In September Aiden started nursery. It was the first time he has ever been away from me with strangers ever. I had been telling him how wonderful it would be and how many friends he would make / cool things he would learn for months in preparation, I actually think he wanted to start just so I would stop going on about it! Nursery is a big step for any child (and parent) but in our case we had the added concern of the weather. You see we have decided to sent Aiden to a forest school three mornings each week. A forest school where the kid’s spend a good 95% of their time outdoors and only take shelter in a hut* if the weather is seriously horrendous. *Actually two rather big huts with log burners and library so pretty cushtie actually!
When Aiden is outside though, which is the majority of his time at forest school, I wanted to make sure he was warm and dry. You see Aiden is just like me, we both love being outdoors but we can be right grumpy things if we get wet and cold. Sometimes cold and wet is the type of weather we get up here in bonnie Scotland, just sometimes mind! So to ensure my boy stays happy and carefree when playing outside here are the brands we wear.
I’ve been a huge fan of BUFF® for years and have worn one as a hairband daily for the last three and a half years since I started breastfeeding and my hair suffered. Imagine my excitement then when I discovered that they now have a HUGE range of Junior and Baby BUFF® products too. I chose a Star Wars Junior BUFF® (£14.25) for Aiden which not only looks exceptionally cool on him (he thinks so too!), but is extremely effective at keeping the heat in around his neck. Aiden doesn’t like his jacket buttoned all the way up (who does? It is annoying and itchy!) and I have often thought scarves were both impractical and dangerous on kids, but the BUFF® solves both those issues.
As well as the traditional BUFF®, you can also get hats from BUFF®. As soon as I spied this neon pompom ear beauty (£24) I knew it would be perfect for Aiden. You can get so many novelty hats these days but good quality ones that have wonderfully soft and thick lining and hold their shape are hard to come by. So if you want style and quality to keep your kid’s (and your own!) heads toasty, you really need to checkout the massive BUFF® online shop. Faye even insisted on joining the BUFF® family with this adorable Forest Friends Baby BUFF® (£14.25) All BUFF® fabric stretches so grows with them which is a blessing with these two forever sprouting and outgrowing their clothes.
If you are going to be out and about in Scotland you are going to need waterproofs. Dry Kids sent us these Navy Unlined Dungarees (£16.95) for Aiden and a pair of Raspberry Fleece Lined Dungarees (£19.95) for Faye when she is helping me drop off and collect Aiden from forest school. I really liked the fact you can buy them both lined and unlined as some days you need to be dry and warm and some days just dry. Aiden runs about more than Faye so on a warm Autumn afternoon the unlined option made sure he didn’t overheat but stayed dry. Faye is obviously younger and not quite as fast as Aiden yet (although she tries) so the fleece layer was a great addition and allowed us to stay out playing for longer. The straps adjust for height as well as there being additional popper buttons on the sides to change the waistband as the children grow. The dungarees are easy to wipe down after jumping in muddy puddles and as they are lightweight they are ideal for keeping in the back of the car, ‘just in case!’
One of the biggest issues living in Oban and trying to get kitted out for the cold weather is that if you want good brands, you have to shop online and hope for the best, size wise etc. Well that is until I discovered that Mountain Warehouse have opened a branch right here in town and also their products have absolutely outdone themselves in terms of quality and design in recent years.
Both the Raptor Kids Snow Jacket for Aiden (£34.99) and the Aviemore Kids ski Jacket (£24.99) for Faye are extremely well designed. You can tell great quality right off I always think by all the additional ‘stuff’. So there are zips and popper buttons and pockets all over, plus additional elastic and layers to ensure both wind and rain are kept at bay. I would expect this from the likes of Berghaus and The North Face but at a fraction of that cost, I was extremely impressed to see it in these Mountain Warehouse jackets. Also, from a purely aesthetic angle, they are cute as cute can be aren’t they? Aiden’s reminds me of my GREAT 80s snowsuits and Faye’s is a firm favourite of mine because it is a colour other than pink! Don’t get me wrong, I think pink looks lovely on her but it is nice to have a girl’s option in another colour too.
Aiden is wearing Soft hell Kids Walking Boots (£24.99) from Mountain Warehouse which he informed me were “so comfy I could climb up Everest and have a sleep!” comfy. Again the quality really stood out for me and the attention to detail in the lacing and stitching. I only have the kid’s in Clarks shoes normally but Aiden really needed a proper pair of walking boots and I must say I will definitely be back for a pair for Faye and another once Aiden has outgrown these ones.
Remember earlier I mentioned novelty hats being everywhere, well Mountain Warehouse have a huge fun range which is where Aiden’s Dragons hat (£8.49) and Faye’s frankly painfully adorable Fluff bomb Beanie hat (£7.49) also come from, however just like the Buff hat, these are high quality and seriously warm. There is no style over substance here, why choose between the two when you can have both!
On extra cold days layers are always going to be our friend. However, if you put layer upon layer of normal clothes on you end up a bit Michelin Man like and roll everywhere so Kozi Kids have the perfect solution in these Vasa Stripe Base Layers Set (£29). The kid’s thought they looked so fun and felt so comfy that I actually didn’t manage to get them out of the house the first time I put them in them as they didn’t want other clothes over them! Luckily I managed to convince them of their base layer purpose the following time and they have become extremely useful especially when the wind is blowing.
To go over these fab base layers Kozi Kids sent us a Waterproof Navy Dungaree and Jacket set (£49) for Aiden and a Reima Waterproof Pink Dungaree and Jacket set for Faye plus waterproof mittens (£9.80) for them both. The jacket hoods have a great peek which I haven’t seen on other lightweight waterproofs and reflective strips for peace of mind. We took to the beach on a rainy day to collect pebbles and the mittens in particular were a hit with Aiden who would normally keep his hands in his pocket if too cold. They have been added to the forest school bag!
Remember being a kid and loving wellies but hating how cold your feet were in them? Normal cotton socks were just not going to cut the mustard with Aiden for forest school so he and Faye have themselves a pair of extremely toasty Wigwam socks (£8). They are extra long and extra warm but also breathable which is very important when your child is running around in them for hours on end. Aiden loves his snuggly socks and has been known to try and convince me to even let him wear them with his normal trainers which is rather a squish. I have my own pair too and they are life savers on a cold morning dropping Aiden off.
So how do you dress your kid’s for colder outdoor exploration? Any other brands I really must checkout? Do you use any of these ones and do you love them as much as we do?
Disclaimer: We were sent these products in exchange for a honest and fair review. As always, all opinions are mine and truthful.