snow and falls face first into it.

    However, like Reggio said... it is part of the learning process and the more we put on our outerwear the better they are at doing it themselves.

    In the summer we live outside. Twice a day every day, the house doesn't get cleaned, the crafts don't get done, we just spend every waking moment out there. But I hate to be cold.

    I think the snow is lots of fun for older ones. They build a snow fort or a snow man and they sled down the little hills, but the little ones don't know what to do.

    I try to get them out a few days a week, but not if it's super cold.

  4. #4
    Euphoric !
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    I too go out most days ...... I feel the benefit of even being outside for 20-30 mins far surpasses running and dancing inside. The fresh air makes them eat and sleeP better. Plus as Reggio said it is a learning experience for the children .... They all have to learn to put their gear on by themselves as they will all be going off to school by 4 at the latest (here in Ontario) so they all need to learn how to master these skills. Most parents are too rushed or dont have the patience to allow the child the opportunity to learn. If we don't go outside all winter then next thing you know you have a 2.5 yr old child that can't even do the most basic thing like put on their own boots or flip their coat over their head. I have 5 dck and my own 3 yr old and he and my 3 yr old dcb can get dressed themselves and I help the 4 youngest and I do the same as Reggio and do all the pants then all the boots and thrn all the coats ect so everybody us all ready at the sane time..... Really only takes about 10 mins to dress them all. That being said I don't go out when it's below -10 because I have two infants that don't walk and one even refuses to crawl outside he just sits there and cries and it's truly not a fun time..... I'm hoping this really cold weather passes quickly so we can get outside .....
    As for what to do with the kids ..... Get them making snow angels, or play follow the leader, shadow tag, make up a little obstacle course .... If your in a subdivision just go for a walk.

  5. #5
    Euphoric !
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    Other Mummy, you're so right on about taking 1/2 an hour to get all the children ready to go outside. I have 4 still in diapers so as I change them before going outside I put on their snowpants, then I go back and get all their coats on, then I go through them again with hats and mitts. That way the first one isn't cooked by the time the last one is ready. Can you try that?

    We are outside every day as well except for lower than -10C in winter or higher than 35C with bad humidity in the summer. We even go outside in rainy days in spring and fall all dressed up in boots, raincoats and splashpants. The only thing that keeps us inside in those months is lightning.
    Frederick Douglass
    It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

  6. #6
    Starting to feel at home... Big Hearts's Avatar
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    We go out about the same 3 out of the 5 days. it gets real cold and windy in winnipeg most days it is -20 or lower so if the wind is still and the sun is out but -20 we may try for 1o to 15 mins or so. My families are fine with it. when summer hits we are out side a lot!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. #7
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    I'm so jealous that you have 18 month olds getting ready on their own, Reggio! All of my children are only children, and even the 4 year old insists that her mother carry her to the car! None of them, except my granddaughter (who is almost 4) can get dressed at all! Of course, the 4 year old doesn't like to go outside, so if I ask her to try to dress herself, she just says no. The two-year old will at least sit still while I dress her, and I was thankful for that. I think I am the only one in their lives who even lets them walk in the yard, but since there are 3 of them, I can't carry them everywhere! This has got to be a first-time Mom thing, right? Once they have a second child, they realize that the older one can actually walk by the time they are 4, right???

  8. #8
    Expansive...
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    I aim for 2-3 days with winter outside time. My crew has been ill for quite a while so we haven't been going. My dd loves outside as does the 5yr old but the 3yr old boy (my anxiety case) just stands there trying to make eye contact with me and when he does it's waterworks to come inside. The others are on the seasaw, slide, swings, bulding something etc....him nope.

    Plus...my WARM winter coat doesnt close up anymore (baby bump is getting out of hand ) so the only option I have makes me ready to come inside after 10min! I'm not spending that much money on a maternity coat that I wont wear again after this season.

    In the summer we live outdoors, come in for naps and back outside again. Fall & Spring it's daily outdoors time to either the park or backyard.
    Satisfaction Guaranteed or Double Your Kids Back!!

  9. #9
    Euphoric !
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    Quote Originally Posted by treeholm View Post
    I'm so jealous that you have 18 month olds getting ready on their own, Reggio! All of my children are only children, and even the 4 year old insists that her mother carry her to the car! None of them, except my granddaughter (who is almost 4) can get dressed at all! Of course, the 4 year old doesn't like to go outside, so if I ask her to try to dress herself, she just says no. The two-year old will at least sit still while I dress her, and I was thankful for that. I think I am the only one in their lives who even lets them walk in the yard, but since there are 3 of them, I can't carry them everywhere! This has got to be a first-time Mom thing, right? Once they have a second child, they realize that the older one can actually walk by the time they are 4, right???
    You're right Treeholm, 18 month olds can't be expected to dress themselves. At about 20 months of age I encourage the parents and children to start learning how to put their hats and boots on and and take them off. It takes months of practice for a child to learn to do things like this and the quicker they are independent the better for everyone but let's be reasonable. They are babies.
    Frederick Douglass
    It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.

  10. #10
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    I commend all of you for having outddor time in the winter. I am very clear with parents that I dont do cold. My parents have not even supplied outdoor winter gear other that the coat they arrive in. I have no problem taking them out when they're a little older and can enjoy the snow. I spend hours upon hours outside in spring, summer and fall but winter is not my cup of tea. good for all of you who do brave the cold weather.

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