Winter is on the way!
Getting outside in all seasons—even in cold or wet weather—is good for you (really!) and it can be fun too!
Even just two hours outside reduces stress, improves attention and immune function and balances mood. And with the pandemic still lingering this winter, it’s even more important to step outdoors when gathering and playing with friends. Not sure you can handle the cold? Here are some tips from a Georgia girl who’s learned to love winter.
First, it’s all about the right clothing. Just because you throw a coat over your clothes doesn’t mean you’ll keep the chill out. Instead, layer up! Wearing an inner layer beneath pants and a sweater, covered by a warm jacket, will keep you warm from core to fingers—and allow you to add or remove layers to regulate your temperature. You can use long johns, or even old pajamas, or leggings and a t-shirt.
Invest in the basics: long underwear, a warm jacket, mittens and waterproof gloves that go up the forearm, wool socks and warm waterproof boots, a hat with ear flaps, a gaiter or scarf, and a snow suit or snow pants for wet weather. It seems like a long list, but you can find many winter items used, from neighbors, stoop sales or resale sites like Kidizen or Poshmark. And our family has had success with Lands End winter gear; they have reasonable prices, frequent sales and the gear lasts through several seasons.
Second, cover your extremities. Wearing a hat that covers the ears, a scarf or gaiter that covers the whole neck and long waterproof gloves that cover that one little strip of wrist that always gets frozen with snow—these little details make all the difference. And if you still feel the cold creeping in, check that everything you’re wearing is dry and fully zipped up.
Third, move around. Run, walk, play chase—keep moving and soon you’ll feel no chill at all.
Fourth, talk as a family about how to stay warm. Putting on layers before you go outside is key, but getting bundled indoors can feel hot, bulky or uncomfortable. Complain together about how silly it is to have on so many clothes. Point out that other family members and friends will be getting bundled up too. And help your child recognize signs that they’re getting cold, such as reddened hands or wet socks and mittens. Adding gloves and changing socks are small, independent ways they can keep warm.
Last, get into a magical mindset. Seeing your favorite green spaces without leaves, covered in ice, or layered with snow makes them feel like brand new places to explore. Let the wind take your breath, filling you with energy. Then indulge in getting toasty. From steaming tea to hot chocolate, from snuggling under warm blankets to wearing soft fleece—enjoy the cozy moments you can only have in winter!
We’ll be getting our layers on, running around and looking for magic at Brooklyn Wild this winter. (We’ll even have a winter tea time.) Join us for the fun!