One of the best things that has happened to our family over the last year is that we are spending more time outdoors. As I learn about what’s helpful for our crew to thrive outside, I’ve come to highly value quality outdoor clothing.
Having the right gear allows our family to be outside regardless of what the weather is doing. We’ve even come to savor the rainiest of days! When it starts to downpour my kids want to run outside and splash, dance, slide down the hill, and chase water down the street. We have so much FUN outside when it rains!
I’ve learned from wise parents who have gone before me, done a little learning the hard way, and made some fantastic discoveries of my own. Here are my tips for getting the best rain gear so you too can enjoy the rainy days:
1. Purchase a quality raincoat, rain pants, and boots for each child.
This can get spendy, so check out the second-hand stores, use the Buy Nothing Facebook groups, or even inquire at some nature centers or outdoor schools to see if they have any gear they no longer need.
If you have multiple children, select clothing colors that can work for any of your kids. I tend to go with more gender-neutral colors and solid colors vs. patterns. This way you may spend a lot of money upfront, but the gear can be passed down to each of your children.
2. Purchase rain pants with adjustable cuffs.
Some rain pants have elastic cuffs, and that’s helpful too. Whatever you can find that gives your child a tight fit around the outside of the rain boot will help them stay dry longer. Additionally, adjustable cuffs allow a slightly larger size of pants to be used for a younger child without the cuffs dragging on the ground and getting damaged.
3. Be sure that the raincoats you get have waterproof seams.
This is one I learned the hard way! Trust me.
4. Extend the rain play season.
If you plan to extend the rain play season into slightly cooler weather, purchase rain gloves. A friend of mine has these for her kids and they are amazing.
5. Get gear for yourself too!
I used to send just the kids out to play in the rain, but a year ago I purchased gear for myself and we’ve had so much fun exploring together.
I want to add that rain gear is (obviously) not necessary to play in the rain. Some warm, rainy days are perfect for the kids to run barefoot through puddles and feel the rain cascading down their faces. These are wonderful ways to play! Purchasing rain gear for our family was a fantastic investment because it allowed us to get out when the temps were a little cooler. Our gear allowed us to stay dry longer and extend our outdoor fun. Our rain gear has become as necessary to us as our winter gear. When spring rolls around each year, I check rain gear sizes for each kid and make sure we have what we need for everyone to be properly outfitted. Then I eagerly watch the forecast for the first rainy day!