BLUEFIELD, WV (WVNS) — How cold is too cold for outdoor recess?
On Tuesday, November 12, 2019, temperatures dipped into the 20s. For first graders in Ms. Wimmer’s class at Brushfork Elementary School, it was too chilly for the playground.
“Your hands will get very cold.. You’ll get sick…. I might turn into an iceberg!” they said.
While they probably will not turn into icebergs, the American Academy of Pediatrics said kids are more vulnerable to cold weather than adults.
It is up to school principals to decide whether or not to bring recess indoors. At Brushfork Elementary School, Principal Shellie Simpson, said she tries to get kids outside as much as possible in the winter.
“Kids need that vigorous activity, that interaction with their peers, that time to run and play and just be kids,” said Simpson.
However, there are a lot of factors Simpson considers.
“We look at the temperature, we also look at what the weather conditions are, and the conditions of the playground,” said Simpson.
School administrators must also consider the students who do not have winter clothes. Brushfork has a coat closet of donated coats so every kid can participate in outdoor recess.
When weather does force kids inside, they do not put their activities on ice. Tools like the sensory walk helps keep kids active and engaged on cold days.
“I feel really sweaty- even more than when we go outside when we do this,” said a first grader.
First grade teacher, Kristan Wimmer, said the sensory walk guides kids through a variety of movements, challenging them to use both sides of their brain while burning off some energy.
“I can see the students getting jittery before they go out and I’m kind of losing their attention. Then we do the sensory path to get everyone moving it’s a nice brain break, and we come back and everybody is focused and ready to work,” Wimmer explained.