Thursday, October 8, 2015


Ulkoilla is one of those verbs that I never used before I had children. It means being outside, usually with children. The idea is to get fresh air and make the children tired so that they'll sleep at night. Ulkoilu is definitely more than just standing outside, but you're not necessarily doing anything productive either. If you were, you could use verbs such as

  • kävellä - to walk
  • juosta - to run
  • pelata - to play games or sports
  • leikkiä - to play (as a child)
  • käydä lenkillä - to go for a walk or a run
  • tehdä puutarhatöitä - to do garden work
  • haravoida lehtiä - to rake leaves
  • tehdä lumitöitä - to shovel snow

A typical phrase at a Finnish daycare (and in some families, but not in mine) is Ulkoilemme säällä kuin säällä, which means that they'll go outside no matter how cold or wet it is. In Finland, children are expected to have an extra rain gear at the daycare. That would include at least

  • kumisaappaat - rubber boots
  • sadetakki - rain coat
  • kurahousut - rain pants, or literally mud pants
  • kurarukkaset - rubber mittens

When it gets colder, you' might also need

  • sukkahousut - stockings
  • pitkät kalsarit - long underwear
  • toppahousut - winter pants (you know, the really thick ones)
  • toppahaalari - winter overalls
  • pipo -  I still haven't found a perfect translation, but you know, pipo.
  • lapaset - mittens
  • rukkaset - really thick mittens, often leather
  • villasukat - wool socks
  • talvikengät - winter boots
  • kauluri - a neck warmer

Anyway, ulkoilu is fun even at this time of the year, if you have the right clothes and a sauna waiting for you. If this was useful, you might also like my post What to wear in winter in Finland and giving birth in Finnish.

p.s. Check out my new Memrise course!


Katesu said...

pipo is a winter hat / wooly hat or beanie ;) all three are used in English, beanie is the newer name. We weren't too resourceful naming winter stuff

Hanna said...

I know, but pipo is just such a great word.:)

bsb said...

Beanie is an American word I think. Anyway, we don't use that word in the UK.

amh said...

In Canada, it's a toque.

Unknown said...

Yes, what "amh" said, a pipo is a toque!

Thanks for the website, keep it up I love it.

Anonymous said...

Hei , your course "writing messages in Finnish" has one typo mistake...there is in one sentence "olettte" with three t :D

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Kiitos, korjasin sen. :)

Puutarhatuotannon hortonomi said...

villasukat - wool socks

Random Finnish Lesson / Hanna Männikkölahti said...

Oho, kiitos. :)

Ompo said...

Villahaalari tai fleecehaalari on myös hyvä laittaa lapselle kovilla pakkasilla toppahaalarin alle, sisävaatteiden päälle. :)