This winter we have a lot to look forward to! From exploring snow hills to ice crystals to making igloos and snow angels. Help your little learners stay warm and dry this winter so they can continue learning and having fun in comfort. Outside exploration has been proven to lead to a plethora of benefits that helps your child develop crucial skills. At Oak Learners, our students are outside for extended periods of time in all winter weather: snow, rain or shine. Regardless of the forecast, we will continue encouraging our students to explore the natural world around them while pushing boundaries and taking risks.
Remember, there’s no such thing as bad weather with the right clothes. Please ensure your child is knowledgeable about their snow gear so they can identify it on their own and understand how to put it on. While we learn together in the great outdoors, here are a few suggestions when shopping for winter gear.
Most importantly: LABEL EVERYTHING! Labels (such as Mabel’s Labels) will ensure that your investments keep coming home to be used another day.
Invest in a good pair of boots! Warm feet are the key to spending more time outside.
These are the key features you want to focus on when purchasing winter boots:
- Warmth: look on the tag for boots that can withstand Canadian winter temperatures. Tip: ensure they have linings which can be removed for easy drying and that can be layered with socks).
- Waterproof/resistance: bonus if they have a drawstring around the top to keep snow and ice from finding its way into the boots.
- Lightweight: If they make a clunking sound when your child walks they are probably too heavy and will slow your child down on their adventures.
- Easy to get on/off: practice putting the boots on with your children and show them how to make sure they are tied tightly and comfortably.
- Adjustable: a secure fit lace system, drawstring or Velcro strap on top.
- Send 2-3 pairs of socks with your child every day. Wet feet are no fun!!
- Wool is always a good idea but can cause some itchiness so make sure your child tries them on with you. It is absolutely necessary to avoid synthetic materials (polyester, acrylic, etc). They must be breathable to avoid sweaty wet toes.
- Cotton is also a good option, as an alternative to wool. When in doubt, go for natural fibers.
- Make sure the socks will fit comfortably with their snow boots on.
- The higher the fit the better.
- Layers: A jacket with removable layers is a good choice. Three shells is recommended with a waterproof outer layer. Otherwise, choose a waterproof jacket that can be worn over a sweater.
- Insulation: a thick jacket doesn’t always equal warmth. Read the tag to find technology that works with the body heat to keep them warm.
- Ventilation: Many jackets have zippers that can offer ventilation when they are moving around a lot or if the temperature warms up.
- Length: Make sure it is long enough to cover them and not let snow in when they are lifting their arms and playing.
- Waterproof, waterproof, waterproof.
- Big enough to fit long underwear or PJ’s underneath for an extra layer of warmth.
- Reinforced bum and knee areas.
To keep a snowsuit newer, longer, follow its laundry instructions! We have a preconceived notion that washers and dryers destroy winter wear. Contrary to this belief, washing snowsuits can often revive different layers and insulators, giving them new life.
- Mittens/gloves: personal preference for what your child prefers. Waterproof! Please send 2 pairs for each day.
- Hats: their hat should be snug on their heads and cover their ears. Bonus if it can be tied or clipped around their chin.
- Scarves vs Balaclavas: scarves can be difficult to put on and tuck into coats. Balaclavas and neck warmers are preferred. It should be able to be pulled up over your child’s mouth and nose.