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Foul-Weather Fun Is Good for Your Kids

Why time outdoors matters more than ever

Published on: November 25, 2020

Foul-Weather Fun Is Good for Your Kids

bundled up kids walking through the woods

How to dress your child for outdoor fall and winter fun

Dr. Kurt Beil explains, “Multiple decades of outdoor-school-type programs have shown that spending time outside, even in cold or rainy weather, is beneficial to children’s levels of happiness, satisfaction and sense of well-being.” As children get more physical activity, the activity itself may support “a stronger immune system to fight off seasonal colds and flus. As long as they have the right clothes and a place to warm up, get them outside for at least an hour a day all year ’round.”

Follow this three-point plan to keep small bodies dry and warm:

  • Start with a thermal layer — Think long johns and wool socks for temperatures below freezing, and perhaps a layer of regular indoor clothing if temperatures are warmer.
  • Add a middle insulating layer — This would be your everyday clothing, such as sweatshirts, fleece pants or jeans, which goes over the top of your thermal base. Don’t worry, extra padding just adds a layer of protection from falls caused by overly exuberant fun.
  • Finish up with an outer shell — An outer shell consists of windproof and waterproof coats and rainboots for wet conditions, or gloves, hats, snow pants and boots for snowy conditions. A rainsuit is a popular outer layer in the Seattle area, for obvious reasons. 

In addition to choosing the right clothes, be sure to monitor and adapt to weather conditions. Be aware of the effects of sun exposure, wind chill, soggy clothes and the length of time spent outside.

(Consult our winter weather guide for more great clothing and gear ideas to help keep your kiddo warm and dry, here.)

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