Dress for the elements
“Hygge” is a cornerstone of life in Denmark, and to us “hygge” has so much to do with outside time. Not just the obvious feel-good warmth of sun or wind on the cheeks, but also what typically comes after spending hours outside - Putting on “hygge”-clothes (loose, soft and comfy clothes), hot cocoa, candlelights and dimmed lighting while you get the sense of calmness in your body that only comes after spending hours outside.
Here is our Scandinavian take on dressing your little ones for the elements.
Sunny Summer Days
Summer usually means plenty of hours outside! Choose light clothes that kids can move around in to make the most of outside time.
You probably know that wearing wool during the winter months is a good idea due to the insulating effect of wool. But did you know that wearing wool in the summer is just as brilliant? Wool can absorb moisture without feeling wet, which makes it a great choice for hot summer days. Choose a thin wool or merino/silk tank top. Bonus: Wool has natural UV protection! Don’t forget a hat or cap to protect your little one from the sun.
Choose high-quality footwear like leather sandals, so your little one won’t get sweaty. As much as your kid might love crocs, it doesn’t provide much support, and the plastic does not allow the feet to breathe. Whenever the opportunity is there, let your kids run around bare feet. Walking barefoot allows the proprioceptors in the joints and muscles to experience controlled levels of sensory input from the surrounding environment. Different parts of the foot are used to grip the ground for strength and balance. This helps ground your kid.
Rainy Windy Days
What’s better than a rainy day with lots of muddy puddles? We find that our kids make the most of those rainy days, when they are properly dressed for it.
Wearing an inner layer that can transport moisture away from the body is crucial, as this will prevent kids from getting cold. Choosing a woolen basic layer will do the job. On cold days with temperatures in the 30 or 40 F’s, it is appropriate to add a quilted thermoset as a second layer.
Wind makes it feel cooler than temperatures actually are, even in sunshine. Protect head, neck and ears from the wind with a woolen balaclava.
If you want your kids protected when jumping in puddles, go for rainwear with a water column pressure of 10.000. Water column pressure is a measure of how much water pressure the material can withstand before it lets water through.
And last, but not least: get some good rubber boots!
Cold Winter Days
It always demands a bit more planning to spend time outdoors when temperatures are in the 30’s (F). However, when appropriately dressed, this is when the magic happens. Enjoy outdoor spaces less busy and with less crowds. Grey, cold winter days really don’t have to feel long and depressive. Kids will learn how to cope with different weather, and studies even show that when the immune system adapts to cold environments, its ability to fight off infection gets stronger.
Layers are your friend when getting dressed for colder temperatures. Start with one or two wool layers; A merino tank top as the inner layer and a long-sleeved merino wool crew over works really well, as it keeps the core extra warm, and keeps sweat away from the skin.
Wear a snowsuit or a winter jacket with thermo- or snow pants. Covering the legs with a second layer makes the whole difference! Sure you can wear just the winter jacket, but if you want to be able to stay outside more than 30 minutes, you are going to need to cover those legs too. On very cold days, wear a full quilted thermo set under the snowsuit or winter jacket.
Accessories are so important when it is cold. Choose a thin woolen balaclava as this will cover both head, ears and neck, and you can even layer it with a second hat on really cold or windy days.
Don’t forget mittens that are waterproof, so kids can explore without getting wet. On extra cold days, you can add a second pair of thin woolen mittens.
Woolen socks in the boots will keep the feet warm and dry. Normal cotton socks do not absorb any moisture, causing sweaty and cold feet.
Crisp Fall Days
Fall days with temperatures in the 50-60’s (F) is when you will find quilted thermowear extra useful. Thermowear is made for movement and it is the perfect attire for a day at the park. Wearing not only the thermo jacket but also thermo pants, makes the whole difference as it not only keeps kids full-body warm, but also protects their pants from dirt, mud and water. No more leaving a great play date early, because someone got wet or muddy!
You can layer with merino wool or merino/silk under the thermowear, and even an extra sweater on extra cold Fall days.