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.
- 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.