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5 Hot Tips for Kids Playing Outside in the Cold

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By Becky Mansfield of Your Modern Family. Becky Mansfield is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®

Just because its cold outside doesn’t mean you, and especially your kids, should stay inside! It’s the season of snowball fights, chilly walks outside and record-low temperatures. While not everyone should be outside in the cold (newborn babies, etc.), it is a great time for kids to play and enjoy the new season. Plus, this gives you the opportunity to be a kid again and ride on that sled or build that igloo with your kids!

In the north where I grew up, we always played outside on cold days. We’d stay outside for hours until it was time to come in for hot chocolate and freshly baked cookies. The snow is great for playtime, but it’s important to stay warm and be properly prepared for the cold. You can still have fun outside during the season with these helpful tips:

1. Dress for Success.

winter clothes for kids

While I grew up in the north, our kids were born in the south. When our son turned three, we had a major snowstorm. The snow was piled up for days, but since we didn't get snow often, I wasn’t prepared. Because we didn’t have snow gear, I did what my parents did when I was little: I wrapped his little feet in bags before putting them into his tennis shoes. I put layers and layers of pants on him, and bundled him up in a coat, scarf and two layers of gloves (that weren’t waterproof!) before going out. Ten minutes later, I had some great pictures, but he was soaked. Playtime complete.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to invest in good winter gear: waterproof, warm winter gear.  Also, be sure to layer their clothes to help your kids stay dry and warm. We now buy long, waterproof gloves, but we also put normal (thinner) gloves on first for warmth.  We do the same thing with their feet: two pairs of socks. Oh, and boots!  Don’t forget to invest in some good boots!  

2. Keep Their Faces Warm.

kids scarfs

Don’t overlook keeping your kids’ faces dry, too. I don’t like the full-face masks because they are hard to see out of and they move all around, but I do love neck warmers. Our kids will pull the neck warmers up over their noses when they are playing outside or riding down a hill. If we go skiing, they also wear ski goggles. Don’t forget to keep their skin hydrated with lotion to avoid drying out their skin.

3. Run!

kids running in snow

What do you do when you get cold? RUN! When our kids start to get cold, I tell them to run up the hill and slide down. I’ll even tell them to build a snowman, but first they have to roll a big ball of snow. Within just a few minutes, your body will start to generate heat, and you’ll be toasty warm once more! The more they play, run and jump around, the warmer their body will stay.

4. Play With Them.

sledding outside

It’s not often that I like to go out into the snow myself; unlike my kids, they are ready to play in the snow at the very first sight ! However, our kids do love when we head out with them. Here are a few things that we like to do together:   
  • Paint the snow (fill a spray bottle with water & food coloring)
  • Build mini snowmen and make a snow-family (just as tall as your hand)
  • Shovel the driveway (believe it or not, our kids LOVE to do this).
  • Build an igloo (it’s easier than you’d think)
  • Make snow angels

5. Be Prepared to be DONE.

muffins and cocoa

When our kids are done, we have to be prepared or else we will have an entire house full of snow. The rule in our house is that all wet, snowy clothes are to be taken off in the garage and placed into a hamper that I put out there in the winter. Then, they come in and get changed.  I take the clothes up to the dryer (if they are going back out) or to the washer (if they are done for the day).  

When everyone is cleaned up, I make hot chocolate and muffins or cookies (I always keep homemade cookie dough in the freezer and I’ll make just a few cookies at a time).
I also like to keep a few movies, that I’ve rented from the library, at home on these days because I know they will be exhausted afterwards.

During the winter months, I always stock the house with tissues and Children’s TYLENOL®, just in case. ‘Tis the season for fun, but also ‘tis the season for colds and fevers. If they do catch a cold or run a fever, we have Children’s TYLENOL®. TYLENOL® is the No. 1 pediatrician-recommended brand for pain & fever relief, and it’s gentle on their little tummies. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have any concerns or questions.

Children's TYLENOL®

Tip: Keep an eye on them…
My last tip is to keep an eye on them to know when they need to come in. They might be having so much fun that they don’t realize how cold they really are. Maybe their little hands are soaking wet, so be sure to check them from to time. Also, check in on how they are feeling. One time, our son went out as happy as could be, but came home later with a fever. It comes on quickly and for some reason, it happens more often in the winter.  Luckily I had Children’s TYLENOL®, a good movie & hot chocolate on hand… so we were able to make him feel better in no time.

Becky Mansfield is a paid spokesperson for HEALTHY ESSENTIALS®

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