Everyday. That is how often preschoolers need to go outside. No matter the weather my class gets our coats and boots on and walk to our playground to play. In the PNW that means we play in the rain, snow, and mud. As a teacher winter recess means trying to look professional while staying warm, staying warm while being able to move fast enough in an emergency, and having fun with your students too! Here are my winter recess must-haves; both products and tips to make winter recess at preschool as much fun as possible!
Repeat after me there is no bad weather only bad clothes! This is true; if you are in the right clothing, you can play and have fun in any weather.
This list contains some links that give me a small commision from sales made through them.
I love this coat; I have one almost exactly like it. I got mine at Nordstrom Rack, and it’s lasted me five winters and still looks professional and is it warm! The hood keeps the rain ( as long as it’s not pouring) off too. Oh, and the grey color is perfect for hiding dirt when you want to leave school and do something with adults and not look like you were teaching preschool all day.
For rain, I’d rather use something like this rain trench coat. It lets me stay dry but I can move easily, and the hood lets me jump in puddles with my students without compromising my field of vision. This jacket comes in a bunch of colors, check them out here.
Speaking of rain… I love my Hunter boots for jumping in puddles, but they can be tough to sit criss cross applesauce in. I love these booties if it’s wet, but I don’t need full-size boots. They are also great for snow. See other colors of these winter boots here.
Keeping my hands warm is important too, but I need quick access to my fingers to tie shoes, help children with their zippers and more. These mittens are perfect, and what I like most is that they won’t break the bank because maybe it’s just me but I lose mittens like crazy. I like the pink ones, but there are so many other colors here.
Keeping my head warm is important too, but sometimes a hat will turn an already marginal hair day into a disaster, a headband like this keeps my ears warm and my hair looking work appropriate. Find this headband in more colors here.
Leggings under skirts and dresses are one of my favorite ways to look professional but stay warm and mobile on the playground. I like to climb up and go down the slide, and I can do that much more comfortably if I have leggings on under that skirt or dress. Find inexpensive leggings here!
Cute scarfs keep you warm and take that paint-stained shirt from not fit for school to completely perfect for circle time! Clothes are expensive but adding a scarf can extend the life of your wardrobe, and you can use your money on fun things like coffee and wine, or better yet books! Find this one here.
Good socks matter too. I am in love with good wool socks like these, but I admit, I can’t help but gravitate towards fun socks too. Did you see these?
Or these? You can find all kinds of fun book-themed things at their store!
Winter Recess Tips
- Have an old towel handy and before the children start climbing on the equipment check for ice and dew that could pose a danger. If you need them to wait while you towel the equipment down, send them on a color hunt, looking for “cool rocks” in the pea gravel, or play red light green light.
- Buy inexpensive toddler and preschool size mittens at the dollar store to have on hand for children who have forgotten theirs. Pop them in your coat pockets.
- Play running games to keep the kiddos moving on really cold days. Follow the leader, Captain’s Coming, Simon Says, and Red Light Green Light are all good choices.
- Move as much as you can to keep warm, play with your students, you’ll be much warmer than if you stand chatting with co-workers!
- Even if being outside when it’s cold isn’t your favorite your students will follow your lead, be positive about it, play, and have fun!
More Tips for Recess
For more general tips for how to connect with your students on the playground check out the post below!
Do you really go out in all weather?? It doesn’t seem safe and at my school we are not even allowed to go out if its under 40 degrees (well we can do 35 only if its sunny though)
Allison McDonald says
Yes in all weather – there is no bad weather just bad clothing choices. That said if your students aren’t safely dressed, then it would not be appropriate to go outside.