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Outdoor Play Time: Activities for Wet and Cold-Weather Play

Updated: Feb 23


All photos were taken before the COVID-19 pandemic.


Are you feeling like the cold or wet weather is keeping you and your kids cooped up? Getting cabin fever? At the Waldorf School of Princeton, children play outdoors every day in all weather (save severe weather, storms, or any weather which might pose danger). As the old Scandinavian saying goes, “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes!”


What kind of clothes and gear, then, should you consider? In Waldorf Early Childhood classrooms, warmth is first and foremost on the list of considerations. Clothing and gear that layers the child to stay warm and dry are staples. Click here for suggestions on layering young children for outdoor play.


Now that everyone is dressed appropriately, it’s time to head outside and try these suggestions from our Waldorf School of Princeton Early Childhood educators:




Make an Outdoor Kitchen


You can construct an outdoor kitchen play space from something as simple as rocks, tree stumps, or a bench to the more elaborate mud kitchen that you might build from pallets or scrap lumber. Outdoor play kitchens are wonderful in both the wet, muddy weather and the snowy weather and are easily outfitted with pots, pans, spoons, cooking utensils, child size shovels and brooms, all easily found in your kitchen, a yard sale, or a thrift shop. Digging is especially good “work” for children’s fine and gross motor development, and your kids will love bringing you their latest mud pie or snow cupcakes to “taste!”




Sleds with Ropes Attached


This one is better for winter weather, but pulling is another wonderful motor activity for children. Find a sled that either has ropes attached or attach your own and let your child play delivery person or horse and sleigh. Children love pulling each other on the sleds and making up all kinds of play stories.




Build a Pretend Fire


What a fun way to “imagine” staying warm by a cozy fire pit! Gather rocks to make a circle for your fire pit, then find sticks of different sizes and widths for your “fire.” Your children can experiment with different ways to arrange the sticks for their “fires” and even pretend to use long, thin sticks to “roast” treats over the toasty flames.


How are you getting your children outdoors for play when the weather is cold or wet? Leave a comment to add your suggestions to our list!




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