It seems really obvious right – put on a jumper! But knowing how to dress properly in winter is a bit of an art and can make a difference to children when participating in physical activities like dance.
As an Aussie dancer, it wasn’t until I spent my first winter in the UK that I discovered the skill of layering clothing so you can quickly adjust to the varying temperatures when you are out and about in a cold climate country or season. I have been sharing this concept to all the dance students in my school, Momentum Dance Studios ever since. Layering clothing for children when training in winter is important, not just in dance but any physical activity.
Here are three key points for dressing your child for physical activity in winter:
Your child’s sport or activity may have a compulsory year round uniform whether baller leotard, soccer jersey or netball uniform so ensure this is the base. On cold days or evenings, children will warm up and even get hot when exercising. Good activity organisers will factor in a solid set of warm up exercises to prepare kids for their game or activity so overdressing them can cause it’s own difficulties. Over heating in children will cause them to fatigue more quickly and participate less. Performing a Grande Jette in a bulky parker is near impossible!
Adding a long but light layer of clothing on top of your child’s basic kit is going to help in a few ways. Initially, it will simply keep children warm and then as they start moving these layers can be easily removed. Layers that a child can remove on their own are best . The tie up wrap ballet tops are impossible to remove on their own so go for the elasticated ones. Light layers are ideal because they keep muscles warm without over heating children and prevent injury.
TO & FROM ACTIVITIES:
Never underestimate a good warm jacket, parker or coat that is quick to put on and off. If your child arrives to their activity already warm you will be helping them to adjust to the demands of a physical exercise more quickly. Your child will be hot and potentially reluctant to put a jacket on after an exciting game of soccer or a fun dance class however the body cools down quickly after exercise so keeping warm will help to prevent muscle soreness the day after.
After a long hot sumer it can be a shock for Australian kids when winter hits. While our children are lucky that we don’t experience excessive snow fall in Sydney unlike some European and American cities, it is still important to remain active during winter time and leave hibernation to the bears!