Forest school is an educational approach that originated in Scandinavia in which children learn through play and hands-on experiences in a natural outdoor environment. This approach to education is based on the belief that children learn best when they are given the opportunity to explore and interact with their environment in a safe and supportive way.
As Forest schools typically take place in forests or other natural areas, and they often focus on activities such as nature exploration, problem-solving, and teamwork, it’s important that kids are dressed appropriately for this outdoor exploration.
In this article we’re going to offer some guidance in the types of outdoor clothing available for kids to make it easier to ensure your child is dressed properly for forest school. But before that, let’s talk a little more about forest school and the benefits of this kind of education program.
Here’s why forest schools can be great for kids
The goal of forest school is to promote the physical, social, emotional, and cognitive development of children through experiential learning. This can provide a whole host of benefits for your kids, including:
- Improved physical health and fitness: Forest school provides children with the opportunity to be physically active outdoors, which can improve their physical health and fitness. Outdoor activities, such as climbing trees and building shelters, can help children develop strength, coordination, and agility.
- Enhanced social and emotional development: Forest school can provide a supportive and nurturing environment in which children can develop their social and emotional skills. Through interactions with their peers and the natural world, children can learn to communicate effectively, cooperate with others, and build self-confidence.
- Increased cognitive development: Forest school can promote cognitive development by providing children with hands-on, experiential learning opportunities. Through activities such as problem-solving and nature exploration, children can develop critical thinking and reasoning skills.
- Greater connection to nature: Forest school can help children develop a sense of connection and appreciation for the natural world. By spending time in nature, children can learn about the environment and develop an understanding of their place in it. This can foster a sense of responsibility and respect for the natural world.
What should a child wear to forest school?
When attending forest school, children should wear clothing that is comfortable, durable, and allows them to move freely. It’s also important for children to dress in a way that allows them to be independent and take care of their own clothing and belongings
Another important consideration is of course the weather. As your child will be spending a large portion of their time outdoors the children should wear clothing that is appropriate for the weather and the activities, they will be participating in. This might include:
- Layered clothing: Layering is a good way to stay warm in cold weather, as it allows children to adjust their clothing as needed to maintain a comfortable body temperature. Children should wear a base layer of moisture-wicking material (such as wool or synthetic fabrics) next to their skin, followed by a warm, insulating layer (such as fleece or wool), and a waterproof outer layer (such as a raincoat or snow pants).
- Sturdy shoes: Forest school activities often involve walking or hiking through rough terrain, so children should wear shoes that are sturdy and provide good support. Sneakers or hiking boots are a good choice.
- Sun protection: If the weather is sunny, children should wear sunscreen and a hat to protect their skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
Clothing features to consider
When shopping for kids’ rain gear, there are several important features to consider. These include the length of the jacket, the type of closures on the cuffs, waist, hems, and hood, the presence of a warm liner, and the use of reflective accents. A longer jacket provides more coverage, and elastic closures are easy to use and help seal in warmth. A jacket with a warm liner can be useful in cool or cold weather, and reflective accents can improve visibility and safety in low light conditions.
Clothing we recommend for forest school
The types of clothing and level of protection your child may need does depend on your location, the weather of the region and the time of year. Here at MK Nordika, we have outdoor wear and rainwear that has been carefully selected to provide you with options for all year round.
Some of our favourite types of clothing for kids include:
Rainwear outer layers
This kind of kid’s rainwear is perfect for layering over other clothing and can be used any time of the year. They can go over heavy winter clothing and lighter spring and summer clothing to help keep kids dry during rainstorms.
If the weather is only a little bit drizzly or your kids won’t be spending too long outside, this kind of raingear is perfect to layer over their clothes. It’s not necessarily designed to add too much additional warmth, rather help in keeping dry.
Snow suits and insulative clothing
If temperatures are regularly quite cold in your region, insulated clothing that provides additional warmth, as well as being waterproof, is a great option – especially if the kids are going to be spending extended periods of time outside.
We have a range of snowsuits available for kids here at MK Nordika – and don’t let the name snowsuits put you off – snowsuits can be worn in cooler temperatures, not just when it snows.
Layers and thermals
Dressing for the outdoors can be difficult, which is why opting for clothing you can layer is a great option, especially during those transitional seasons like fall and spring. Thermals and clothing you can layer allow you to add and remove layers as you need them. Often high-quality thermal clothing will be breathable, which makes it easier for the body to self-regulate.
Making sure your child has good quality socks, gloves and hats to wear will help to keep them warm and protected while they play and learn outside. These can also be great options for the transitional periods as well as they can add a lot of warmth, even though they only cover small areas.
Buy clothing for forest schools online at MK Nordika
If you’re looking for outdoor clothing for your child to wear to forest school, then here at MK Nordika, we have just what you need. Our range of outdoor clothing for kids has been carefully selected to ensure there are a wide range of options to suit various weather conditions and regions.
We offer Scandinavian designed outdoor clothing and rainwear for kids because if anyone knows the importance of dressing properly for forest school and the outdoors, it’s the Scandinavians.
Discover our range here today – you can get your order with FREE shipping to the United States and Canada.