I've talked numerous times about how important I think daily outdoor play time is. Maybe blame it on growing up in Sweden where they live by their popular saying 'There is no bad weather, only bad clothes"and spent my entire childhood outside. And when you live in Northern Sweden, that means playing outside in the cold snow many months out of the year.
Living in Colorado hasn't stopped us from implementing daily outdoor time. We try to get at least two hrs of outdoor time a day, but usually more than that. When Jasper was in daycare in Sweden two mornings a week while we were studying abroad (January-July of 2009) they spent 80% of their time outdoors. There were days that we dropped him off at 8:30, the kids were all getting geared up in their snow gear to head out to play and were all still outside playing when we picked him up at noon. How awesome is that? Snack and lunch were even outside on their picnic tables. And guess what, in the 6 months he was in part time day care their he didn't get ONE single cold. Not a sniffle, runny nose or cough. How common is that in the US for kids in daycare in the winter? I'm guessing that's incredibly rare. I give all the fresh outdoor time credit for all the healthy kiddos there.
There are SO many reasons why children, especially NEED daily outdoor play time. Fresh air helps with vitamin D, stress, depression, eye site (seriously, it does!) helps rid their lungs of impurities and so much more!
Okay now that you are convinced that you need to have your children playing outside daily, you are probably saying "Yeah yeah I know all that, BUT I live in a cold climate, we can't play outside for 4 months out of the year, they will freeze" WRONG. They just need great outdoor gear!
I wrote THIS post over two years ago, talking about how to properly dress your kiddo for outdoor play in a cold climate. And figured now was a good time to revisit!
When dressing for cold climate, you just have to remember it's all about the layers.
Polarn o Pyret, a company started in Sweden 35 years ago has got the layering system down.
Layer 1. Base layer, you want this layer to comfortable and keep moisture away from the body.
Bottoms: Polarn o Pyret long johns like THESE (NOT C/O, bought over 2 yrs ago)
Top: similar to THIS C/O Polarn o Pyret
Layer 2. Middle Layer, Needs to release moisture while retaining body heat, like fleece or wool.
Top: Fleece, Old Navy
Bottom: Sweat Pants with fleece liner
Layer 3, Outer Layer, Should be warm and protect against all elements (wind, rain, snow)
Gloves: Polarn o pyret like theseTHESE (Not C/O bought over 2 years ago*) These gloves go all the way up their arms and NEVER fall off!
Jacket: C/O Polarn o Pyret similar to THIS
Hat: C/O Polarn o Pyret found HERE
Balaclava: Polarn o Pyret found HERE (Not C/O, bought last year) perfect for keeping neck warm and dry when your child insists on diving head first into snow piles and making snow angels!
So there you have it! Very possible and even easy to dress for the cold weather. These pictures were taken Christmas day when it was about 28 degrees out and Jasper played outside for almost 2 hrs before coming in to warm up. And it was Drew and I that needed warming up not Jasper! I think we need some polarn o pyret gear ourselves!
Even Tindra stayed nice and toasty in her snowsuit and hat Polarn o Pyret sent us!
I can't say enough great things about Polarn o Pyret gear. We have been loyal costumers ever since we discovered them in 2009, even having our friends from Sweden order and send us items before they finally opened up their U.S website. The quality is the best I've ever come across, and since most of their gear/clothes is unisex, items can be passed from one child to the next. PLUS, they, like me, have a love of stripes! We recently received a few Polarn o Pyret onesies and socks from a Swedish friend with two daughters for Tindra, and even though they were used by both of her daughters, they are in Perfect condition for Tindra to use!
Some more pictures of the kiddos enjoying their out door P.oP gear!
The reflectors on the jacket and snowsuit are one of my favorite qualities of their gear!
*Funny/sad story about these gloves. We had little flimsy gloves for Jasper from Target I think when we went to Sweden and sent them with Jasper to to daycare because they said to make sure he had warm clothes. These poor gloves failed him, they said his hands were red within 20 minutes because they kept falling off so they found a pair of extra gloves for him to borrow. On our walk back home we went into a small, children's clothing store we had been eyeing for a few days just a block from our apartment and found some amazing looking gloves like all the other day care kids had on. We thought, that's kind of a lot of money to spend on a pair of gloves but we got them anyway. He wore those every day that winter and the following winter as well. Then we upgraded to the next size and he is now on his third winter in that size. That little store we went into in Karlstad, Sweden was Polarn o Pyret. And those 'expensive' gloves served Jasper very well for two winters, and are waiting for Tindra to wear next year and I'm sure the following year as well. So 4 years of use for a pair of gloves? That price seems quite cheap now! *
*Some of these items were sent to us free of charge, but my review and opinions are 100% my own.