Venturing outdoors

“There is no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing” Alfred Wainwright

By Sheila Williams Ridge

This school year we will be able to enjoy many beautiful and educational moments outside and we truly appreciate all of the laundry, packing of extra clothing, and probably cleaning of your car that has to happen when children so thoroughly explore their environment.

As we prepare for the cooler fall and winter weather, please remember to bring your child with the appropriate clothing to venture outside each day.  Layering is important for indoor comfort that can easily adapt to also being outdoors.  For winter, we recommend waterproof mittens so children can comfortably actively engage in play and keep melting snow away from their fingers. Longer armed mittens can be especially helpful for children who like to frequently take off their mittens during the colder winter days.

Please remember to label outdoor gear and their extra clothing so we can be sure to get it back to you at the end of the day.  We have samples of children’s wear available at school from a company named Oakiwear.  They offer a wide variety of high quality children’s waterproof rain and snow gear, including mittens and boots.  If you are interested in any of these items for your child, please visit their website. You can also find gear locally at Midwest Mountaineering, REI, or other outdoor focused retailers, however sometimes finding very small sizes of high quality gear can be challenging.

After you find the perfect gear to keep your child warm and comfortable year-round, please be sure to label everything as getting 18 pairs of mittens or snow pants home can be a challenge at the end of the day.  If you have black mittens or snow pants, we recommend a silver permanent marker to make the name clearly visible.

We are excited for a year of exploration and joy and we welcome you to join in the leafy and wintery fun as well.  Bring your warm boots and gloves to join us in the leaves or mittens to join us once the snow starts to fly for sledding, snowshoeing, or quinzhee (snowfort) making.  If you have any questions about weather or gear, please contact me in the office at will0342@umn.edu or 612-624-9543.

Thank you for all that you do in support of this level of engagement with learning and exploration.