Parent Corner: ‘There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather’

I can come up with a litany of excuses to remain indoors this time of year: it’s too cold, it’s too wet, it’s too foggy, it’s too dreary. I can keep my daughter busy with toys and crafts, the occasional dance party, a couple YMCA classes and library outings every other day. 

But then I notice that my brain is going blah, my body is restless and my daughter is asking for her tablet more than I would like. Then I know we have to get outside.

Who better to reiterate the benefits of outdoor activity than a Scandinavian parent who doesn’t bat an eye at freezing temperatures or sunless days? In There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather, author Linda Akeson McGurk offers dressing guides to curb inclement weather, as well as anecdotes and science-backed evidence that confirms the benefits of unstructured, free-range outdoor play and naps, which aid children mentally, physically and developmentally.

“The practice of napping and playing outdoors in almost any weather is not only common in Scandinavia – it’s viewed as key to good health and a surefire sign of sound parenting,”  McGurk writes.

I want to be a sound parent and so, begrudgingly, I bundle us up and step onto one of Door County’s many trails, beaches, playgrounds – or simply our backyard. 

Inhale. Exhale. Some crows are crowing. Snowmelt drip-dropping. Squirrels climbing. Waves rolling. It does feel good. And soon, my daughter’s climbing on logs, following animal tracks, building snowpeople or throwing snowballs – and I’m zenning out.