It is time to get ready for the cold, wet weather.
In past years, I have just made due with whatever clothes we had from prior years.
But the kids were always too cold and too wet to really enjoy the four seasons we have here in Kansas.
After reading There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather, I was determined to get clothes that would allow my 5 kids to be out in nature in all kinds of weather.
Bring on the rain puddles, snow, and wind, we are going to embrace nature and get outside.
There is an old Danish proverb that says “fresh air impoverishes the doctor.”
While we all know that fresh air is good for you, it is important to understand just why it is so important for our kids.
In Sweden, a study showed that children who spent five or fewer hours outside per week were sick more often than those who spent over 6 hours a week outside.
Outdoor experiences also are important for kids’ brain development.
Since most of what children learn at an early age is through play, the outdoors provides wonderful opportunities in all kinds of weather.
Rain puddles to jump in, forts to build, leaves to rake into a puddle and jump into, bikes to ride, and hills to sled.
I love this quote from There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather. It is taken from Maya Shetreat-Klein:
It turns out that all the things that are messy and dirty in the world, the very things we thought we needed to control or even eliminate to stay alive, are actually the very elements necessary for robust health.
I was reminded that I need to get back to the sensory part of nature. Letting kids go barefoot, get their hands and toes in the mud, and not be afraid to let the kids get a little dirty!
Another powerful quote from There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather taken from Psychology Today:
We deprive children of free, risky play, ostenibly to protect them from danger, but in the process, we set them up for mental breakdowns. In the long run, we endanger them far more by preventing such play than by allowing it. And, we deprive them of fun.
If you are needing some guidance to change your mindset on getting outside in all kinds of weather, here is a list to get you started. Linda McGurk recommended these books throughout There’s No Such Thing As Bad Weather.
How to Layer
The best advice I have received about dressing kids to stay warm and dry is to think of it is a sandwich.
The first layer is the base layer. This is the most important layer. It should never be cotton and needs to wick moisture away from the body.
The second layer is the mid-layer. This is the layer where you can use what you have. Really anything fleece or wool will work. This layer is for a little extra warmth such as fleece pants and a fleece jacket.
The third layer is the outer layer. This layer is going to protect from the wind, cold, and moisture. It consists of waterproof boots and a shell.
Base Layer: Long Underwear, socks, balaclava, and hat.
Smartwool Socks – Do not skimp on the socks. We have found that these Smartwool socks keep toes toasty and really work to keep kids feet dry and warm.
Mid-layer: Fleece jacket and pants
This is where you can save money.
Any kind of fleece or wool layer will work.
Girl’s Trail Model Fleece Jacket from L.L. Bean
Boy’s Trail Model Fleece Jacket from L.L. Bean
Benton Springs Fleece Jacket from Columbia
Girl’s Campshire Full Zip from North Face
Boy’s Campshire Full Zip from North Face
Outer layer: Waterproof shell and boots
Bog boots – these boots are amazing. Kids can put them on themselves. They can double as snow boots and rain boots!
Now that you have your new gear, it is time to organize it all for easy access.
Winter Gear Organization
Depending on your space, there are many ways to keep winter gear organized.
I have found that the garage is the best place for the gear, and the garage provides a great place for the gear to dry out after a long day of play!
Separate by Weather
First, I use a hanging rack in the garage for jackets.
I have a section for fleece mid-layer and a section for outer layer.
Jackets that are not for play, but more for church or outings, are placed in a coat closet inside.
All winter boots are placed together in one bin. Each child also has one pair of Smartwool socks placed in this bin.
Then, I keep all the rain jackets and rain/snow pants together in one bin.
The long underwear base layers are kept up in their closets to grab for extra cold or snowy days.
Finally, I have one basket for gloves, balaclavas, and hats. Each child has one pair of gloves, one balacalva, and one hat. This streamlines the process of getting ready to go outside.
Dressing Kids for Winter Adventures by Bring the Kids
How to Dress Baby for Cold Weather by Wild Tales Of