At 47 degrees latitude, Bemidji has ever shifting weather patterns as we move through the seasons. In order to maximize our outdoor time, we need your help to adjust the type and quantity of your child’s clothing.
Staying warm and dry is one of the most important pieces in keeping your child happy and healthy at our school. When they are comfortable, they are more able to focus on learning and playing outdoors. They are more willing to participate in activities that may be wet or dirty when they know they will stay dry.
Good gear does not need to be fancy. Hand-me-downs and thrift store finds are often perfect. Outer layers need to be waterproof and windproof. These layers may need to be purchased new, while inner layers may be where you can save some cash. Please avoid media and cartoon characters on clothing items. Here are the layers we recommend:
Base-layer: The job of the base layer is to wick moisture away from the skin while also providing a breathable barrier. Wool, silk and fleece are great base layers.
Mid-Layer: The job of the mid-layer is to keep your child warm by creating air space between the skin and the elements. Fleece sweatshirts and wool sweaters work well in this layer.
Outer-layer: The job of the outer layer is to protect your child from the elements. Making sure rain and snow gear is water-proof and wind-proof, as well as breathable is essential.
Boots: In our climate, your child will need two pairs of boots. A waterproof rain boot for spring, summer and early fall paired with wool socks in cooler weather works best. Insulated winter boots paired with two sets of wool socks are necessary. Consider purchasig a boot that is one size larger than your child’s normal size and adding a wool sock layer will create that air space which assists in insulation. For Kindergarten age, Bogs brand or something similar that is rated to below zero and easy to pull on without ties is recommended.
Mittens: Providing multiple pairs of waterproof mittens in fall, winter and spring will keep your child's hands warm and dry. We do not recommend wearing gloves as they do not allow fingers to stay warm together. Lighter mittens in fall and spring are helpful on days that start out cool.
Indoor Shoes: Comfort indoors and in the yurt is important too. We require that children bring a soft and flexible indoor shoe with a sole such as short moccasins, ballet slippers, or a wool slipper with a flexible sole.
Outdoor Shoes: Please send weather appropriate outdoor shoes for dry sunny days. A good supportive running shoe or a supportive closed toe sandal such as Keens work best. **No flip flops please.
*Cotton tends to sweat and doesn't do a great job at wicking moisture. We do not recommend cotton for any layer or socks.
*We do not hold children back from messy or wet activities unless there is a risk of injury. Instead, we help children learn to self-regulate with the elements in mind.
*A list of recommended choices for clothing and outdoor gear will be available at parent orientation.