Spending time outdoors in nature should be fun and relaxing all year round. So when the cold wind and snow arrive, it's important to dress well for the weather. It's as simple as 1, 2, 3: a base layer, a layer of warm play clothes and an outermost waterproof layer. And it's necessary for everyone -- the children and their adult caregivers. There is so much joy waiting for us in the cold, wintery forest. Let's get dressed for it!

Base Layer

1 - Base Layer

- Long Johns
- Undershirt
- Socks

A base layer of soft wool, silk or thermal material works best. The children experience so much of the world through touch and will be most comfortable when this layer that is closest to their skin is thin and non-scratchy.

2 - Play Clothes 

- Wool Sweater
- Fleece Pants
- Wool Socks
- Scarf

The clothes that go over the base layer should also be comfortable and allow for flexibility. And they should be able to get dirty, serving as the outermost layer when the air temperature, or your child's body temperature, heats up.

Second Layer

3 - Outer Layer  

- Waterproof winter coat
- Snow pants
- Waterproof gloves
- Balaclava
- Waterproof winter boots

Outer Layer

Hats and gloves are perhaps the most important cold weather coverings to remember for forest school. However, they are also the trickiest since toddlers often refuse to keep them on. For hats, the solution may be a balaclava, which covers their ears and necks and cannot be so easily removed. Meanwhile, finding the right hand coverings may be an exercise in trial and error. Large waterproof sleeve mittens often work well. If they don't, a few pairs of simple child-size cotton gloves, while not waterproof, will help a child who insists on more dexterity stay warm for a few hours in the cold.