Safe Play in the Winter

January 6, 2023

You and your children can enjoy safe play in the winter by being knowledgeable, well prepared, and having everything you need to be safe. This winter, make winter outdoor safety a priority. Review the below tips and resources to keep play safe this winter – at home and in the classroom.


  • Layer clothing – Active play will assist in keeping children warm while outside, but it is important that they are appropriately dressed for the weather. Learn more.
  • Monitor the weather regularly – The length of outdoor time may need to be reduced due to the temperature, so it’s important that children continue to participate in physical activities inside as well.
  • Know the equipment – Know which outdoor play equipment may not be safe in cold weather. Learn more.
  • Make yourself visible – It gets dark early in the winter, especially in Alaska! Make sure you can be seen by wearing reflective gear or a headlamp, and carry a flashlight.
  • Wear a helmet – If your child is engaging in winter sports, such as skiing, sledding, ice skating, etc., make sure that they always wear a helmet and other necessary gear for protection. A child’s helmet should be snug and sit just above the eyebrows. Learn more.


  • Physical health – This is one of the best reasons to play outside, even in the winter. Children who play outdoors for at least one hour per day enjoy the health benefits of physical activity. Learn more.
  • Behavior – The chance to run, jump, and and play outdoors can help children stay engaged throughout the day. Learn more.
  • Brain development – Outdoor time helps concentration and focus at home and in the classroom. Creative outdoor play in the winter helps kids develop active imaginations and problem-solving skills. Learn more.
  • Child/adult connections – Any outdoor activity, from vigorous games to quiet bird watching, is a great way for multiple generations to make memories together. Learn more.
  • Getting sick – COVID-19, influenza (flu), colds, and other similar illnesses are caused by viruses, not exposure to cold air. Learn more.


  • Winter weather – Try these fun activities from Zero to Three to explore winter together.
  • Quiet, cozy celebrations – Great books to engage your child when its too cold to play outside. Learn more.
  • Winter activities – Explore family-friendly activities from Play Every Day to enjoy outdoors in the winter.
  • A year of play – Get ideas for different activities throughout the year. Learn more.

In the Event of an Emergency

  • Double check written emergency plans and emergency supply kits to ensure they are up to date.
  • Winter weather can lead to school closures, power outages or the need to shelter-in-place if travel becomes dangerous. Parents – make sure you are aware of your child care programs winter weather plans and policies.

Additional Resources