Layering is Best
The snow globe effect of yesterday’s beautiful snowfall sure did leave us with the reality of where we are! It’s winter! Okay, so it’s not “official” winter, but we now have to play the part and be prepared! We live in a beautiful part of the world and we are so grateful to have the Slim Baker Lodge and surrounding area of Little Roundtop as our outdoor classroom. Weather the classroom be indoors or out, it still demands the appropriate tools for the optimum outcome: learning! Good gear is essential in keeping children warm. Warm children are happy children and happy children are engaged learners!
Layering is one of the most important things you can do to insure your children’s comfort outside. Remember to avoid cotton and instead invest in a wicking layer such as wool or polypropylene that will move moisture away from the skin. “The Great Kid Sandwich: Layer one: Wool socks, base layer (wool or polypro) and a balaclava **again, this is the most important layer** Layer two: Fleece pants and top. Layer three: Warm and waterproof boots, shell to protect from the wind and moisture” - talesofamountainmama.com.
The hands of children can be a game changer. A child can be properly dressed but lack the right type of mitten and in that case, its game over. Mittens are the preferred choice at Nature Preschool for the sake of ease to get on and for the warmth factor. “Mittens are more effective than gloves for keeping warm. For small ones they also have the enormous advantage of being much easier to get on than the detailed problem that getting five little fingers each into its own small compartment can pose. Long wrists are always useful whether they are elasticated to go under a loose sleeve or loose to go over a tighter fitting sleeve as they prevent heat loss from an exposed wrist which can be significant or at least quite uncomfortable, especially in snow.” -http://www.coolantarctica.com.
Boots come in all shapes and sizes, but at the end of the day, the best boot we have found is the Bog type winter rated boot. It has a thicker neoprene construction, dries rather quickly, can easily be put on an off, is waterproof and holds up to a whole lot of kid play. Bog winter boots are not rain boots. Bog Rain boots are lighter and not as warm.
Here is a quick list for dressing for success:
Winter hat: long enough to cover the ears and thick enough to block out the wind.
Neck warmer: fleece or a lightweight neck “gaiter” are great options – keeping the neck warm is extremely important.
Mittens: Waterproof is an absolute necessary item at school –Select mittens that have a long enough cuff to go under their jacket.
Glove / mitten liner: this will aid in moments when the heavy layer needs to be taken off for mobility.
Boots: winter insulated boots or bog boots rated to -30.
Base layer: wool, silk, or polypropylene long underwear top and bottom – brands such as “Cuddle Duds” are inexpensive yet work very well – buy several pairs for layering. Please avoid cotton long underwear as it retains moisture and creates cold bodies.
Mid-layer: long sleeve wool or fleece sweater, fleece pants.
Outer-layer: insulated, water-proof jacket with hood, insulated waterproof snow pants
Slippers: needed for indoor transition to eliminate soggy feet.
Socks: Wool or synthetic wool options -avoid cotton. Pack two pairs as inevitably children get wet feet.
Please remember to update your children’s clothing supply. We will get wet and soggy and surely your child will come home in clothing they did not wear to school in the morning. Remember to repack the back-up clothes and send back in the next day. Also, please do not send your children to school in denim / jean pants. They are the worst clothing article in winter time as they do not lend any flexibility in your children’s comfort of play and will not dry, creating a heavy, water-logged experience for your child.
And remember, put all your gear to the test before you bring it to school. There is nothing like having great gear that just does not all fit together. (Like the beautiful mittens that do not fit over the cuff of the jacket…..oh sigh!) Happy wintering!
For more information: https://www.healthyessentials.com/baby-and-child-solutions/how-to-dress-your-child-for-outdoor-winter-play-layers https://gearjunkie.com/dressing-kids-for-cold-weather http://www.kindercare.com/blog/winter-rules-the-art-of-dressing-your-kids-for-the-cold https://talesofamountainmama.com/2013/11/layering-kids-cold-weather.html