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How often do you take your toddler outside?

Poll Results: How often do you take your toddler outside?

  • 6% (4)
    A long time every day, rain/shine/hot/freezing/no matter what
  • 12% (8)
    A short time every day, rain/shine/hot/freezing/no matter what
  • 20% (13)
    Most days for a long time
  • 27% (18)
    Most days for a short time
  • 16% (11)
    Once or twice a week for a long time
  • 9% (6)
    Once or twice a week for a short time
  • 7% (5)
    Less often/never
65 Total Votes  
post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

This is my eternal dilemma lol. I aim for "every day, no matter what" but these days we're lucky if we get outside 4 times a week. It's sad, really, and makes me wonder if I'm just bad at this or if everyone else struggles to get enough outdoor time!! I finally got better winter weather gear though!!! :)

Edited by crunchy_mommy - 12/20/10 at 1:34pm
post #2 of 37

Four days a week is not bad at all!  We go outside close to everyday-- but we live in California (bay area)-- so it's a bit easier than in many parts of the world.  Granted, we're in the rainy season right now, so it's trickier.  On a truly rainy day, we're probably not out long.  But on a post-rainy day (like today), rain pants really help!  But it's a whole other ball of worms if you're dealing with snow clothes, etc.!


[ball of worms: yes, I did just type that bizarre mixed metaphor. Oh well]

Edited by mamamolly1 - 12/20/10 at 2:06pm
post #3 of 37

I feel guilty over this as well.

We are in the depths of winter here in NYC. No snow yet but its been bitter cold.

Miles (22 mos) does go outside everyday (at least weekdays) because I bring his sister to the school bus and we hang out for about 10-15 mins looking at cars, the train that goes by and the blow-up Santa that is outside of our co-op building.


I wish I could be more creative with it or have more mojo. With the limited amount of daylight, its been hard.

post #4 of 37

We try to go out for about an hour every day depending on the weather. We don't go out in the rain or if it's super cold. I can't wait until after Christmas since he's got a push bike and big sand table coming from his grandparents.

post #5 of 37

If you are looking for some motivation to get out more often- get a dog!!  We try to get out for a long time on the weekends, and even on weekdays in nice weather, but we get out for at least a short time every day, simply because we have to walk the dog (we live in an apartment so just letting the dog out in the backyard to take care of business isn't an option- there are several mandatory walks a day). 

My DD is perfectly happy to run around for hours in the freezing cold/wind/snow/rain, I'm the one that's bothered by the weather!

post #6 of 37

right now DD is lucky if she's outside more than a couple minutes a day getting in and out of the car. it's cold and snowy/icy, and we live in an apartment. it's too slick outside for her to walk much, and I'm having pregnancy back issues and having a hard time carrying her. 

post #7 of 37


I wrote a similar post a few days ago...
It seems like a lot depends on the weather! I'm trying to relieve some pressure off myself. Just because I aim for everyday, doesn't mean I should feel bad if we don't actually make it everyday. I also have to remind myself that not allowing dd to watch tv is a major benefit thats just as important to her devolpment as going outside.
(ie, I know there are parents that let their toddlers watch tons of tv and almost never take their kids out for child centered activities... By comparison, I'm doing alright!!!)


post #8 of 37

I have been feeling really guilty lately for not taking DD out more.  When the weather was warmer we went outside every day in our yard and went to the park pretty frequently.  Now that it is cold we rarely go out into the yard.  For awhile there was snow on the ground, which she didn't like because it made it hard to walk, and now that the snow has melted some, I just don't feel like it.  Maybe this thread will motivate me to put her in her snow suit and take her out today.  It is supposed to be above 40 this afternoon and sunny. 

post #9 of 37

Depends on the season. Spring/Summer/Fall every day for most of the day (assuming its not cold & wet and raining... then no), every day. Winter? When its cold? Most days if only for a short while (less than an hour...). DS1 (3.5, nearly 4) goes outside still most every day for at least a little while to play in the snow. But ds2 just isn't super good at walking in the snow so its rarely for more than 15-30 mins. :shrug

post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 

I'm so glad to know it's not just me!!! It's been below freezing here for the last ~2 months and just the idea of getting all bundled up (only to come back inside or back home 5 minutes later because DS hates being bundled!) is really what prevents us from getting out more. We were doing great in the spring/summer getting out really almost every day but now it's dark so early too!


Oh P.S. we did have a dog (which did help us get out *a little* more) but sadly we had to rehome him so we won't get another 'til we no longer have toddlers. :(

post #11 of 37

We also have a dog in a yardless condo, so we get outside at least three times everyday.  Not saying that I enjoy getting outside at least three times a day, but that's the way it is. We also have just one car, which DP takes to work, so if DD and I want to go anywhere, we walk.  No stroller, either, so DD actually walks.  It's a great way to tucker her out and makes her sleep but better!  Most of our destinations are within an half-hour walk (toddler walk ... actually only a few blocks), such as the library or family drop-in or cafes, kindergym, etc.  My sanity is probably better for it. 

post #12 of 37

It's so hard for me to get out. I grew up in the Caribbean, so winter and I do not get along! We just moved and no longer have a backyard, but I try to go on walks with DD and let her roam a bit on the parking lot, stairs. It's bitter cold out there though, she doesn't care, but the lack of sun and the cold just turn me into a house prisoner lol


I do need better winter gear for DD and that's what I'm asking my MIL. I also need to find my hat and gloves or we'll never spend a decent amount of time outside. Things are a bit messy around here still, hopefully I'll find things before winter is over :p

post #13 of 37
Not nearly as often as I'd like, but one of my New Year's resolutions is to get outside with DS and DD at least once a day, every day, barring extreme weather or other unfortunate circumstances. I actually love the cold and winter weather but it definitely makes getting out of the house with a toddler much harder.
post #14 of 37

We try to go outside everyday, but when the cold wind is blowing hard my child just wants to hide and cover his face against me. I still go for a walk around the block with him in the carrier. He's now 13 months.

post #15 of 37

DH takes dd outside daily, sometimes twice a day, even if only for 30 min at a time. He has to take ds to and from the bus stop, and he takes dd (15 mo) with him. When it's nice outside, dh and dd take a walk; when it's colder than -20 they drive to playgroups, the library, grocery shopping.


I find it's more difficult to stay inside then go out. You have to keep them busy or they drive you up the wall.

post #16 of 37

I would love to take DD outside more often, but we do not have a fence (that will change after tax time $$$).  Both the front and back yard need to be re-landscaped... not very safe/toddler-friendly.  Besides, she wants to try to run away from me into other peoples' yards, or into the street, and I don't want to just play a game of chase all day.  I love the outdoors, but I prefer to sit in the grass and read a good book or just relax and be "at peace" vs. running around.  LOL.  I took her out quite a bit in nice weather, but we had a miserably hot/humid Summer, and a very short-lived Spring and Fall.  So, yeah, this time of year we are rarely outside for more than a few minutes at a time.

post #17 of 37

I am guilty of not taking DD out as much as we should.  But she doesn't like walking in the snow, so I don't push it.  She just rides on my back and we walk places.  The landlord just put up a fence though, so I'm excited to plant some grass in the yard (for lead safety) in the spring and just sit out there while she plays.  She's never been allowed to do that because we didn't live in a place with a yard before.

post #18 of 37

The poll did not have the option that is me: a couple times a week for a long time, plus a couple more times for a short time. So 4 days total, unless it is crazy raining. (We do not get snow in the Bay Area of CA, but rain- we get plenty of that!)


post #19 of 37

Daily, as long as it isn't too cold. Length of time spent outside depends on temperature. We're outside for hours if it's -5C but only 20 minutes if it's -25C. If the air temp or wind chill is colder than -27C, we don't go outside. It`s just too cold then. Fortunately we've only had a couple days that cold so far. DS2 loves being outside in the snow, unlike last winter, so it`s made going outside a lot more enjoyable this winter.

post #20 of 37

What upsets me the most is that majority of Americans do not dress appropriately for the winter and they do not dress their kids either. And this is why they are mostly staying inside. Please invest into winter gear - get yourself warm down jackets, gloves and hands and boots - same for kids AND GO OUT!!!! I just do not understand why so many people insist on staying inside in the winter. We live in Philadelphia suburb, and I take my kid outside twice a day for at least two hours. Granted, I dress her and myself appropriately. It is not even that cold here. I used to live in the Eastern Siberia where temps often drop to -30C and we were ALWAYS outside. We, kids loved, loved, loved winter!!!! There is so much fun to play with your friends in the snow. And here, in US winter landscapes are like a desert. My poor two year old daughter - who loves being outside -  is so lonely. There are no kids outside between November and April. This whole thing makes me sick. I just do not get the whole thing. Why can't you all dress up and go outside? It is not like it is -40C here, it is at most -5C here, in Philly. How screwed up and unhealthy an American lifestyle is! I actually mourn my daughter's childhood in the US. The simplest pleasuresof life such as playing with your friends in the snow are absolutely unattainable in this country. Sorry, for the long rant. But this post really hit home for me. Please, go out!  Dress up and go out: teach your kids to walk on snow and ice, teach them to love nature in all its mannifestations. Please do it for youreself and for them!!!

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