Tips for Playing Outdoors in Winter

Being active in winter is easy when you keep in mind how to dress for it. It’s important to layer up when sending your kids out to play. Also be sure to cover up their head, hands and neck.

Why all the layers?

  • You’ll stay warmer overall!
  • Wear mittens to keep your hands warm and dry – better to have warm hands than cold, better to have dry hands than wet
  • It’s a good idea to wear 2 different pairs of socks – one to draw sweat away and the other to keep you warm.
  • Wear a hat so you don’t lose body heat from your head, and to keep your ears warm.
  • Put on a pair of ‘Long johns’. If your legs get too cold your muscles will tighten and may even cause a strain or sprain.
  • Outdoor temperatures can go up and down – warmer in the sun and cooler in the shade. Make it easy to take a layer off and tie it around your waist – just put it back on when you get cold.

All layered up and ready to go outside? Check out our outdoor winter games page or, you can take a hike in the snow!

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The Confidence to Try #FEELGOODFRIDAY Lukas is a 10-year-old Raptors fan who plays basketball with his local chapter of Special Olympics, but it wasn’t that long ago that he was afraid to join a team. Lukas is an outgoing kid who likes to make friends and has always been very active. But his early experiences in organized physical activity were not positive. One of his biggest challenges with autism is struggling to follow directions in large groups. He was often told he was doing things wrong and even that he would embarrass the team. “These negative comments deflated his confidence, and he became afraid to try new things,” explained his mom Lisa. When he was eight, Lukas took part in the Sports of All Sorts program at the Geneva Centre for Autism. The supportive environment in the Sports of All Sorts program, funded by a GoodLife Kids grant, was a real game-changer for him. Constant encouragement and positive reinforcement gave Lukas a safe space to explore new activities without a fear of being judged. With one-on-one support he played basketball, baseball, tennis, and golf. “We’re so glad to make physical activity a regular part of Lukas’ life and we’ve found ways for him to continue practicing at home,” said Lisa. “We bought a tennis net for the backyard, and now that he’s not afraid, he loves to go to glow-in-the-dark mini-putt with his dad!” As Lukas turned around on the basketball court to wave to his mom, he gave her two big thumbs up and her eyes welled up with tears of joy. “Watching him enjoy himself, I’m overwhelmed with happiness and pride,” she shared. “He has talents! But most of all, he has regained a belief in himself – that he CAN do it – and that is so powerful.”

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