There are copious things I’ve learned upon my current parenting journey, but this one, in my opinion, is one of the most important: “There’s no such thing as bad weather.”
This incredible shortened version of a quote was written by Scandinavian author Alfred Wainwright. Turns out, he’s correct! There really is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.
Here at WildRoots Nature School of North Raleigh, we teach our families and children to embrace all kinds of (non-inclement) weather, including the rain! Why?
The answer might surprise you.
Embracing all kinds of weather subconsciously teaches us to be both confident and resilient, to name only a couple. Think about it in pieces: Life doesn’t always give us what we want, right? The best way to work through this is to make the best of a given situation and find the positives within it. We also know that children take everything in; each experience in their life becomes part of them in at least some form (which is why it’s so important to protect childhood!).
Our thought process here at WildRoots Nature School of North Raleigh is this: if children learn from a very young age to make the best of a situation, they’ll grow up into more confident and more resilient adults.
For example: it’s raining today; let’s put on our rain gear and jump in some puddles! It’s cold? Better bundle up in our layers; maybe we can drink some warm herbal tea on our nature walk! It’s windy? Let’s let the leaves go in the wind and watch them dance in the sky! Change your mindset & dress for the weather and the world truly becomes a different (and more optimistic) place; an extremely valuable lesson in which will help our children to flourish!
In lieu of this, I will admit – sometimes it’s easier to say all these things then to implement it in the beginning; I’ve been there. For those of you who are a bit hesitant to begin this wholesome lifestyle change, let’s talk more in-depth about some of the abundant benefits of embracing all-weather outdoor play!
Increases Resilience and Confidence
A little girl is playing outside when a rain cloud rolls in. It begins to rain, but
fortunately, she knows that her play can continue. She quickly builds a nature shelter from various nature treasures as her play transforms. As an adult, when an unplanned event pops up in life, she has the confidence to strategize a creative plan with her early- founded problem solving skills and optimism, due to creative outdoor free-play as a child.
Improves Communication, Creativity, Cooperation and Organizational Skills
When children are put to the test while playing in all kinds of weather, many times they are forced to communicate with each other, or even with themselves. Clear communication, strong cooperation and creative ideas/organization are a must in these situations. Examples: “The wind knocked down our stick tower! What should we do to rebuild and secure it?” or “The spider is struggling in that puddle. Let’s save him; but how?” These important skills naturally increase as children are faced with obstacles they wouldn’t normally be faced with on a sunny day, or even indoors.
Improves Anxiety and Depression
Nature itself is both extremely healing and very therapeutic for all human beings, but children naturally develop an “I can do it!” attitude from playing outdoors in all kinds of weather. It can’t rain on my parade! I can do anything I put my mind to, no matter what. The freedom that comes from this benefit is often incredible and very liberating!
Enhances Coordination, Balance and Dexterity
Playing outdoors in all weather enhances physical ability and motor skills, given the different types of surfaces they play on, in or with. Slippery surfaces, sticky materials, hanging or tethering, lacing, log balancing, puddle jumping, threading, hammering or pounding; the environment changes, and children learn to adapt. Adapting to this way of life isn’t a mainstream concept (yet), but I promise you this: it will be worth it. Get those kiddos outside no matter what – and most importantly, join them!
Set the example and learn the ropes along with your kiddos; and always remember: There’s no such thing as bad weather.
Want to join a like-minded community in which embraces this concept daily? Sign up for one of our programs today! Located in Idaho and Raleigh, North Carolina.