No Bad Weather; Only Bad Clothing. | Playworks

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No Bad Weather; Only Bad Clothing.

Dressing for cold weather. From our Recess in Inclement Weather blog series.
Mon, 01/16/2012

Today's guest post is by Kari Svenneby, self identified Polar Bear Mom. Kari is an entrepreneur of safety reflectors and founder of, a website on discovering nature with kids and adults through play, lifestyle and cooking! Let's Play Outside!

Getting ready for winter can be a challenge for everyone and even more so in the classroom. I often hear from schools and teachers that they are frustrated about the lack of appropriate clothing for kids during their outdoor recess.

There is an old Norwegian saying: “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”.

Here are some basic rules on how to dress warm:

  • Thermal Underwear
  • Midlayer
  • Waterproof Breathable Shell

But how do we best dress for the weather at school?

Dressing kids in layers is the best way to embrace the elements. When getting your kids dressed during the winter you have to remember the foundation of being outside is staying warm and dry; make sure you put long-johns and thermal shirts under your kid’s regular clothing. Midlayers and shells come in many different variations. Whether it is an insulated jacket and pants or fleece layers under a shell, make sure the outer layer is water resistant. Add some water resistant gloves, hat, scarf and boots that keep the feet warm and dry and you are set for any cold winter day.

Be informed on what is needed: I think it is useful for teachers to inform parents via handouts that their kids have outdoor recess and need to be dressed for winter. Set up some guidelines on how children should get dressed for the outdoors. Find out what the best basic clothing items your students need in the climate you live.

Getting ready to go outside is also important. A hectic school day can be a challenge to get everyone ready to go outside. Making sure each student has their own cubby for mittens and a hat and a knob for snow pants and jacket will make the dressing time go more smoothly. Classes may want to start the winter season with a class discussion how to dress for the weather and what we need to put on first when we are dressing ourselves.

Any questions? Let me know if you have any problems getting your class ready for recess at your school!