The arrival of winter weather has some people wondering… 


“What can I do to make sure my child can be comfortable playing outside in the wind, cold, snow, and rain?”

Primitive Pursuits has been taking youth out in winter for over a decade, and at Ithaca Forest Preschool, we take preschoolers outside 5 mornings a week, year-round. So we’ve learned a few things about dressing kids for winter, and came up with these top 5 Dos and Don’ts:


  • dress in layers
  • focus on staying dry, both from the outside (snow and rain) and the inside (sweat, pee).
  • base the amount of insulation on temperature AND the amount of physical activity you expect.
  • pay special attention to hands and feet: wear warm, waterproof mittens, thick socks, warm boots. Make sure boots start out dry inside!
  • wear a comfortable, warm hat with good coverage. Soft fleece tends to get better compliance than rough wool. Consider scarf/neck gaiter.


  • wear cotton—it absorbs moisture and conducts heat away from the body!
  • wear mittens or boots that allow snow in.
  • wear fleece or flannel on the outside where they can be “snow velcro”.
  • wear plastic or rubber boots that have no insulation—they aren’t warm enough and they trap moisture inside.
  • wear cotton socks!

Stay warm and we will see you in the woods!

Office Location:
Cornell Cooperative Extension, 615 Willow Ave., Ithaca, NY 14850
607-272-2292 | email Us

Preschool Location:
4-H Acres, 418 Lower Creek Rd., Ithaca, NY 14850

Ithaca Forest Preschool is a nature immersion program for children ages 3-5. Our program is run in cooperation with Primitive Pursuits, a project of Cornell Cooperative Extension.