The Importance of Outdoor Play in the Winter

a child making a snow angel next to an orange sled

The Montessori Method is an educational method and philosophy that holds the belief that children learn through play. At North American Montessori, we believe there are plenty of educational and health benefits to playing outside, especially in the colder winter months. It allows children to burn energy and avoid going stir-crazy indoors, as well as provides children with the opportunity to explore a different environment.

Here are some reasons why it’s important for children to experience outdoor play in the winter:

Helps Them Understand the World Around Them

One of the most important reasons for your child to go outside in the winter is the new experiences they can learn about that are specific to the season. Whether it’s learning about ice on a pond, seeing how trees lose their leaves and animals hibernate, or simply interacting with snow for the first time, these are important in helping develop a child’s understanding of how winter works in the natural world. Just like you would show your children flowers in the spring, or fireflies in the summer, letting your children play outside in winter will lead to unique chances for them to discover new things through hands-on experiences.

Gives Them Year-Round Exercise

No matter the season, outdoor play is always beneficial to growing kids because it helps to build muscles, hand-eye coordination, and other important motor skills. There are plenty of outdoor winter activities that provide important exercise. What’s even more important is that children have the same opportunities to keep engaging in outdoor play and developing these healthy habits throughout the year.

Helps Release Endorphins

Outdoor play has a number of mental and emotional benefits for your children as well – from gaining self-confidence from going down a big slide and navigating the monkey bars to just having the freedom to run and explore. Physical activity also releases much needed endorphins that help increase emotional well-being. Playing outside also provides the opportunity for children to get away from a cooped-up environment and enjoy time in the sunlight and fresh air. Because so much time during winter is spent inside, this chance to enjoy the outdoors has tremendous benefits on a child’s psyche.

Encourages Socialization with Others

One of the most important parts of outdoor play for children is the opportunities it gives them to socialize and befriend other children. Kids learn how to work as a team and can expand their imaginations in pretend group play activities on the playground. In winter, there are ample seasonally specific games for children to play. They might enjoy building a snowman or having a snowball fight with their friends, or they can find winter-themed imaginative games that help them explore.

Contact Our Montessori Daycare Center

Ensure your child is properly bundled up and let them get outside and have new experiences, explore, and learn new things! North American Montessori is committed to giving parents and caregivers the tools they need to continue their child’s education outside the classroom. Be sure to contact us to learn more about our early childhood education centers.

Schedule a visit today!