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Child-Led Play &



January 2023

Welcome to our newsletter! This month we're sharing all about...

winter play!

Given the evidence of play and extended time in nature in all seasons, we

provide monthly resources, research, and ideas for child-led play (inside

and outside) and nature for educators and families in ELRCs 8, 9 and 10.

Have this newsletter delivered to your inbox monthly.

The Benefits of Outdoor Cold Weather Play

Children need to go outside every day, but the winter months add challenges. The first step in taking our children outdoors daily in the cold or snow is to understand the immense benefits it provides. Check out these articles, which describe the benefits:

Better Kid Care: Outdoor Play on Winter Days

Childhood By Nature: 7 Ways Winter Play Helps Your Child

Tinkergarten: Why Being Outdoors in Winter is So Very Good for Kids

Winter Outdoor Activities for You and Your Child or Classroom

Once you and the children are dressed for the weather (see previous issue for "Dressing Children for Cold Weather" article), there are countless activities you can do together outside. Keep active and moving and consider coming inside to a warm drink or snack with more calories, as we burn more energy in the cold. Warm chocolate, warm water with lemon, or herbal tea are all great drink options for children. As for food, breads, soups, and hearty "comfort foods" work well to provide the extra-needed calories.

15 Ideas for Winter Outdoor Play for Toddlers

10 Outdoor Winter Activities for Preschoolers

7 Winter Outdoor Play Ideas for School-Agers

100+ Outdoor Winter Activities for Children

Snow and Ice Play

Loose Parts in the Winter

Read More

Bringing Winter Inside

Is the windchill too low to safely play outside for extended time? You can bring winter inside! Try these engaging, child-led activities below.

Nature Tree Ornament (from Brown's Family Childcare, LLC, Venango Co.)

Winter Tree Sort (from Brown's Family Childcare, LLC, Venango Co.)

Icy Ornament Sensory Play

Natural Loose Parts

Photo credit: Lindsey Brown

Featured Book:

There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandanavian Mom's Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids by Linda Akeson McGurk

Bringing Up Bébé meets Last Child in the Woods in this “fascinating exploration of the importance of the outdoors to childhood development” (Kirkus Reviews) from a Swedish-American mother who sets out to discover if the nature-centric parenting philosophy of her native Scandinavia holds the key to healthier, happier lives for her American children.

Free Upcoming Workshops (not PQAS): The Outdoor Learning Virtual Workshop Seasonal Series

  • Registration is FREE and there will be plenty of draw prizes for attendees!
  • All registrants will receive a discount code to access outdoor learning resources when they register
  • Workshops are 60 minutes and will take place at 4pm Pacific / 7pm Eastern.
  • For those who can’t attend live these will each be recorded and posted on our Recordings Page
  • Following the workshop, participants will receive a link through which they can access a certificate of attendance.
  • Subscribe to our seasonal updates to stay in the loop on these and future workshop
Click here to view workshops and register.

Our Free Resources

Access our Nature-Based Play Resource List on the Keystone Kids Go website.

Check out the "Inspiring Nature-Based Early Learning" webinar here. This training counts for 1 hour of PQAS PD (and can count toward STARS indicator EC 3.4.6).

Looking for more information?

Technical Assistance Coach Elizabeth Marcello and Outdoor Learning & Play Consultant Susan Chlebowski can partner with you to provide center-based or individual classroom coaching and professional development in the topics of play-based learning, nature-based learning, classroom management and challenging behavior support, or innovative solutions to barriers. Complete a "Consultation Request" through your PD Registry Organization Page's Keystone STARS tab to request coaching. 

*For early learning providers in ELRCs 8, 9, and 10 only.

*For early learning providers in ELRCs 8, 9, and 10 only.

Do you have a topic you'd like to see covered in this newsletter? What have you tried that others might be interested in? Please consider sharing your questions, ideas, or stories with us below, and we will include them in an upcoming newsletter!

Share your ideas!
Subscribe to the ELRC 8, 9, and 10 Newsletter. 

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