Getting Kids Outdoors in the winter

There is no doubt it can be a thought to organise a class to get them outdoors at the best of times.  The motivation is rarely the kids, but us the teachers and the practitioners. Its the thought of having to create a bit of paperwork and get another adult helper and maybe trying to convince parents and heads that it is a worthy exercise (that’s a whole different discussion).

PAPERWORK – Reconcile with yourself that it is necessary and dont make it a stress.  The more you do something the easier and slicker it becomes. You and other stakeholders will become more comfortable with the paperwork and process and the effort will reduce every time.  The Risk Assessment  can be almost identical each time and forms can be pre-filled especially if you are repeating the same lesson.

PREPARING KIDS – There is no doubt that getting a class ready for the outdoors (gloves, hats, coats, suitable shoes, oh no wee Jimmy has forgotten his wellies again).  This part of the day can be made educational and fun as well.  I am not seeing it is always smooth.  You might have to hold a store of wellies and cheap waterproof (check out the pound stores) . Make it a race, add in a clothing quiz,  check out the weather, ask for suggestions on what we should wear.  Dont make the mistake of dressing your kids like Eskimos and then finding out they are all sweating like Polar Bears in the desert.

PREPARING YOURSELF – Kids rarely see the weather and think , oh its going to be cold and hard,; so why do we ?  We spend our time go in centrally heated cars, schools and homes and it takes us longer to heat up outdoors as we dont do as much running around once we are out so dress with that in mind.  Wear extra layers, especially extra socks in the winter and hat and join in with the kids to keep warm.

ACTIVITIES – Prepare weather appropriate activities.  If its cold keep moving. I will post lots of winter activities that will keep you moving.