Weather Policy & Clothing Suggestions

See our Weather Policy, and scroll down for information about What to Wear.

Weather Policy

The Forest Playschool does not meet when temperatures are predicted at less than 15 degrees Fahrenheit by 10:00 a.m., or in the event of a wind chill warning or advisory. If early morning temps are very cold, school may start at 10:00 a.m. instead of 9:00 a.m. School may also be canceled due to thunderstorms, very heavy rain (more than 1 inch), or wind advisory. Extreme weather cancellation days will be made up at the end of the year.

Our program is about enjoyment, not endurance; however, some of our best school days have occurred during challenging weather conditions. Each winter, we rediscovered that extremely cold days can be especially beautiful in the forest when there is sunshine and fresh snow.

The Peterson Park field house is our emergency shelter. Children practice frequent storm drills in order to establish protocol for getting out of the woods quickly in an organized group.

Our official school weather information source is the Weather Underground, North Park University station.

Clothing Suggestions

General Comments about Clothing

  • It is easier to stay warm than get warm. A child cannot take of clothes s/he does not have, so please err on the side of over-dressing.

  • Every child will need a rain suit and waterproof boots.

  • Functional pockets are always a plus.

  • Layers should fit softly and loosely so as not to impede circulation.

  • Short shorts and dresses are discouraged, as children need protection from burrs, thorns, biting insects, and abrasive surfaces. If your child will not leave the house unless in a skirt or dress, try to convince her/him to wear jeans, pants, or layers of leggings underneath.  

  • Floaty polyester fabric, for instance ballerina skirts or similar, is hazardous around the fire and should not be worn on cold days.

Below 20 Degrees

  • Three layers of silk or wool tights, long underwear, and wool socks

  • Long-sleeved shirt, sweatshirt or heavy flannel, and wool sweater

  • Snowsuit, or down coat or similar and snowpants

  • Wool hat and balaclava

  • Scarf

  • Waterproof mittens or gloves

  • Substantial boots

40-50 Degrees

  • Cotton tights, 2 layers cotton socks or light wool socks

  • Undershirt and long-sleeved shirt

  • Snow pants, rain pants, or jeans

  • Down or fleece vest

  • Mid-weight coat

  • Stocking cap

  • Mittens

  • Boots or sneakers

50-60 Degrees

  • Cotton knee socks

  • Undershirt and long-sleeved button shirt

  • Rain pants or jeans

  • Soft coat

  • Light stocking cap

  • Light boots or sneakers

20-30 Degrees

  • Two layers silk or wool tights and/or long underwear, wool socks

  • Long-sleeved shirt, undershirt, and wool sweater

  • Snow suit, or down coat or similar and snowpants

  • Wool or fleece hat

  • Scarf

  • Waterproof mittens

  • Substantial boots

30-40 Degrees

  • Silk or wool tights or long underwear, wool socks

  • Several layers of long-sleeved shirt

  • Snowsuit, or down coat or similar and snowpants

  • Stocking cap

  • Mittens

  • Boots


60-70+ Degrees

  • T-shirt

  • Jeans or knee length shorts

  • Cotton knee socks

  • Sneakers or sports sandals with socks

  • Sun hat