Blogger Erika Hogan

All Weather Outdoor Fun

Northeast Ohioans sometimes joke about the beauty of experiencing all four seasons… in a day. Daily weather can change rapidly in a lot of locations, and if you’re someone who likes to hold outdoor programs you might have used the tag ‘weather permitting.’ Lately I’ve been inspired to challenge my assumption that some weather doesn’t work for outdoor programs. Instead, I’ve begun planning adaptations to suit the weather. Why? Because young children can explore the outdoors no matter what the weather.

All Photo Credits: Leslie Swaim-Fox

Of course, paper and rain don’t mix. Instead of forging ahead no matter what, back up plans take center stage. Often there are quick switches to adjust length or deliver content with weather-appropriate options. Exploring natural environments in library settings adds one more way to grow a sense of wonder, and it doesn’t take a forest to inspire curiosity. Even small spaces can encourage inquiry and imagination.

To equip caregivers and children with needed information, promotions for outdoor activities now suggest dressing for messy fun, whatever the weather. Whether it’s sunscreen, umbrellas, or mittens and hats, conversations about weather can contribute to narrative and descriptive skills, but there’s more happening than vocabulary. Outdoor programs create opportunities to talk about flexibility and responding to changes, enhancing self-regulation and social emotional regulation skills. Are you ready to for a little outdoor fun? Check out these ideas on weather and programming, botanical themed activities, and how weather can inform preschool STEM programs.

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