It's all about the layers!
At Arbor Green, it’s all about the layers for our outdoor nursery! Layering means that clothes can be put on and taken off when necessary, to keep a comfortable temperature. If children have too many thick or bulky layers, it restricts their movement. If a child is wearing a bulky coat, for example, they will be too hot with it on, or too cold with it off. Getting the layers of clothing right really helps when outdoors.
Layers are the base layer, mid-layer, insulation layer and outer shell layer. Additionally, to this are the extremities; head, hands and feet.
The base layer needs to fit snugly to retain heat. Ideally made of synthetic fabric or wool. Example: close-fitting t-shirt, thin long-sleeved top or thermal, tights, leggings or thermal leggings.
The mid-layer purpose is to trap heat. Has some loft to help trap air, but is also breathable. Try to avoid hoods as these can add bulk around the neck and restrict movement. Example: close-fitting thin fleece, sweatshirt or jumper, joggers, school trousers or thick leggings.
The insulation layer provides warmth and is essential on very cold days. Ideally, the insulation layer needs to fit snugly over the mid-layer to allow greater freedom of movement. Example: thick fleece, jumper or hoodless down jacket.
Outer shell / Waterproof Layer
This is the most important layer to get right as it also acts as a wind-buffer. As long as there are warm insulating layers underneath, this protects from the damp and cold. Example: waterproof trousers/dungarees and a waterproof coat with a hood.
Extremities – Head, hands and feet
Warm hat or balaclava
Gloves or mittens, ideally waterproof. With a spare pair in the bag.
Neck buff or scarf.
Remember feet can get wet by boots leaking water, water or snow coming over the top of a welly or boot or exercise causing sweating inside a non-breathable boot.
Socks are highly important with wool or man-made fibre or fleece socks best. Two pairs of socks are brilliant in cold weather. Cotton socks will hold moisture and once damp or wet, retain the cold. If wearing thick socks or two pairs of socks, make sure the boots are not too tight. Pressure can reduce the blood supply to toes and feet and the child will feel cold.
Long socks are recommended if possible so trousers can be tucked in.