Ensuring you have the correct waterproofs for your Forest School or Nursery is a key part in making sure the little ones stay dry and safe during their adventures in school! We’ve put together our top tips on how to choose the BEST outerwear for your children.
This is the most obvious tip, but there are so many brands that label their outerwear as ‘waterproof’, but it doesn’t last very long or keep your kids dry! Our top tip is to avoid ‘shower proof’ and look for 100% waterproof, the best and most waterproof fabric is Polyurethane (PU). Make sure you understand the difference between shower resistant vs waterproof before investing in waterproof outerwear for your toddler.
Decent children’s waterproof clothing is often cut generously, so always double check the size guide as normally you do not need to size up! You may notice that many are sizes in height measurements e.g., 100cm, this is equal to a size 3-4 years. We have a conversion chart here on our Size Guide.
It is also important to consider purchasing items of the correct size that are easy to get on, this will help to promote independent dressing and make your life much easier! Look for simple designs with an easy pull zip, and Velcro cuffs! Sometimes jackets that are done up with poppers can take too much time for the child to do it themselves.
Waterproof clothing is an investment, so you want them to work properly and last a long time. Children inflict wear and tear on their clothing on a daily basis, so you want to make sure the outerwear you purchase is high quality for it to be able to withstand muddy puddles, grass sliding and all outdoor adventures. High quality PU fabric is your best bet, preferably with a 4 way stretch and welded seams!
Make sure you purchase waterproofs that have welded seams as this will mean you have the most durable outerwear. Most outerwear will come with either taped seams or welded seams, we 100% recommend welded seams! Taped seams are often found on cheaper waterproofs and tend to peel off very easily.
You will want to purchase outerwear that does not require a lot of looking after. If you go for high quality, PU waterproofs, your best cleaning options would be to hose them down and wipe them with a sponge, and occasionally you can wash them in the washing machine (Just remember to avoid tablets and fabric softener!),
If you chose a mac, or a cheaper, shower resistant waterproof they are often much harder to clean and cannot be washed in the washing machine.
To help your waterproofs last longer, remember to store them correctly! After using them, let them air dry by hanging them inside or outside – avoid putting them over a radiator as this can damage most waterproof fabrics.
5. Consider Safety
Safety is an import aspect to consider when purchasing waterproof clothing in general. Schools especially need to ensure they have the best safety features available to keep the children safe.
Colour is an important part of safety, having brighter colours will help you spot a child in the distance if they are playing in the woods or on the farm. If you are not able to get bright coloured waterproofs then look for reflective strips on the jackets & trousers, these are important for crossing the road to keep children visible, especially when the evenings get darker this autumn.
Wet Wednesdays outerwear has a removable popper hood, this is a safety feature we learnt from Scandinavian Forest schools. If a child were to get their hood caught on a tree branch, they would be able to pop their hood off with ease. Our previous jackets did not have any pockets as this is also another safety feature from Scandinavia, it is to prevent children from falling on their face from having their hands in their pockets. The demand for pockets in the UK is very high, so we have since added ‘hidden’ pockets so children can store stones, acorns, and any trinkets they find on their adventures.
If your little one is going back to school or starting in the new term, check out our Back-to-School Checklist, to make sure you are fully prepared!