Using Your Backyard Playground Set During the Off Season
Believe it or not, playground sets can — and should — be used all year long. Many of the families we meet envision their children using the swing set only during warm weather. But if you ask us, there is no reason the kids can’t use it in the fall and winter months, too.
Everyday: We recommend getting the kids in the routine of playing outside each day. Whether it’s 20 minutes on a particularly brisk day or an hour when the temperature is more pleasant, getting the kids moving after a long day at school is beneficial for many reasons. Not only will they burn calories as they get their bodies moving, but the kids will also release any stress they’ve built up after so many hours of concentration. And because they were most likely sitting for most of the day, the activity will feel great. Just be sure they bundle up! A hat and gloves are essential when they first head outside. Layers are a great idea here, as they will most likely shed the clothing as they warm up.
When it snows: When school is canceled for a snow day, the kids can play with more than just sleds! Instead of making an igloo, they can use the clubhouse! Serve cookies and hot chocolate as they take a break, that way the kids don’t have to come in and get undressed, only to head back out a few minutes later. They can also work around the playground set and incorporate it into snowball fights!
On the weekends: While mom and dad tidy up around the yard — raking leaves, cleaning out gutters, chop and stack firewood, etc. — the kids should be enjoying some outside time, too! Encourage them to have contests on the swings and take turns on the slide, rock-climbing wall and ladders. Afterward, the whole family can enjoy a nice lunch together.