One of the things I have noticed, when leading training on outdoor learning, are the attitudes of teachers to the outdoor element of the course. All delegates enjoyed working outside during the summer however during the winter training, most want to get back inside as quick as they can. You can’t learn about outdoor learning without getting outside – whatever the weather! The same is applied to teaching outside in the winter – If children see you complaining about being cold and wanting to go back inside they will follow. You need to fake it till you make it! Children take their lead from you! Be active and devise games where you are running around with the children – this will soon warm you up.
Wearing the right clothing is key and makes all the difference – you need to be warm and more importantly dry! Don’t underestimate the need for water and windproof jackets. It is worth investing in a good one from outdoor clothing suppliers.
I was recently introduced to a hot water bottle that warms the neck – one area of my body that does feel the cold! This is a great investment and really does the trick. They are available online from a number of suppliers but the one I have is from eBay. You can also get hand warmers for gloves too!
If your budget allows, it is worth investing in wet weather gear and wellies for the children. However, this can be expensive so ask parents instead. I asked all parents to provide the children with waterproofs and wellies before they started school. As the children moved onto Year One we were left with most of them as the children had grown out of them. If you include this as part of your uniform requirement and inform parents and carers in advance, you will be good to go from the start. I would also suggest that you ask them to provide children with good quality waterproof gloves as woollen gloves are insufficient for most winter weather and one of the main causes of discomfort when they become too cold.