Parents & Community » Clothing Recommendations for Outdoor Learning

Clothing Recommendations for Outdoor Learning

Special thanks to those who helped put these resources together: Tandy Morton, Wild Child Facilitator; and Breanna Piccolotto, Strive Project Associate

General Recommendations for Outdoor Play in Canadian Winters

  • On days warmer than -10°C wearing regular clothing under a snowsuit will be fine.
  • When the weather is colder that -10°C, clothing should be layered:
    • Layer 1: close to the skin and fits snugly. Long sleeved and long pant Athletic wear, fleece lined tights, synthetic tank tops, fleece/silk pyjamas all work. No cotton.
    • Layer 2: warm sweaters, especially fleece or wool, warm athletic pants or fleece pants, pajamas, yoga pant
    • Layer 3: waterproof/water resistant snow suit.
  • In winter cotton absorbs sweat and makes you feel cold. Do not wear cotton in Canadian winters, especially if you plan to be outside for long periods of time.
  • Wear several layers of clothing that fit comfortably, and take off the outer layers if you start to get too warm. Put them back on if you start to feel cold. On really cold days wear more layers.
  • Do not wear so many layers, especially for socks, that you restrict blood flow. That will also make you feel cold.

Recommend Daily Clothing for Outdoor Play in Canadian Winters

The following lists are recommended clothing items for outer and inner layers for daily outdoor play. Most clothing can be left out indoors to dry, therefore most items do not require multiple sets.

 

Item How Many? Things to Look For Things to Avoid Examples
Hat 1
  • About 1cm thick
  • Covers head AND ears completely
  • Knitted fabrics that you can see through
  • Cotton
Toques, beanies, balaclavas
Neck warmer 1  
  • Cotton
Scarf, fleece neck gator
Coat

1
  • Warm to -20°C or lower.
  • Waterproof or water resistant outer shell
  • Fits with a little bit of room for puffy layers
  • Zipper
  • Comfortable to move around in
  • Cotton
  • Jean jackets
  • Sweater jackets
Ski jackets, snowsuit jackets
Snowpants 1
  • Warm to -20°C or lower.
  • Waterproof (is best) or water resistant outer shell
  • Feels puffy
  • Fits with a little bit of room for puffy layers
  • Comfortable to move around in 
  • Rain pants /slush pants (these have a thin water resistant layer and may have a thin cotton or fleece liner. These are NOT warm enough.
  • Cotton 
Pants labelled ski or snow pants, Bib-snow pants
Boots 1
  • Warm to -25°C or lower.
  • Waterproof (a water resistant upper is ok, the bottom NEEDS to be waterproof).
  • Rubber or similar lower
  • Fits comfortably with 1-2 thick pairs of socks
  • UGGS and other fashion boots
  • Boots that don’t have a temperature rating or waterproof label 
  • Boots with removable liners
  • All-in-one piece boots with temperature ratings
Mitts/Gloves 2 pairs
  • Waterproof label (water resistant will work, but you will need a pair per recess)
  • One size fits all gloves & mitts
  • Knitted mitts/gloves (snow sticks to them and they get very cold and wet
 
 

Item

How Many?

Things to Look For 

Things to Avoid 

Examples

Socks 

1 pair per recess + 1 extra pair) 

  • Wool, polyester, fleece, synthetic blends 

  • Reaches mid-way up calf  

  • Cotton 

  • Ankle Socks 

  • Seasonal fluffy socks, wool socks 

Mid-layer or second layer Pants 

1 pair

  • Athletic style or no-cotton sweatpant

  • Denim and jean material 

  • Cotton 

  • Athletic pants (like yoga, sweat, fleece), Pyjama pants  

Base layer pants 

1 pair

  • Snug and comfortable  

  • Flexible clothing that sits next to the skin 

  • Cotton 

  • Athletic gear for under sports equipment, Fleece lined tights, Wool base layers, Synthetic/fleece base layers

 

Mid-layer or second layer tops 

1-2 (2 when very cold) 

  • Puffy/warm fabrics like fleece/polar fleece/micro fleece 

  • Long sleeves 

  • Comfortable fit 

  • Cotton 

  • Tight fitting clothing that restricts movement 

  • Fleece sweaters,

  • AthleticHoodies 

Base-layer top 

1

  • Snug and comfortable  

  • Flexible clothing that sits next to the skin 

  • Cotton

  • Athletic gear for under sports equipment, Synthetic tank tops, Stretchy long-sleeved workout shirts  

These are only a few options that are available. There are also larger retailers, such as Goodwill, who offer clothing at a lower cost. This list focused on no cost options. It is highly recommended that everyone calls or emails prior to using these services due to COVID-19 precautions. 

 

Name and Contact Information 

Fee

Program Information 

LIFE*SPIN- Free Store 
519-438-8676 Email 
Languages: English 
Physically Accessible: No

Free/No Cost

LIFE*SPIN relieves poverty through hosting a Free Store at 872 Dundas Street. It accepts and distributes donations of new or clean used clothing, household items, toys, sporting equipment, books, tools, etc. 

LUSO Community Services 

519-452-1466  Email      

Languages: English, Arabic, German, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish, & Turkish 

Physically Accessible: Yes 

Free/No Cost

Coordinates and develops basic needs services for residents of the Boullee, Huron and surrounding communities, mainly Northeast London (N5Y and N5V postal code areas).

Programs include baby food and diaper bank, community clothing cupboard, food cupboard, monthly food depot. Support is also provided through advocacy, referrals, and programming that helps develop skills and promotes self-sufficiency.

(NOTE: Staff speak listed languages but services not consistently available in all languages)

Boys and Girls Club of London  
519-434-9114 Email
Languages: English, Spanish 
Physically Accessible: Yes

Membership or visitor fee

  • Additional fees for some programs 

  • Subsidy is available for families who qualify 

Offers affordable recreational, social, & educational programming for children and youth that promote physical and emotional well-being. Specifically, Boys and Girls Club of London has a program called Koats for Kids, which distributes coats to children in need every year in mid/late fall. *Call for specific dates and times of distribution * Proof of age of children is required*

Keeping Kids Warm 
Phone: Not listed 
Email
Languages: English 
Physically Accessible: Unknown

Free/No Cost

This organization organizes volunteers who knit hats, scarves, and mittens for street youth and other people in need. These items are distributed by select youth services, including London schools. Due to COVID-19, many organizations have changed how they are providing services or may be temporarily closed. Call, or check the service website, for additional information.

Women’s Rural Resource Centre of Strathroy and Area - Community Cupboard, Community Garden, & Access to Clothing 
Phone: 519-246-1526 
Crisis: 1-800-265-5390 (24-hour)
Email 
Languages: English, American Sign Language (ASL) (Interpretation available upon request) 
Physically Accessible: Yes

Free/No Cost  

This organization offers several different programs. For clothing services, one is the Holiday Hamper Program. This program supports women and their families during the holiday time. Hampers are to be filled with items on the family's wish list and grocery store gift cards also recommended. Call 519-246-1526 or email info@wrrcsa.org for more information.

This organization also offers vouchers for clothing and household items available at no cost for women accessing other services.

Diaper Bank of London 
519-644-0305
Email 
Website: 
Languages: Dependent on Partnering Agency

Free/No Cost

Collects unused diapers and distributes to local agencies for families in need. To donate or volunteer, call or email. For people in need of diapers, contact a partnering agency.

Partnering Agencies:

Atlohsa Native Family Healing Services, Anova (on request), Birthright London, Crouch Neighbourhood Resource Centre, Glen Cairn Community Resource Centre, London Pregnancy & Family Support Centre, Merrymount Family Support and Crisis Centre, Rotholme Women's and Family Shelter, Single Women in Motherhood, Youth Opportunities Unlimited, Northwest London Resource Centre, Autism London, Life Spin

 

Special Thanks to:

Tandy Morton, Wild Child Facilitator 

Breanna Piccolotto, Strive Project Associate