As you may have figured out by now I’m a huge advocate of taking kids outdoors. You can even read a post I wrote called “Embrace The Mud” over here! There’s a huge range of benefits of nature play for kids, including the fact that more evidence is emerging about the link between nature and children’s mental well-being. As a health professional, this is one of the main reasons I advocate for taking kids outdoors in all weather.
As a parent though, getting your kids outside during Winter can be INCREDIBLY daunting.
Let’s not deny that it actually is rather hard work. Messy, muddy, cold children.
It can be hard and uncomfortable.
The key is to have the right gear!
Last year I brand-repped for the NZ made all weather gear company Mud Mates.
I wrote up my reviews on my social media pages but they didn’t quite make it to the blog. Seeing as it’s coming up to the cold weather months again I thought I’d post them here (finally)!
These are the wet weather gears that my kids LIVED in last winter:
Miss 18 months old:
these full body coveralls are sized generously to go on over clothes. They have a hood to pop up over a warm woolly hat to keep ears warm and dry (when your brother throw wet sand at you). The zipper can handle water being poured down over it and it still keeps clothes dry.
she had just learnt to walk, didn’t want to wear gumboots, and to be perfectly honest I was happy for her not too as they’re not really the best developmentally for toddlers. She lived in soft soled Bobux shoes, which are NOT the best for puddle jumping!
Popping the shoe covers over her wee shoes worked really well to keep her feet warm and dry. And, I didn’t even lose them! BONUS.
For her the most important thing to me was that her butt and torso kept dry and warm. She’d be sitting on wet ground, able to experience nature for all it was worth, and she was keeping warm and dry. The coveralls ticked that box for us!
Sometimes she’d get wet on the ends of her sleeves if she was playing in water but that’s not a major concern for me.
NB: I’d recommend getting a size large enough that if baby is on your hip then the fabric doesn’t ride up enough to expose their little legs.
My 3.5 and 5.5 years old boys:
both of the boys got a pair of these. I had debated between getting fleece lined or non fleece lined. But in the end decided on fleece lined ones as some of the days we get here in Christchurch are ABSOLUTELY freezing and there’s nothing worse that freezing kids whilst out adventuring!
They would wear either a pair of polyprop leggings or a pair of shorts underneath these. Usually polyprop leggings but sometimes they chose to wear shorts, I’d leave that decision up to them!
They clean up really easily – for example after the above adventure with mud all over Mr 4’s butt, I just left it to dry and brushed it off once dry.
They’re also REALLY good for snow visits:
The only thing with the fleece lined pants is that if the fleece inside DOES get wet, it takes a few days to dry the pants. Try not to put them in the washing machine if you can help it!
Comparison to other products:
Although I hate to compare products, it’s a natural part of the decision making process for us Mums, right? We want the best product for our family’s needs at the time.
In winters past the boys have used the Mum2Mum wet weather overalls and whilst they suited their needs at the time, what I found frustrating when they got to toilet training age was having to help them take off their layers and pull the overalls down when they needed to wee!
Most of the time they were hopping around, unable to focus, we were out in the middle of nowhere exploring nature, it was usually wet with dew, and I had a baby in my arms whilst trying to help them – craziness.
Using the overpants from Mud Mates made that problem much easier. The boys are able to pull their own pants down independently – HUGE win.
Last winter we were going to Bush Kindy once a week, Playcentre Explorer Sessions fortnightly, and just general getting out and about during the week.
That’s a LOT of outdoor exploring!
I remember, one week we’d all been sick, it had been raining for days in a row, and the local playground was being renovated. We really just needed to get out of the house so I parked the car beside an absolutely FLOODED park, dressed the boys in their Mud Mates gears, and sent them away splashing in the GIANT puddles.
Mud Mates helped keep
us me sane last winter. Getting out and about with my kids is as essential for my mental well being as coffee is to others. My kids love exploring and I’m stoked that they can do it while keeping warm and dry.
If you’ve ever thought about getting these gears then you won’t regret it…. and Alana has kindly given me a code for you to use for the month of May. Enter STAYATHOME for a 10% discount!
Enjoy enjoy enjoy winter for all it’s worth with your littles.