Don’t let bad weather keep you from getting outside with your kids. In today’s post, we’re rounding up family friendly outerwear. Here’s what you’ll need to stay warm and dry when it’s cold and damp:
Rain suits have become quite trendy with parents of young children in recent years. Have you ever outfitted your child in a raincoat and rain boots, only to have them fall on their knees in the mud? Enter the rain suit. Rain suits protect your child from head to toe. You can let them run, jump, and fall down in the rain and mud without worrying about moisture seeping through their pants. Rain suits can be off-putting for parents because of the cost. Your child may outgrow them quickly. They also take more room to store than regular rain coats. But there are budget friendly options available like this one. You can also usually find these items for resale through local social media groups.
Some kids with autism may find the sensory experience of wearing a rain suit to be unpleasant. Or, it may be too much of a struggle to dress in a one piece suit (and remove it once playtime is over). Fortunately, there are two piece rain suits available as well. Here is an example.
Headbands and Hats
You’ve probably heard before that heat escapes the body through the head and feet. Rain boots are a relatively easy staple to keep track of, but the same can’t be said about head gear. Additionally, knit hats that are sensory friendly and will stay on during outdoor play can be hard to find. A practical, budget friendly solution that works for lots of kids is the ear warmer or ear band. If your child is wearing the hood of their rain coat, they’re already protected from moisture – so a hat isn’t necessary. An ear band keeps them warm while the hood does the work of keeping them dry. Hang the ear band over a coat hook or hanger when you come inside to keep it handy for tomorrow’s trip outdoors.
The Right Socks
Rain boots, while waterproof, aren’t so great at insulating your child’s feet from the cold. Socks made from merino wool are perfect to pair with rain boots on cold days. Merino wool keeps your child’s feet warm, and also helps regulate body temperature. Look for budget friendly options or size up and look for sales to get more wear out of pricier pairs.
Other clothing made from merino wool can help when temperatures fall even lower. Look for base layers your child can wear under their play clothes and outerwear.
If you have young children, you are probably bringing at least some equipment with you when you leave the house. If you are taking a walk with littles and you have a stroller, consider a stroller rain cover. I have one that is specific to the brand of stroller that I own, but you can easily find universal options as well. Additionally, a waterproof blanket or water resistant stroller blanket like these ones can provide additional warmth and protection.
Finally, a waterproof backpack will help you keep snacks, your phone, and any other belongings dry as well. This is especially helpful if the weather where you live is unpredictable. You might head out when it’s dry and then have to run back home during a downpour. Depending on your child’s needs, you may also need to have things like visual supports and reinforcers with you while you are out. A waterproof bag or backpack ensures those things are ready and intact should you need them.
Now you’re ready to hike, puddle stomp, go on a scavenger hunt, or visit your local park. Have fun out there!
Courtney Gutierrez, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA Courtney is a behavior analyst, educator, and writer in the Pacific Northwest. She has over fifteen years of experience in the field of autism services, and over ten years of master’s level experience in classroom teaching and ABA therapy. Her areas of expertise include infant and toddler development, parent coaching, ABA clinical leadership and training, P-12 special education, and case consultation for children and young adults with autism and other special needs. Courtney lives in Seattle with her husband and two children.