Happy kids playing in sno having a snowball fight

Why Playing in the Snow is So Important for Kids

As adults, it’s easy to hate the snow. We’re the ones who have to shovel it. We’re the ones who have to drive in it.

We’re the ones who no longer get snow days and have to go to work no matter what.

But as a kid, snow is glorious, and it’s an opportunity to play in new ways and enjoy the great outdoors even when the temperatures drop.

The truth is, playing in snow is vitally important for kids who live in cold climates — and there are several reasons why.

group of kids sledding down a snowhill

Bundling Up for Safety

Of course, it’s important to mention one prerequisite for playing in the snow: bundling up and staying warm.

It’s your responsibility as a parent to make sure your kids are capable of staying warm even in the coldest weather, so don’t be afraid to give them some extra layers before sending them out to play.

It’s even more valuable to have some kind of heating element outside available to your children, so they can warm up as needed without coming back inside.

For example, outdoor patio heaters can serve as a temporary warm-up station — enabling kids to take breaks without fully de-layering and coming inside.

Why Playing in the Snow Is So Important for Kids

Why is playing in the snow so important for kids?

  • Fresh air. The health benefits of fresh air are hard to overstate. If you’re trapped indoors all winter, you’ll be breathing in dust, dirt, and dander, even if you use air filters to keep the air cleaner than it otherwise would be. In addition to being good for your lung health, it also feels good to breathe fresh air, and your kids will appreciate it.
  • Vitamin D. During spring and summer, it’s easy to get plenty of vitamin D, which is an essential vitamin in the body. Our bodies are capable of synthesizing vitamin D through nothing more than sunlight exposure, and since there’s plenty of sunlight in these seasons, we can get it routinely. Even if you’re bundled up, and even if the sun isn’t particularly bright, being outside still gives you an opportunity to absorb some sunlight and produce some vitamin D.
  • Physical exercise. Kids need exercise as much as adults do, if not more. It’s good for their physical development as well as their overall physical health and coordination. Your kids might be able to get at least some exercise in your house or in gymnasiums, but they’ll be much freer to move around if they’re outside.
  • Creativity. Snow isn’t just about running around; it’s also about creativity. If you have kids who aren’t particularly athletic, they can still get plenty of benefits from playing in the snow by engaging their creative thinking. Whether they make snowmen, snow angels, or entire snow sculptures, they’ll be forced to think outside the box to have fun.
  • New activities. There are dozens of fun activities that you can do in the snow. You can sled. You can snowball fight. You can build gigantic fortresses. There’s something for almost every kid to enjoy, and plenty of novel stimulation to be found.
  • Reducing the influence of screens. Excessive screen time is linked to poor physical and mental health. And while it’s understandable, most of us spend even more time staring at screens when it’s cold outside. Playing in the snow is a much better, healthier way to spend time as a kid, so you should take advantage of it when you can.
  • Making new friends. If you live in a neighborhood with close proximity to other children, playing in the snow is a great way to make new friends. Children in the neighborhood will likely be out exploring or having snowball fights, giving your kids an opportunity to meet new people.
  • Appreciating the seasons. Finally, diving into the snow is one way to build more appreciation for seasonal changes. Even if your kids don’t particularly love the snow, playing in it can help them appreciate summer more when it comes around.

No Snow? No Worries!

If you live in an area that doesn’t regularly get snow, you might feel sad reading this article, but that’s totally unnecessary.

Snow itself is certainly not a requirement for children’s health or development, though it is a fun experience to have at least once in your life.

Plus, you can get most of the benefits of playing in the snow in warmer climates, where you can play outside all year round.

Playing in the snow promotes physical activity, creative thinking, and even appreciation for seasonal changes.

As long as you can keep your kids warm, you should let them play in the snow as much as they can handle.