There are a lot of great reasons to get your kids outside every day, no matter what the weather is like. Science shows that children play more rigorously when outside, developing stronger, more advanced motor skills (e.g. balance and coordination.) Children who enjoy activities in nature have stronger immune systems, stronger bones, test better on standardized tests, and exhibit fewer symptoms related to ADHD and similar conditions. Unfortunately, the year is full of cold, wet days when the weather discourages outdoor activities. The solution to this problem is a closet full of high-quality clothing that keeps little ones warm and dry.
Every Day Is a Good Day To Go Outside
As the Scandinavian saying goes, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.” The idea is that you can enjoy any type of weather if you are dressed correctly. The first key to achieving this is learning how to layer. Instead of stuffing toddlers into thick, heavy coats, purchase thinner clothing layers that insulate. In between each layer, pockets of air hold onto body heat, creating a warm outfit that doesn’t restrict movement. Experts advise putting children in one more layer than adults are wearing.
Learn How To Layer
The key to layering is understanding which type of children’s clothing serves best as each layer. The base layer, or the clothes right next to your child’s skin, should be made of moisture-wicking fabric, such as wool or polyester, and should fit snuggly. The middle layer or layers are for insulation. Fleece, wool, cotton, and down are great options. These layers should also fit close to the body while allowing your child to use a full range of motion. The outer layer should protect against water and wind. A waterproof shell should also be breathable. Again, choose options that don’t restrict movement.
Protect the Extremities
Little faces, fingers, and toes need more protection. Without proper clothing, frostbite is a concern. Waterproof boots and gloves are necessities, as well as scarves and warm hats. Check out the Sherpa scarves and mittens for little ones at the Matisaurus website. In some areas where temperatures really drop, facemasks and earmuffs may be appropriate. Watch out for red, tingly skin and shivering. When your little one shows signs of being cold, it’s time to head back inside.
Look for Waterproofing
When cold temperatures aren’t as much of a concern as rainy, wet weather, take a look at breathable, waterproof rain gear. For the best protection, look for clothing that moves moisture away from the body while blocking rain and puddle water. The outer surface of rain gear can be treated with a durable water repellent. Some clothing options include multiple layers that work like cold weather clothing, and other options include coveralls or pant and jacket combinations that fit over warm, inner layers.
A Few Final Tips
Once you’ve filled your closets with clothing appropriate for weather of all kinds, you’re well on your way to getting your children into nature regularly. Of course, there are a few tips to help you and your little ones stay safe and comfortable:
- Don’t pile on too many layers. This causes children to sweat and become chilled.
- Avoid cotton clothing as a base. Cotton absorbs moisture and holds sweat and other water against the skin.
- In the car seat, avoid using heavy, bulky coats and layers.
- Don’t forget to carry extra clothing, so you can swap out wet clothes and put children into dry clothes.
- Pack drinking water and a smart snack wherever your adventures take you.
Of course, you may want to keep your home pantry stocked with cocoa and soup ingredients, so you can warm up when you get back home. Wet springs, cold winters, and breezy autumn days don’t have to keep you and your children trapped inside. Invest in top quality, weather-smart clothing to be sure that every day is a great day to get out in nature.