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dressing for winter

At Sprouts, one of the things we have learned this year is how to dress for winter – i.e. how to dress to stay warm when you’re going to be outside for extended periods of time.

At Sprouts, one of the things we have learned this year is how to dress for winter – i.e. how to dress to stay warm when you’re going to be outside for extended periods of time.

Sprouts elementary students are outside usually from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm, sometimes longer – that’s 9 hours of outside time per day!  On especially cold days we eat lunch inside to warm up at 12:00 pm for approximately one hour. 

One thing is for certain – it involves lots of layers!

Layers are extremely important when dressing for extended play outdoors in the cold – and remember, once you’re outside it’s easy to take layers off, but not so easy to add them.

We recommend four layers as a minimum for weather under 32 degrees. 

 

step one: base layer

This layer should cover every bit of skin except head and hands.  

top-to-bottom:

Long-sleeve shirt.  Long underwear, thermal layer, or just a regular old long-sleever. Not pictured – short-sleeve or under-shirt.  Should be fitted enough to fit under several other layers! This should either be tucked in to pants or long enough to tuck in to the next layer to prevent gaps.

Long pants. Long underwear, leggings, or even most pajama pants will work. Should hit your ankles and be fitted enough to fit under several other layers!

Socks.  Under-socks.  The thin tall layer of socks.  Should be fitted over pants to prevent gaps. 

outdoor gear start

step two: mid-layer

This layer is for extra warmth and a stop-gap.  Layers should overlap. This layer can be worn several times between washings!

top-to-bottom:

Long-sleeve shirt. Sweatshirt, sweater, long sleeve shirt or button shirt. Should easily fit over first layer and still be somewhat thin. 

Long-pants.  Heavier than the underneath layer. Thicker cotton, lined, jeans, or khakis will work. Tuck the base-layer shirt into these pants. 

Socks. Socks #2. Slightly heavier than the first pair. Tall as possible. 

outdoor gear 1

step three: outer layer

This layer is the beginning of the outer layer. 

top-to-bottom:

Thick hat.  Our families always buy adult sized hats, as these can be rolled if they’re big, but are guaranteed to cover ears. 

Gloves.  If you have two layers of gloves, this first layer can be the very thin cheap gloves.  If you only have one layer they should be waterproof. 

Snow pants.  A waterproof layer of pants.  Some are lined and some are not.  Full-body overalls are best as there are no gaps at the waist. 

Other. A scarf, neck warmer, or other neck layer would also be added at this point. 

outdoor gear 2

step four: final layer

This is the last layer.  Should fit easily over all other layers. 

top-to-bottom:

Heavy coat. Should be lined and have a waterproof shell, or have several pieces that layer together.  Should also have a hood that fits well over the head and can be tightened. 

Heavy boots.  All those sock layers will be pretty worthless if the shoes are not waterproof and lined.  Snow boots work best for this.  Boots should cover ankles or higher.  Snow pants should be pulled over the boots, and if lined, the lining should go inside the boots. 

outdoor gear 3

Sprouts does not recommend staying outdoors for lengthy periods of time in all weather conditions.  Make sure to check your hyper-local weather for temperatures and recommendations.  Children over 5 years have a higher tolerance for cold than younger children, but every child is different. 

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