Green planet
Forest school
An S4A Group Company

How to stay warm in winter

Forest School clothing recommendations for Autumn and Winter conditions

If we can keep them dry and warm there’s no limit to their fun, regardless of the weather! That said you may be surprised at just how warm children can get during a busy Forest School session, so often they strip down to their bottom layer, just a t-shirt or jumper in the coldest weather and as a team we’re here to make sure they don’t get too hot as well as making sure they aren’t too cold. Factor in all of us having a different sensory perception of the world and how heat, cold, humidity, heavy clothing, synthetic or ‘itchy’ textures may make us feel and so on and you suddenly realise that there’s a lot more to keeping children safe outdoors than just making sure they don’t poke themselves with a stick. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our recommended clothing list for Autumn and Winter at a Green Planet Forest School Session.

  • A waterproof coat is essential, synthetic fibres repel water better than natural ones and if in doubt a waterproof overcoat like this one can stop most showers or persistent drizzle which we get for over half the year in this part of the UK. Read more about that here. This type of waterproof jacket can sometimes be found along the middle aisle of Lidl and Aldi and are really great value for money.
  • At least 2 layers underneath such as a t-shirt and a sweatshirt/hoody will do through most of Autumn. Think how you might dress to stay warm for a couple of hours whilst watching a firework display or football match this time of year. Into the winter months adding an extra layer to this can help massively, a thermal base layer or long sleeved t-shirt in addition to the above is recommended.
  • A hat to stop heat escaping and to keep ears warm. (Did you know that it is a debunked myth that we lose half of our body heat from our heads, however we do lose a fair bit and cold ears can be painful so wrap up snug up top).
  • Gloves, not wool! They get wet and little fingers then get cold very quickly. Synthetic fibres stay dry better. Here’s some, similar are widely available.
  • Scarves pose a choke hazard when climbing trees and scrambling through bushes but we do recommend a close fitting buff or snood such as this.
  • Bottoms such as tracksuit or leggings just don’t work in wet and cold weather, they absorb water very quickly and then suck the heat out of the human below. They do make a good under layer in the autumn and in the winter adding a thermal legging to this combo can be helpful. But a waterproof over trouser is an essential item almost all year round and can be picked up relatively cheaply. Here’s a link to some on Amazon, again similar are widely available including along the middle aisle of Lidl and Aldi.
  • For feet we recommend a good warm and waterproof hiking boot if your budget can stretch to it. But wellies do a great job as long as you size up. Most wellie boots aren’t thermally lined so can lead to cold feet in winter. We recommend trying on wellies whilst wearing two pairs of socks (or a cosy merino wool winter sock if you have the budget), make sure they fit with enough room to wiggle toes. Toe wiggling is important to keep warm blood flowing to the extremities. Note that trainers and other types of footwear will quickly get wet and nobody loves cold toes! Wellies and hiking boots also provide a little more protection from inevitable puddle splashing which we will do at every opportunity!

As well as these items of clothing, and in case of exceptional weather conditions causing clothing to get wet and/or muddy, a change of clothes is a must. Also If you send your child to a session with wellies or boots (thank you!) please also include a change of footwear so we don’t have to walk through school property in muddy boots, the cleaning staff will be forever grateful. And please make sure everything is labelled so we can get it back to it’s owner at the end of the day.

Thanks for reading, I hope this is of some use. By all means give it a share and don’t forget, stay muddy!
Mr Mud and the GPFS team.

Notes about products linked on this page
Green Planet Forest School Ltd has no connection or affiliation to any product or manufacturer listed on this page. Links are included for reference purposes only. Please use due diligence when shopping around to find well priced and recommended products which are suitable for your child.

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