How to Dress for All-Weather Play

Dressing your children for a day outdoors can be intimidating. How many layers will your child need to stay warm when it's freezing out? What do they need to stay dry? Put uncertainty aside, as we equip you with the knowledge to weather the storm and get outside, no matter the weather.

There's no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.-Scandinavian Proverb

Helpful Tips

  • Layering is key! Some days are 1-layer clothing days, some 2-layer days, some 3- layers. It is much easier to take layers off as needed than to warm a child that has already gotten chilled.

  • The children’s needs throughout the day are often unpredictable and will depend not only on the weather conditions but also the child’s body temperature and activity level.

  • In the winter, wearing 2 layers of wool long underwear underneath a thick wool sweater and fleece pants is the most effective way to layer children under their rain gear in order to keep them warm without feeling too bulky.

  •  We’re going to get dirty! Please make sure you dress your children in clothes they can get messy.  All clothing and footwear should be loose fitting and roomy to allow the body’s own insulating layer to surround the skin.  

Recommended Gear


  • Lightweight rain pants or quick-dry long pants: long pants rather than short pants are important to protect legs from thorns, insects, poison ivy etc.

  • No denim jeans please. 

  • Rain boots with lightweight socks 

  • When temperatures are cooler: long-sleeved tops and/or rain jackets 

  • Sunhat 

  • Sunscreen 

  • Insect repellant


  • Rain boots (with one or two pairs of socks)

  • Full rain gear (hooded jacket and pants)

  • Two-piece long underwear--silk or wool is best, but polyester is also a good choice.

  • Silk or wool socks 

  • Mittens and a hat: wool or fleece is warmest.