Preschool Clothing - What To Wear
ADO Mini Explorers is an Outdoor Preschool and we go outside in all weathers! With the great British weather, who knows whether it will rain or shine! Appropriate clothing will mean your child gets the maximum enjoyment, whatever the weather! We encourage all our children to get stuck in and more mud means more fun!
However, we understand that this will also mean more washing, and damp clothes means less enjoyment! We therefore have extremely durable waterproof dungaree suits and coats which we require you to purchase beforehand. Please check with the office prior to purchase that it is the correct suit. Your Mini Explorer can then arrive at preschool in their outdoor suit, ready for all weathers and can get straight in to exploring the garden and playing!
The Mini Explorers are required to wear our lovely uniform, which we are very proud of! We have redesigned our badge for the school uniform. Its our symbolic daisy, representing growing and learning with nature. The uniforms are available from Casey’s Schoolwear, 246 Blackfen Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA15 8PW. If you would like to call ahead of visiting, please ring 020 8850 8645. Please click <HERE to visit Casey's website and view our uniform. The outdoor waterproof suits cannot be purchased from Casey's, so please search alternative providers or enquire with the office for assistance.
Uniform items are as follows:
♦ Compulsory Uniform Items – The Outdoor 2 part Suit, The Purple Polo Shirt and the Purple Sweatshirt
♦ Non Compulsory, but Highly Recommended items – The Black Preschool branded Back Pack for our trips and The logo Woolly Ski Hat (both available from Casey's) and for summer, a Legionnaires Cap
In addition to the compulsory uniform items, please ensure your child attends preschool with any additional suitable named base layer clothing (that can get dirty without any fuss!). Skirts or dresses are not suitable. Sensible outdoor shoes for the relevant months are required i.e. trainers/canvas plimsoll style/outdoor boots or Wellies for wet weather. CROCS, flip flops or open toe sandals are not permitted as these are not suitable for our outdoor activities and adventure play equipment.
On colder days, please ensure the children have layers of clothing to retain their heat and keep them comfortable. We recommend that you provide your child with spare base layer trousers, thermal leggings and socks. In hot weather please apply a long lasting suitable factor sun cream in a named bottle for reapplication as required. Please pack your child a legionnaires cap to keep their head and necks protected from the sun. If the weather is very warm, please be aware that we are outside every day for Forest School and it may be advisable to apply insect repellent. Longer shorts or leggings are recommended as this will provide some protection against sunburn or scratches.
All Registered and Have a Date Set To Start With Us?
What is next? It is time to consider the clothing to support our standard compulsory uniform.
Recommendations for Outdoor winter wear suitable for all outdoor winter sessions:
♦ Thermal Base Layer Set - Secondary layer trousers or thermal leggings combined with our uniform top layers. If your child particularly feels the cold or is only just 2 years old and will be adjusting/starting at our Outdoor Forest School in the winter months, we suggest that you also layer with an additional long sleeved thermal vest or thin close fitting top under the uniform polo and sweatshirt layers. Our uniform sweatshirt is not too thick so can be worn as extra layer as needed with or without our coat jackets in the warmer months.
♦ Winter Hats – Biggle style are great to keep the wind/rain off the neck and ears and Didriksons again offer a great good quality range, however a warm beanie can be just as effective. We have optional uniform beanie hats that are available from Caseys in Blackfen. Again hats will need downgrading for warmer months. Caseys stock ADO summer hats for those warmer days!
♦ Socks – Outdoor thermal hiking style socks from any good outdoor shop are highly recommended for all children for the autumn, winter and spring months for both comfort and insulation.
♦ Footwear – Waterproof outdoor boots or good quality snow boots are a very good option as opposed to wellies as they allow a firmer grip for running and climbing and are far warmer and more comfortable for feet than most wellies. Good quality trainers with ankle support regularly sprayed with waterproofing spray can also be an alternative option. Some good quality wellies with suitable thermal socks will also be fine as long as the wellies have a good grip. If you opt for outdoor boots It is still useful to have some wellies as extra for simplicity for children to get them on and off independently on warmer days.
♦ Sample Gloves 2 to 3 Years - Winter gloves to consider for 2 to 3 years - Although mittens are not always ideal as they can restrict the children's dexterity, it is very difficult to find waterproof finger gloves for our youngest age group of children. It is more important in the coldest winter months that hands are toasty and warm therefore our preference and suggestion for our youngest children in our preschool is the Didriksons waterproof and zippable mittens to enable them to learn to put them on and take them off independently. These match the waterproof and insulation level brand of our outdoor suits.
♦ Sample Gloves 3 to 4 Years - Winter gloves to consider for 2 to 3 years - Regatta - Mountain Wear - Cotswold Outdoor - Didriksons/ - Helly Hansen - Winter gloves, storm or ski gloves. Look for waterproof, insulated, breathable fabric. Mittens are not ideal for our older children's development as they need to be able to retain movement and use of fingers for activities. However if your chid has particularly small hands, then please revert to waterproof, insulated mittens as it is more important their hands are warm and dry for those particularly cold months.
We like these following examples of storm and ski gloves that are waterproof, windproof and breathable with Milatex fabric for protection against the weather. They are also insulated for added warmth and comfort. Features include an adjustable wrist strap, soft nose wipe and one handed cuff adjusters. The smallest size measures 6 cm across the hand width. Please review the size guide to verify if this would be suitable for your child. Recommendations HERE>
There are quite a lot of suitable gloves on this site HERE> which vary from high end range/price to this good value regatta pair, avoid any that only state windproof or knitted. Gloves with wrist straps are very useful as they allow them to be tightened with room for growth. It can prove difficult when children are still preschool age to get suitable gloves that are not too large.
Gloves will need to be downgraded to suitable thinner ones in the warmer seasons, however waterproof is key for rainy seasons as we will still have outdoor sessions whatever the weather.
Parents-carers - Please note, these are just recommendations and ideas from some of our collective experience leading outdoor sessions for children and we cannot guarantee any particular product. There is no pressure to buy any or all of these items, this information is intended only as some useful guidelines to help keep your children warm, dry and comfortable in our sessions.
Please note that as product links change frequently you may find some of the above links are broken on occasion. Please do let us know if so by dropping a line to firstname.lastname@example.org in order for us to update the page for all parents-carers.
Updated July 2019
Mini Explorers Checklist
[ ] Any Required Medication (including allergy medication if needed)
[ ] Packed Lunch (If not having cooked lunches)
[ ] Refillable Named Drink Bottle
[ ] Named Preschool Uniform And Suitable Clothing
[ ] Outdoor Waterproof Suit, Polo Shirt and Sweatshirt
[ ] Spare Trousers, leggings, Underwear and Socks
[ ] Warm and Thick Slipper/Walking Socks (for indoor or roundhouse sessions)
[ ] Named Hat or Cap Suitable For The Seasons
[ ] Comfortable Trainers or Outdoor Boots (Note: footwear can get very muddy!)
[ ] Named Wellies or Waterproof Outdoor Boots
Please ensure all of your child’s items are labelled with their name to help the preschool team return items back to you. We request that all items are labelled, including drink bottles, hats, gloves, any clothing, outdoor waterproof suit, all footwear, sun cream etc.
We have got together with the team at mynametags.com to offer you the perfect solution. You can also help us to fundraise by purchasing personalised name tag labels through mynametags.com with the link on our website or by quoting code 83560. The school then receive £2 for each set purchased!
mynametags.com provide a quick and easy way to label your child's possessions. Thanks mynametags.com!