Gearing up Toddlers for All-Weather Play

“Let the children be free; encourage them; let them run outside when it is raining; let them remove their shoes when they find a puddle of water; and when the grass of the meadows is wet with dew, let them run on it and trample it with their bare feet; let them rest peacefully when a tree invites them to sleep beneath its shade; let them shout and laugh when the sun wakes them.”
— Maria Montessori - The Discovery of the child
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How we prepare and talk about the weather has a profound impact on how our children experience the weather themselves. When we are curious and excited, rather than disappointed, our children are too. Montessori encourages spending lots of time in nature and letting children have the freedom to explore as they wish. It can get muddy, sandy, messy, and cold, but getting outside every day, even in less than mild conditions, helps our child adapt their bodies to their climate, boosts their immune system, and creates a lasting love of our world.

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Gear for Toddlers

I’ve found that investing in high-quality rain and cold weather gear not only for S and D, but also for myself has made a huge difference in getting out each day. I like to make sure we all have comfortable tall rain boots, walkable calf height winter boots, a long rain jacket, warm layers, hooded puffy, warm hats, and gloves. For the kids, rain suits and rain boots are essential in the pacific northwest, as well as layers such as fleece or down underneath. 

I know this can get quite expensive, so I’ve shared some websites to find used outdoor clothing below. I’ve also gotten many high-quality hand-me-downs for the kids from family and friends.

Used Gear:

https://wornwear.patagonia.com/shop/kids-and-baby

https://www.rei.com/used/shop/kids-clothing-just-added

https://www.geartrade.com/clothing/kids


Rainy Weather

Tuffo Rain Suit - This has hands-down been the best purchase. As we live in the rainy pacific northwest, these rain suits ensure we get outside every day. I like that we can add plenty of layers under them too and that they scrunch at the ankles to keep rain out when puddle jumping.

Oakiwear Rain Jacket and Pants - When it’s not pouring and D just needs a rain coat for school, this is our favorite. You can also pair it with the pants to make a rain suit!

Stonz Booties - We didn’t use these ourselves but I’ve heard great things about them for babies and toddlers! They don’t fall off.

Bogs Rain Boots - These are my very favorite for toddlers. They are soft and flexible. S has stomped in every puddle and still come home with dry feet. It helps to have the rain suit over the top of the boots to keep rain from getting in.

Oaki Rain Boots - These are the best I’ve found for independent dressing. D can pull these on her feet in seconds which make them great for home and school.

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Cold and Wet

Rain suit and boots mentioned above

Waterproof Mittens or Kid Snow Mittens - For all ages, mittens keep hands warmer than gloves! I like ones that scrunch at wrist to keep them on!

Warm base layer - A long-sleeved shirt, fleece layer, and wool socks under the rain suit and boots will keep toddlers extra cozy and warm!

Down coat under rain suit - On really cold and wet days, we do a long-sleeved shirt, puffy jacket, and the rain suit on top.

Warm hat - I really like any lined winter hats for toddlers, which can be found lots of places! Ear flaps are a nice addition for warmth.

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Snow Days

One-Piece Snow Suit - This is the best snow suit for toddlers. I always size up to make it last two seasons. There are also less expensive versions many places, just make sure it’s waterproof too! D’s is just from Carter’s this year.

Stonz Booties - We didn’t use these ourselves but I’ve heard great things about them for babies and toddlers! You can layer to make extra warm in winter.

See Kai Run boots - D got these for Christmas this year and they have been great for walking and playing in the snow! I like that they are velcro rather than laces.

Base layers - Cotton, fleece, or wool pants and long-sleeved top and wool socks under the snowsuit and boots (depending on how cold it is!)

Waterproof Mittens or Kid Snow Mittens - For all ages, mittens keep hands warmer than gloves! I like ones that scrunch at wrist to keep them on!

Warm hat - I really like any lined winter hats for toddlers, which can be found lots of places! Ear flaps are a nice addition for warmth.

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Don’t forget yourself too! I am definitely going to invest in a rain suit myself but for now I have a long rain jacket, a good puffy jacket, tall rain boots, and lots of warm layers too!

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Gearing up Toddlers for All-Weather Play