Playing outside whatever the weather

Play Ideas

Playing outside whatever the weather

Playing outside in all weathers is a great way to keep active and learn about the world. It’s also a great way of making sure children can keep playing all year round. Doing things like splashing in puddles, spotting a rainbow or crunching through autumn leaves are all lots of fun.

Here are a few practical things you can do to make it easier for you and your child to play outside whatever the weather.

Dress for the weather

  • Hold onto some old clothes your child can wear outdoors so it won’t matter if they get messy.
  • Have wellies ready for wet days or trips to explore streams and rockpools.
  • Stay dry by wearing a waterproof jacket and trousers.
  • Keep warm on cold days with hats, scarves and gloves.
  • Remember a hat and sunscreen for hot days, and have tops with sleeves so you can cover shoulders and arms.

Get hold of outdoor clothes and equipment

  • Check social media groups – people often give away items their child has grown out of.
  • Take a look at local charity shops – children’s items are often priced very cheaply.
  • Look out for clothes swaps and clothes banks run by schools or community groups.
  • Keep an eye open for sales in camping and outdoor shops.
  • Look out for reusable water bottles and umbrellas.

Go out with other people

  • Arrange a picnic with everyone bringing their own snacks and treats.
  • Look out for free outdoor activities organised by play, nature and countryside groups.
  • Meet up with friends for a walk.
  • Go a bit further using public transport or car sharing.

Take shelter

  • Choose somewhere with shade for hot, sunny days – for example, trees provide natural shade that is great for playing.
  • Take a little tent, big umbrella or even a big sheet you can stretch out to make a shade.
  • Shelter from wet and cold weather making the most of the natural cover of trees and woodlands.
  • Build your own dens to shelter from the wind, rain, snow or sun.

Deal with moans

  • Show your child you feel positive and excited about being outside.
  • Ask a few questions. Which bit of you is feeling cold? Are your clothes the problem? Are you worried about getting dirty?
  • Try a different activity to see if that makes a difference.
  • Warm up from the inside with a hot drink or tasty snack on cold days.
  • Cool off with a cold drink or ice lolly on a hot day.
  • Have a rest.
  • Be prepared to go back inside and try again another day.