Winter can be a lot of fun for toddlers. They get to play in the snow, go on walks outdoors and spend time with their families.
However, there are some things parents need to keep in mind when taking their toddlers outdoors during the winter.
Here are eight to help make your outings more enjoyable for both you and your toddler.
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8 Winter Tips For Going Out With Your Toddler
1. Plan to stay out for a limited amount of time
Enjoying the outdoors with your toddler in winter can be a great way to get some fresh air and spend quality time together.
To make it as enjoyable as possible, it’s important to plan ahead, pack accordingly and limit how long you’re outdoors.
In the preparation phase, think about what your toddler needs – e.g. warm clothes, hats, mittens and snow boots – so they are comfortable outdoors longer.
Also, consider how much outdoor time is right for your little one; toddlers typically have short attention spans and are especially susceptible to the cold, so plan to only be out for 45 minutes to an hour at a time.
Here are some activity ideas you can do outdoors that don’t take a long time:
- take a light walk around the block
- build a snowman in your backyard
- make snow angels
- collect winter treasures in nature
Related Articles: 8 Outdoor Heavy Work Toddler Activities For Winter
2. Be open to changing your plans
Going outdoors with a toddler in the winter can be an adventure, but it’s also important to be prepared for anything!
Before you begin your outdoor excursion, you should plan on how long your outdoor time will be and keep an eye out for signs that it may be time to go home.
Cues such as your child becoming too cold, wanting to stop playing, a sudden shift in their mood or when they start getting hungry are all clues that it might be best to adjust your plans and save the rest of the outdoor fun for another day.
Keeping this in mind allows you to make sure your little one has an enjoyable and safe outdoors experience during the cold months.
3. Wear weather-appropriate clothes for both mom and baby
Bundling up in weather-appropriate clothes such as hats, sweaters and jackets will help keep them nice and warm.
Make sure you come prepared with several layers so that if they start feeling too hot you can easily take off a layer or two.
4. Take along a few snacks and drinks to keep them energized
For those cold winter day outings, it’s always wise to pack along snacks and beverages like thermos filled with a warm drink when you’re outdoors with your toddler.
Hungry or tired tots may not want to stay out for long, so you’ll want to be prepared should they tell you they’re ready to go home.
Healthy snacks like carrot sticks and yogurt, as well as some warm beverages, are great options for keeping them energized – this way you can keep enjoying the outdoors without having to cut your day outdoors short!
Pro tip: involve your child in preparing the snacks and drinks that you will bring with you on your excursion, so they feel a sense of accomplishment even before you head out the door.
5. Bring a warm drink in a thermos
Similar to the previous tip of taking a few snacks and drinks along, this is an important one, especially in the winter: bring along a thermos filled with a warm drink.
Whether it’s hot cocoa or a nice herbal tea, a warm drink will help keep everyone comfortable throughout the venture.
6. Plan an outing that includes a fun activity, like sledding or playing in the snow
To make the most of this season, plan an outing that includes a fun activity like sledding or playing in the snow.
Dress your little one up in warm gear and you’re good to go! If your bundle of joy isn’t into physically demanding outdoor-inspired activities, find something near you that lets you explore nature (even if it’s just a walk around a lake).
A change of scenery helps keep things interesting, plus fresh air is always good for the soul!
If you do find that your child doesn’t want to do outdoor activities, you can introduce indoor activities, like climbing stairs, or playing on a pikler triangle for now, and try going outdoors another time.
Related Articles: How To Toddler Proof Your House
7. Make sure you have an exit plan available at all times
When outdoors with your toddler in the winter, it’s important to always be prepared.
Having an exit plan available at all times is key – that way, if the weather suddenly turns too cold for your child, you know exactly where to go and how to get there quickly.
Depending on what mode of transportation you have, it’s also a good idea to make sure you’re close to your home or a friend’s home in case you need to change diapers or your little one decides they are done playing outdoors for now.
That way, you can stay warm and comfortable until the conditions improve.
8. Make sure to take plenty of breaks indoors to warm up
If you’re outdoors with your toddler in the winter months, make sure to take frequent breaks indoors so you can all warmup.
The cold temperatures can have a major effect on little ones, so it’s important to make sure everyone stays warm and dry for an enjoyable time outdoors.
Grabbing some hot cocoa or tea during these breaks is a great way to help stay warm from the inside.
Have fun outdoors this winter but don’t forget to be aware of how quickly the cold can affect you and your toddler!
Arnie is a first-time mom to her darling daughter and runs a blog aimed towards answering questions first-time moms might have about pregnancy and motherhood. When she is not working on her blog, she can be found running after her very active toddler. You can follow Arnie on Instagram and Pinterest!