Weather in Saskatchewan: How Snow, Wind, and Rain Can Affect Play
In Saskatchewan, we experience some of the harshest winters in the world. Swirling snow, built up ice, and hail the size of baseballs. Of course, most adults dread the daily outings into the frozen tundra we call home. Our children, however, are usually completely up for snowball fights, swing set games, and raucous rounds of tag even in the coldest of weather. An important part of playground maintenance is winterizing your set, to keep our intrepid little explorers as safe as they can be. Some research has shown that winter play is an easier way to get children to use their imaginations and creativity.
Safety in Play: Why Children are More Comfortable in an Environment Where They Feel Safe
Feeling safe is a huge part of play to most children; a safe environment encourages a child to explore their surroundings a lot more. It allows children the freedom of unencumbered play. Wintertime causes the most problems in this area, as temperatures drop below zero and cause frozen, hard ground. When a child feels safe, they can take more risks that are necessary to build friendships with peers, explore their environment, and to try new things. When kids feel safe, learning is more natural and organic. Some research has shown that children who feel insecure and spend less time playing and exploring have more difficulty with peer relationships. With this in mind, the aim of this post is to give you some ideas on how to winterize your playground to keep your little ones safe and encourage healthy winter play.
Ways to Winterize Your Play Structures
Of course, one of the most debilitating parts of winter is the snow. With the material that most playgrounds are made from, the snow on all the boots can make the structures very slippery. Ensuring that you’ve manually removed as much snow as you possibly can will create a better environment for the kids. Encouraging them to tap off their boots before using the structure can also be a tactic to keep snow off the set.
With snow, comes ice. Ice is, of course, very slippery and dangerous. Utilizing a de-icer is a great way to ensure that the ice does not stick around for a long time, making winter play safer. Make sure to choose a de-icer that is safe for little hands, as well as safe for the materials that your structure is made from. Artificial grass, rather than real grass, is an excellent alternative that can be utilized to make playgrounds safer. Less water is able to gather in the pockets of the artificial stuff, so less ice is able to develop.
Taking Care of the Wind:
Another formidable aspect of Saskatchewan winters is the wind. The wind can often make the actual temperature feel as much as 10 degrees colder. Giving children a shelter where they can go to put some distance between them and howling tempest is a perfect way to create a safer environment. Adding seating to this shelter gives kids an added place where they can play games, communicate, and interact with each other. Check out our shelter options here.
Other Ways to Keep Kids Warm During Winter Play
Of course, winterizing the playground is a great way to keep kids incentivized to go outside in the winter. Wearing winter clothing is another important aspect, ensuring each child has access to hats, gloves, scarves, and coats can keep the kids from becoming uncomfortable or catching a cold. Promoting exercise keeps kids warm by moving, giving the added benefit of giving them time to release built up energy. Lastly, if you are able to, providing warm drinks and food helps keep kids warm and full.