Here on the west coast of British Columbia, or wet coast as some like to refer to it, we get a lot of rain. You might not think we do from our most recent summer, but it will rain and when it does, are you and your kids ready to get wet?
Being a parent of two kids (under the age of 5) we try and stay out of the house as much as possible but when there is inclement weather, such as rain, it does make the task a bit harder to do. Who really likes to play out in the rain? Well, I like to as long as I am dressed for it and we find that our kidlets do as long as they are dressed for it as well.
This started more along the lines when we enrolled our son into a forest Preschool. Once a week his preschool day is outside no matter the weather: sun, rain, wind or snow. The only time they would come inside for the day would be if the winds were breaking tree branches. It then becomes a safety issue right?
With an outdoor, forest setting for preschool there was a list of various things we needed to have for him; rain-proof jacket, pants, gloves, hat. A good backpack that would repel or be water-proof. An under-layer that would keep him warm in colder, rainy weather.
So what do we do? We made a trip to our local MEC (Mountain Equipment Co-Op) to see what they had in terms of children rain gear as well as some other local stores.
Pants: MEC Rain Pant $30
These have been great! Fairly inexpensive too which is always a bonus with clothing as the adult version are closer to $200! The pants have lasted through rain, snow, mud. Climbing in bushes and trees and general outdoor use. The seams are taped, the haste and lower legs are elasticized to help keep things out.
Jacket: MEC Reflective Rain Jacket $65
The jackets always seem to be the more expensive things, but it’s for good reason right? I would hate to be wet while running around outside so I am sure the kids definitely would be ultra grumpy if they were wet and chilled. This particular jacket has waterproof seams which helps keep the rain out.
The Stomp boots have been awesome. They are tapered at the ankle so running around isn’t a problem, they just stay on their feet! They can also be recycled if they outgrow them!
We also have recently purchased the Kamik Snowbuster 1 snow boots and they have been so far so good. With an included liner to keep feet warm, and a completely waterproof exterior, we know that the kids will love playing in any sort of weather we get.
For smaller kids the Stonz Booties ($50) have been pretty good, but depending on your child they can still get water inside them. They are also on the more expensive side but they are great for children who are not yet walking 100%. Though just make sure you kidlet isn’t sitting in a stream or creek like ours did.. the water will easily find it’s way into them 😉 The drawstrings are great for ensuring they don’t take them off too.
Gloves/Mittens: Abeko Fleece-lined Mittens $25
These Abeko mittens are awesome when it comes to keeping your kids hands warm and dry. In fact we have two pairs of them! The Preschool actually recommends them and we can see why after using them for a year. They are easy to get onto the kids’ hands and with the little wrist band they stay on.
When dressing kids for cold rainy days you need to ensure they stay warm, but not constrict their movement. The Midweight top and bottom from MEC works great at keeping our little guy warm in those colder rainy winter months. We do add a fleece pull-over that he can take off if needed but his the MEC Midweight items are his base layer.
Socks: Darn Tough via Ferrata Jr $16
The Kamut boots are great, but to ensure the kids’ feet don’t become too cold when splashing in puddles, wading in streams or sliding in the snow we wanted to get some decent socks that could help wick away moisture but keep their feet warm. The Ferrata Jr’s have been great that we bought an extra pair!
Backpack: Deuter Junior Daypack $59
Okay, not really used for general outdoor play, but required for Forest day at Preschool. When it came to waterproof backpacks, we couldn’t find any suitable for children. The best we found though was the Deuter Jr Daypack at MEC. It has ample room for a set of spare clothing, emergency blanket, food and water for the forest preschool day. It isn’t waterproof, but it does repel water pretty well and we haven’t had our son come back with a soaked through backpack.
All-in-One: Tuffo Muddy Buddy $40
I think most parents these days have heard of Muddy Buddy. If not I am sure most people have seen kids running around splashing around in puddles with these full rain suits. These have been great with out kids and to this day we still put the kids into them. You can dress the kids in whatever you want and then put the Muddy Buddy over top of their clothes. The downside to an older child would be when it comes to having to go to the bathroom, it’s a bit harder to get out of and to undo so be prepared to help them if they need to answer Nature’s call!
MEC also makes something similar but at little higher in price, the MEC Newt Suit ($59). We use this one for our daughter until she fits into the larger Muddy Buddys we have.
I think that is pretty much the rain gear we have for the kids. We have some fleece pullovers or jackets we’ll use when the rain turns to snow. The gear helps us enjoyed the outdoors when its rainy or just wet after a rain. We’ve used them in the forest, out in some fields and even to build sandcastles along the ocean shoreline. After all, being stuck inside a house with two energetic kids all day is not a fun thing to right?