If sufficient, comfortable and appropriate clothing is worn, children can enjoy the forest school experience in all weathers.
A part of the ethos of forest school is “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”. The idea is that if sufficient, comfortable and appropriate clothing is worn, all children can enjoy the forest school experience in all weathers. As a guide it is always better to bring too many clothes than not enough as keeping warm is of paramount importance. Please read the following and ensure that your child wears and brings sufficient clothing. As well as ensuring their comfort and safety, this approach supports their enjoyment and their understanding and learning about the outdoors.
Parents – please ensure that you are appropriately dressed for the weather too. Wearing layers and having dry feet will keep you warm and happy.
For dry warmer months clothing should be considered that provides protection as well as cooling such as wicking fabrics as well as sun protection creams and sun hats. We expect children to wear long-sleeved tops and trousers in the summer and the winter due to the presence of ticks.
These should be old clothes or clothes that parents/guardians do not mind getting dirty. They will get dirty!
For wet weather and cooler months the following list is should ensure comfort and safety. Spare clothes are also a good idea.
Boots – please ensure boots are fully waterproof (and not the snow boots which are only waterproof on the toes) such as a good pair of waterproof walking boots. These are both much better than Wellington boots as they will fit your child’s feet properly allowing them to run and climb safely.
Long trousers – both in Summer and Winter we will be asking for children to wear long trousers, to keep warm, dry and to protect from scratches, bites, ticks and sunburn. Even on warm days it can be cooler under the shadow of the trees. We would recommend base layer leggings under the dungarees in Merino wool and/or polyester blend – for a warm base layer with excellent wicking performance and a durable fabric. In winter the mid-layer should be a material which has good thermal properties. Try to avoid cotton wherever possible.
Long sleeved top – both in Summer and Winter, to keep warm and to protect from ticks, scratches, bites and sunburn.
Layers of clothing appropriate to the temperature and the season – in Winter the children will need at least three layers to keep warm. We find that base layer leggings, trousers and the waterproof dungarees work well for their bottom half, and for the top half, a base layer top, long sleeved top, good quality fleece and waterproof jacket is a good mix. Merino wool and/or polyester blend – for a warm base layers with excellent wicking performance and a durable fabric. Please be aware that any cotton layers will soak up sweat and will leave you child cold, even on cold wet days your child will get hot and sweaty under their waterproofs. Its not about the amount of layers your child has on to keep warm and dry its about the type of fabrics the layers are in.
Waterproofs purchased from Lidl are excellent value, although being lined, do get hot in the summer.
Don’t forget a hat (for sun or warmth depending on the season) and gloves in the winter.