It is very important that children are dressed appropriately for the weather for them to enjoy it. Dressed like michelin man and they can't move to play and too exposed in the summer and they'll get stings, scuffs and scrapes - it's important to get it right.
While I completed my training as a Skogsmulle Leader - Swedish Nature teacher with some of the founding educators from traditional Swedish nature schools. They taught me a thing or two about clothing, last winter I tried it…and…it worked! So I’m going to share my knowledge with you! Because as they say;
“There’s no such thing as bad weather only inappropriate clothing”
Introducing the ‘3 layer system’
Wearing 3 main layers no matter how cold it is is the key to staying warm. Bundling your children up like the Michelin man restricts movement and there is no air flow between layers so children don’t stay warm. Below is the 3 components explained with a few examples.
Base layer – a simple cotton vest in spring or autumn, changing to a thermal long sleeve vest and leggings/tights on colder days and an extra thick thermal or wool base for extremely cold days.
Mid Layer – a simple jumper or cardigan on a warmer day, changing to a fleece or wool jumper on a colder day and on extremely cold days a Sherpa fleece or thicker jumper.
Outer layer – starting with a simple water proof jacket/trouser set or all in one or and as the temperature declines move onto a lined coat/trouser and in really cold weather a ski coat/suit, down jacket or padded coat
These simple rules can be applied to a baby, toddler or adult.
In warmer weather wearing thin, light clothing that still covers arms and legs protects children from nettle stings, bramble snags, insect bites and scuffs and grazes as they inevitably trip over as well as protection to knees when kneeling to play. Wide brimmed hats to protect the head, face and neck from the sun are also essential. We ask parents/carers to apply sun cream before dropping children off, we will then reapply at midday.
I discovered something amazing! So here it is: if you are feeling cold despite following the above rules then add a layer to your glands! Ankles, wrists and necks actually lose heat quicker than the head. So adding a pair of leg, wrist or neck warmers can completely transform your body’s ability to regulate its temperature and stay warm! Seriously it works. I made myself wrist warmers from an old pair of holey socks by cutting the end off and adding a hole for my thumb so that they covered to my knuckles and midway up my forearm. You can buy thermal neck warmers and knitted balaclavas are great too!
Where to buy?
We recommend Muddy Puddles - a UK based online retailer who design and make fantastic gear for all ages that is great quality, they often have fantastic deals on too! you can find them at www.muddypuddles.com
When it comes to buying gear it really is worth spending that little bit more, focus on outdoor specific brands rather than high street as they tend to be able to with stand the type of rain and puddle splashing exposure they are going to get much better!
We are also very lucky in Sheffield to have two outdoor/sports shops Decathlon, in the town centre and Go outdoors, near Bramhall lane.
It is important to follow care instructions on outdoor clothing. Washing them in normal detergent can often remove their waterproofing. We recommend using Nikwax to clean and re waterproof items. Super muddy gear is best hung to dry then simply shake or brush off the dry mud.