Nature Play


Come Prepared to Have Fun & Inevitably Get Messy!

Each day children should come prepared with an extra set of season appropriate clothing.

  • Socks
  • Comfortable Pants
  •  Underwear 
  • T-Shirt or Long Sleeve T-Shirt
  • Sweater, Hoodie, Fleece Jacket

** Jess' Team has lockers and drawers for the children's extra clothing**

Winter Gear Guide


  • Hooded
  • Insulated, windproof and water resistant (puffer jackets with no shell get damp & cold)
  • Well fitting with room for snow pant bibs and layering underneath

Brand recommendations and tips: 

  • Some of the big box store brands like Old Navy/Walmart/Joe Fresh are not warm enough for our colder winter days and prolonged outdoor play, but can work if layered. Another consideration is they are not as waterproof, so take longer to dry out for next play session. We play outside in the am & pm as a full day nature immersion program.

Snow pants

  • Insulated and water resistant
  • Fit over winter boots with ease
  • Well fitting – not too tight around the tummy, roomy enough to comfortably fit over sweat pants and winter clothing or layers

Neck Gator or Balaclava

  • Fleece neck gator works really well
  • A size that is large and roomy enough to be pulled right up around the child’s cheeks and nose as needed in the wind and frigid temperatures
  • Please avoid scarves, they tend to hang down and get in the way of children playing, increase risk of strangulation and need to be tied on by an adult
  • Wool gets wet and stretchy and many children complain it is itchy

Brand recommendations and tips: 

  • Dollarama & Walmart carry inexpensive fleece neck gators and balaclavas. Some parents make a modification, cut the purchased gator and add velcro for a tear away feature for added safety.


Mittens are best for keeping hands warm on cold and snowy days. Little ones often find they get in the way of picking up objects and feeling the snow, so they tend to come on and off a lot! There is greater potential for them to get lost.

  • Long gauntlets with elastic cuffs and Velcro or buckle wrist straps to keep snow and cold air out and mitts on hands. 
  • Short mitts do not work for playing in the snow
  • Mitts must fit over or under your child’s winter jacket sleeve with ease. If the mitt fits over the sleeve it acts as a gator which is great, it is easier to put back on in the cold air and stays on the child's hands
  • Insulated, waterproof and well fitting. We can’t get mitts back on a child’s hands if they don’t fit well and are a little damp. Choose a roomier fit.
  • No wool or fleece for cold days or snow, they aren’t warm enough or waterproof
  • 2 pairs of mittens are needed. Often one pair gets wet during morning play and the other is needed in the pm.
  •  If you are investing in an expensive pair of mitts, choose a less expensive 2nd pair for backup and chilly days (like Hot Paws).
Brand recommendations and tips: 
  • Brands like Hot Paws generally don’t cut it for early mornings, frigid temps or prolonged play in the snow, but they are work when the temp is around -15.
  • Stonz have worked well (roomy fit, warm and durable) & Kombi (some styles have zipper pocket for hand warmers). We strongly prefer mitts that have velcro, buckle or cinch around the wrist so they don't slide off the child's hands & keep snow out. Especially important for our youngest team members who's hands we are often holding & who like to flap their arms.


    Non-itchy fabrics like fleece or fleece lined wool hats

    Well fitting – must cover the ears & forehead, ear flaps are cozy

    Fit under the child’s jacket hood when pulled up

    Chin strap or ties for younger children so they don’t pull it off as easily


  • Temperature Rating of -40 is required
  • Sturdy, waterproof and well fitting, insulated snow boots with room for thicker socks
  • No ankle boots, mid or tall keeps snow out
  • Snow pants must fit over the boots. Some boots have a fur embellishment around the top, please make sure your child’s snow pant leg fits over the boot with ease
Brand recommendations and tips:
  • Stonz, Sorel, Kamik
  • No booties please
  • You can make or buy insulating insoles inexpensively to add to your boots for added warmth
  • Thin ankle socks usually slide down in boots and need to be adjusted frequently (difficult in the cold snow) and aren’t warm enough in the winter

Base Layer (Synthetic or wool. Not cotton)

  • Thick Socks:  Two pairs 
  • Thermal Shirt 
  • Thermal pants or a pair of sweatpants we can put over top of the child's day pants

*Cotton is not a good choice for cold days. It retains moisture and draws heat away.  When the children sweat they will get cold

Brand recommendations and tips:

  • Wee Woolies are a comfortable & warm baselayer.  A less expensive option are fleece pants & tops (ex. fleece pajamas)

Optional Equipment 

  • Winter Helmets for sledding 

Please check your child’s bag for wet gear each night. Winter gear needs to be fully dried out each evening for the next day. Brands like Joe Fresh/Old Navy are less waterproof.

Your child attends a nature and outdoor play childcare, We follow the motto ‘there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing choices’. We do recommend investing in good quality mitts and boots because they will get a lot of use here and your child needs to be safe and warm outside. Check out used items locally at Great Things in Store, Trail Blazers or online Varagesale.

Summer Gear Guide


  • Hooded
  • Windproof 
  • Water Resistant/Proof

Sun Hat 

  • We recommend hats that cover the child's ears, neck, and face to protect the child from the sun
  • Chin strap and/or adjustable fit

Footwear: Closed Toed Shoes Required

We are walking, hiking and bike riding throughout the day proper footwear is extremely important

  • NO Flip Flops or Croc clogs
  • Running shoes/ Hiking Shoes 
  • Closed toed sandals
Brand recommendations & tips
  • KEEN closed toed sandals have worked well for all summer activities including creek play

Rain Suit or Splash Pants 
  • Durable 
Brand recommendations & tips
  • Oaki Kids Rain Gear, MEC Kids Newt Suits, are very durable & waterproof. Tuffo Muddy Buddy's work well and are less expensive, but also less durable & waterproof.

Base Layer

  • Shorts, pants
  • T-shirt, Long sleeve shirt
  • Hoodie, Sweater, Fleece 

Bike and Bike Helmet


Choosing a Safe Sunscreen



Bug Spray

Choosing a Safe Bug Spray


Water Play (includes creek wading, sprinkler, wading pool etc...)
  • Swimsuit, rash guards are preferred, provide more coverage and protection from sun and also scrapes from logs, and rocky creek bottom, easier sunscreen application
  • Water shoes or sport sandals
  • Towel

Optional Equipment 

  • Biking Gloves, Elbow Pads, Knee Pads
  • Rash guard

On sunny days please ensure your child is coming prepared with their first layer of sunscreen. Sunscreen will be applied every 3-4 hours with the sunscreen provided by parents. 

Spring/Fall Gear Guide


  • Warm fleece for layering

Rain Suit or Rain Jacket & Splash Pants 
  • Durable
  • Waterproof
  • Well fitting with room for layering underneath
  • Elasticized well fitting hood that stays up in the wind and rain
Brand recommendations & tips
  • Oaki Kids Rain Gear & MEC Kids Rain Suits have worked well. Wind pants are not waterproof enough for puddles and wet and muddy play

Sun Hat

  • We recommend hats that cover the child's ears, neck, and face 


  • Warm
  • Waterproof


Rubber Boots 

  • Waterproof & durable
Brand recommendations & tips
  •  Bogs, Crocs, Stonz,  Kamik, Weather Spirits (inexpensive Walmart) are sturdy and long lasting. In our experience the flimsier boots wear out very quickly and won't last a season. 

Base Layer

  • Shorts, pants
  • T-shirt, Long sleeve shirt
  • Hoodie, Sweater, Fleece