Learning how to navigate nature in all types of weather is an important skill, and one that our programs encourage for all participants. Cold and rainy days often scare people away from being outside. We believe with the right preparation, children can still have successful experiences in cold, rain, sleet, hail, and even snow! It's important for children to recognize the power of the elements, and also to start to have empathy and a sense of wonder about the animals that endure the elements every single day. Our bodies and behaviors, like the animals around us, can help us to survive.
USING OUR BODIES TO STAY WARM
In our programs, expect that on cold, rainy days we will stay continuously active. Children might run and move more than usual, so consider packing a couple additional high-protein snacks if it's a cold, wet day.
Our programs continue rain or shine, however, there are certain circumstances that will cause us to cancel class. If Portland Public Schools cancels, we cancel as well. If Portland Public Schools has a two-hour delay, plan to come to class unless you hear differently. High winds (sustained winds of 25 mph or more) bring ALL natural area staff out of our parks, and this includes Environmental Education. Any cancelled class will be refunded as a credit on the Portland Parks Account.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR CHILD FOR WET AND/OR COLD WEATHER
- Plan ahead. Check the forecast the night before!
- The ideal outfit for warmth = a couple warm wool, polyester, or acrylic layers under a good rain shell.
- Wear rain boots with warm, wool or synthetic socks.
- Wear rain pants if you have them.
- Wear hats and mittens until May! (You'd be surprised how much difference this makes for a happy kid.)
- Pack extra socks and mittens in the backpack.
Remember, we can always peel layers off when children get too hot, but we can't invent layers that stayed at home!