Snow Gear as Part of the Curriculum

Posted January 25, 2022

Snow Gear as Part of the Curriculum

By Tracy Riekenberg

I remember when my own children were preschoolers. Getting them dressed to play outside in the snow was such a … CHORE. With two tots the same age, I felt like I was competing in an Olympic sport called Snow Gear Race: see how fast you can get everyone dressed, and if you get outside before anyone gets too hot or has to go to the bathroom or starts to cry, you win the gold medal!

So, I empathize with my preschool families now. It is hard work and seems never-ending this time of year. But, I have good news for you! Here at All Seasons, we spend a significant portion of our day intentionally teaching kids how to put on and take off their snow gear. Come spring, the children will be whizzes at getting dressed for the snow (ironically, just in time to not need gear anymore).

We intentionally take the time – sometimes up to 30 or 40 minutes – to let kids dress themselves because we know the long term benefits. Children who are successful in everyday tasks like dressing develop great self-confidence. They feel a sense of independence and achievement, even when mastering a small portion of the tasks. We often hear exclamations of “Yes! I got my boots on!” from children.

Benefits go beyond self-confidence, though. When children practice dressing themselves, they practice gross-motor skills like balancing and fine-motor skills like zipping. Their cognitive skills are developing as they remember the order in which to put on their gear. And maybe most important, they are continually growing in their spatial awareness. Especially at school, where up to 16 kids are getting dressed at the same time, children work on noticing where they are in relation to other children and how to recover or make amends if bumps happen.

The best thing we have seen in the Spring Room this year, though, is that children help each other with getting dressed. Children have reminded friends about which order to put things on. They have helped with buckling or zipping. They put on or take off boots and shoes for other children. The teamwork that is created when we allow children to help each other is so rewarding.

I’m not a fool, though; I know how much easier and faster it goes to simply dress your children at home. As the parent, you can make sure everything is on correctly and is tight and warm. But, if you can make the time to let your child work on it on their own from time to time, you will see the growth and be amazed at what they can do!