Just because the weather is cooler doesn’t mean you have to leave the kids at home when you go for a run. Running with the stroller in the fall is one of our favorite activities because it gives us a chance to get out and enjoy the fall colors and witness the change in seasons first hand. You can find us out on the trails even as the first snow flies. Transitioning from summer stroller running to the cooler weather can sometimes catch you by surprise, but with these tips you can easily be prepared to take your kiddos along on a run in cooler weather.
Layer up. As a general rule of thumb kids need one additional layer beyond what you are wearing. Dress kids in multiple layers that are easy to take off, like zippered hoodies, so that if they do get hot you can easily remove a layer. Make sure they have on hats and mittens, and bring along a big blanket that can be tucked around them to keep them warm.
Cover those feet. Little ones can often kick off socks and shoes and once their toes are cold your run is pretty much over. Dress kids in footed pajamas to help keep their feet warm. And if they are beyond the footed PJ’s stage then socks and winter boots can do the trick too.
Weather shield. The weather shield for your stroller is not just for rain. It can be a huge asset in cold conditions as it helps block wind and trap heat inside the stroller.
Play Games. Playing games while running with the stroller is a great way to pass the time and keep kids engaged. Sing silly songs, play “I spy” or our favorite is Bingo. Before a run I choose three things I think the kids might see depending on our route. For example: a duck, a weeping willow and pinecone. First to spy all three wins!
Got you Covered. Lip balm is essential for little ones in the colder months (especially for teethers, whose droll can chap skin) so make sure to apply before heading out for your run. And don’t forget that the sun can be just as powerful, so putting on sunscreen prior to your time outside. Bring along tissues, hand sanitizer and baby wipes as well.
Snack Time. Pack snacks that aren’t “wet” and can potentially make exposed skin colder if it is spilled. Leave the applesauce at home and opt instead for dry snacks kids can easily grasp while wearing mittens. Make sure water bottles are secure to avoid spills which can also make kids cold and damp.
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Happy Endings. Finish your run at a playground where the kids can run around and get warm or at a cafe where you can all warm up with a cup of hot cocoa.
Be Safe. As with all outdoor activities, be sure to use good judgement when deciding to take your kids along. Check the hourly forecast prior to your run and make sure that you are prepared if the weather turns bad by taking along your phone.