By Leanne Southall, Special for the Pasadena Independent
All across America’s playgrounds, parents are chasing their toddlers, waving hats in the air, pleading and negotiating. While nature play is especially beneficial for children, with cooler weather upon us, it can be tempting to stay indoors and snuggle up! If your child is one of the many who seem to want to pull their hats off when they’re outside, here may be a few reasons why, and how you can help!
- Remove tags and snip itchy seams. Many hats have tags sewn into the seams – a perpetual source of irritation for some kids. In addition, synthetic fibers such as polyester can be scratchy and stiff. Snip those tags off carefully, leaving no troubling rough edges. Consider natural fabrics like organic cotton that are gentler on children’s skin.
- Choose snug but gentle fit. Some hats are designed with to stay on by ‘hugging’ a child’s head, using pressure around the brim. However, that pressure can be bothersome for some sensitive children. Instead, opt for a hat that is designed to sit ‘gently’ on your child’s head, such as a bonnet or bucket style that is lightweight enough to not feel restrictive.
- Fit to be tied. Some children will be bothered by the edges of Velcro closure rubbing against their chin. Others may be preoccupied with the possibility of a snap closure accidentally snapping their skin. If your child feels everything from the seams in her socks to the tags on her clothes, considering opting for a hat with soft straps that tie under the chin, or just to the side. That way, the hat can be worn snug, loose to allow room for braids and ponies. Or, if the hat sits easily on the child’s head, ties can be simply left hanging down.
- Be a good role model. Remember when your child surprised you by carrying around her doll in a sling, just like you? That’s because children learn by imitation, and modeling your choices is no exception. If you are not doing so already, be sure to wear a hat yourself. Your child will soon see that “we put on our hats before we leave our house. It is just part of what we do.”
- Be consistent. Just as one must sit in a car seat, so must one wear hats when playing outdoors. Our children look to us for guidance. Help them out by keeping your routine consistent with these easy steps: Hang a special hook at eye level near the front door where her hat can ‘live.’ Hang a fun photo of your child wearing her hat, right above the hook. Her hat will become the last thing she puts on as she leaves the house, and the first thing she takes off and hangs as she comes home.
Cooler days are certainly upon us, but that doesn’t have to mean more indoor play time. Rosy cheeks and fresh air are what autumn is all about! Overall warmth and protection from cool breezes will help little bodies grow and enjoy outside fun.
This changing season brings fresh smells, crispy leaves to crunch, and new birdsong to enjoy! Help your child keep her ears and head warm while she revels in the glory of changing seasons.
Leanne Southall, Social Service Worker, designer at bonnetfriend.com.
Source Beacon Media News