Wonderful Winter Time!

Friday 18th January 2019

We are now fully immersed in the wonderful world of winter time here in the UK and in Weekend Box Towers with the theme of our current box! Although the easy reaction would be one of pure dread; dark, dank evenings, cold, dreary days and overactive children who are sick of being cooped up indoors all day, we get it! But don't despair! Get yourselves and your children wrapped up warm and out the door, here's why...

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Being outdoors is essential for children; it promotes physical development, better mental health and essential leaning experiences. Research has shown that being outdoors reduces stress and depression and boosts self esteem for you and your children! Vitamin D from the sun is needed for helping bones develop and grow so don't ignore this during the winter months, make the most of that winter sunshine!

It is commonly believed that children will catch a cold from being outside but this isn't true, in fact it's the opposite! Germs and bacteria love warm, cosy environments, so your house in the winter is ideal! As tempting as it is to lock all the doors and stay curled up on the sofa with the heating on high, you really should get outside to get rid of those germs and stay healthy!

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The opportunities that winter time provides for learning and development in children are endless!Exploring seasonal phenomenon like ice and frost will enable amazing experimental play; find old containers such as butter tubs, yoghurt pots and milk bottles to fill up with water and leave outside on a cold night to see if they freeze. From this you could set up an ice table for children to play with, experimenting with using water to melt the ice and seeing what happens! Ice and snow (dare I say it) are great for co-ordination and physical strength as children work harder to keep their bodies warm as well as keeping upright! Take care and supervise when playing around large patches of ice, but let children assess the risks themselves and talk to them about why ice can be dangerous. Using a piece of black paper or plastic to catch snowflakes is great fun, use a microscope to show children how each are different shapes and sizes!

You and your children will open your eyes to new nature experiences during winter; seeing a favourite park or woodland area will be different for your child during the seasons, typically during summer there will be lots of greenery and colourful flowers, winter provides a different landscape with trees showing off their roots and branches as well as seasonal plants like pine cones. The woodland trust has a great scavenger hunt which you can download and print here to identify wintry occurrences in nature! Alongside this is the array of wintry animals that you might be able to spot or hear when out and about such as robins, red squirrels, tawny owls and foxes.

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What if though, your child refuses to wear their coat? Or their hat? Or their gloves? Or their wellies? Yep I hear you, been there, done that! Don't stress, the best way to keep warm is to layer up, get your child to wear lots of layers which they can take off as they get warm. Also, let your child choose their layers, if they want to wear 3 t-shirts on top of each other, go for it, that’s one less argument before you leave the house. Most importantly trust your child! They may not want to wear a hat or a coat or gloves but believe me they will let you know when they are too cold and they'll let you know long before hypothermia sets in (Note: that's when they'll want the hat so always take it just in case!)

So if you’re still sat inside reading this, get outside, get moving (maybe keep an eye out for blue lips) and enjoy!

Fran, Maker & Creator


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