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Just because the weather has turned cold, damp, windy and rainy, don't be tempted to jump into the car and take the boring (albeit easy) option to get around! There are a host of ways to enjoy even the ugliest winter weather if you and your children just wrap up, and get out and about!
Children grow and develop so much during their first five years, so its really important to encourage physical activity. Walking in the rain, splashing in muddy puddles, kicking leaves, going on a windy walk somewhere exposed, are all great ways to turn a simple stroll into an adventure!
Getting kids moving is about keeping them fit and healthy, maintaining a healthy weight and getting them into a routine of regular exercise. It's also about building co-ordination and spatial awareness. Yes, you can climb the tree or roll down the slope. Clothes and jackets were made for washing so don't hold back even if its muddy!
Being out and about also builds confidence, and can inporve social and communication skills. Plus it has been shown to improve concentration.
Probably the best way to inspire older kids is to take the lead! Take up a new sport or show the kids you're not afraid of a bit of frost, by being the first to reach for your thermals when its cold and leading the team's adventure. Reward them too with the promise of some steaming hot chocolate or warm milk or blackcurrant juice when they get home.
And of course, and possibly most important to a young family, going on a walk together, getting tonnes of fresh air and generally tiring the kids out has the marvellous result of encouraging the children to have a deep and restful sleep! Enjoy!