Children’s Experiences of Winter Living in Northern Finland
The aim of this qualitative study was to describe children’s experiences of winter living in Northern Finland. The goal was to increase our understanding how winter will infl uence children’s well-being. Thirty children aged 7–8 years were recruited from schools in Northern Finland and were asked to refl ect on their winter experiences. The photo elicitation method was utilized. The pictures and interviews were analyzed using content analysis.
Three aspects of children’s experiences of winter were revealed: (1) variety of nature in winter, (2) winter activities, and (3) cold climate. The children saw winter as an opportunity to engage in various activities and were pleased to spend time outdoors in winter. The children experienced cold, but they reported that the cold climate was not an obstacle if they wore sufficiently insulating clothes. The children enjoyed winter and the opportunities it provided.
When promoting children’s well-being, it is important to support children’s natural enthusiasm for outdoor recreation in winter and enable them to engage in safe, healthy outdoor activities, while taking into account the risks of cold and body-cooling. Long-term follow-up studies that investigate the effects of the winter season and cold-related complaints or injuries to children are needed.
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