Choosing an outfit for the playground can be tough! You need to balance looking cute with safety and comfort. If you are trying to put together playground clothes for your kids, here are eight tips to help you to choose the perfect outfit for playing outside.
- Choose durable pants.
Pants often bear the brunt of activity on the playground, so it’s super important to choose garments made out of a durable material that can stand up to slides and scrambling. Denim, cotton, polyester and similar fabrics are a good choice. Avoid delicate fabrics such as linen, lace, seersucker, etc. that will easily rip. Even if the weather is hot, your kids should wear pants to the playground. Shorts and skirts leave too much of their legs exposed, which can potentially lead to scrapes and sunburns. After all, it’s better that they rip their clothes than scrape their skin, so give your little lady some extra protection with little girls’ pants.
- Put on long sleeve shirts.
In a similar vein, kids should also wear long sleeve shirts to the playground, even when the weather is hotter. Like with the pants, this extra fabric will protect them from scrapes and sunburns. If you are worried about them overheating, then choose shirts made from breathable fabrics, such as cotton or performance polyester. Keep an eye on them as they run around and make them take a break to get in the shade and drink some water if they look flushed.
- Skip open-toed shoes.
You probably wouldn’t wear open-toed shoes while running, so why would you want your kid to do the same? Open-toed shoes might be breathable during the summer, but they also make it way more likely that your kid will stub their toe or scrape their feet. Putting them in closed-toed shoes — preferably sturdy tennis shoes with grippy soles — will keep their feet safe while they scramble around the playground. Thankfully, there are lots of cute little kids’ shoes available, so you don’t have to sacrifice on fashion in order to protect their tiny feet.
- Leave the accessories at home.
Yes, kids look adorable in cute hats and headbands — but those sorts of extraneous accessories should be left at home when you’re going to the playground. Your kid is likely to take it off or lose it at the playground, and then you’ll never see that cute hat again. Accessories also pose a risk of getting caught in playground equipment, potentially causing abrasions. Give yourself some peace of mind and just keep their playground outfits simple and you won’t regret leaving the accessories at home or in the car.
- Select the right outerwear.
As the weather cools off, your kids will likely need to don coats whenever they head to the playground. Keep a variety of outerwear on hand, from light rain jackets for summer storms to heavy parkas that can handle winter weather. If your kids play in really cold weather, then you will also need to invest in some additional items such as hats and gloves. They can always take the layers off if they warm up while they run around, so err on the side of caution and send them with a jacket just in case.
- Don’t wear their best clothes.
It’s tempting to make your kids look cute at the playground, we know. After all, dozens of their peers, as well as their parents, are going to see them, and their smiling faces make for great photo ops. However, you shouldn’t put your kids in clothing that you aren’t willing to have them get ripped or stained (or both). Playgrounds are pretty safe but accidents can still happen, and kids can be rough on their clothes when they play anyway. Just like the accessories, save the cute children’s clothing at home for special occasions when the kids won’t be rolling around in the dirt.
- Watch out for hazards.
Before sending the kids out to play, do a once-over of their outfits for any potential hazards. For instance, long hair can get caught in playground equipment, so it’s a good idea to tie your child’s hair back if it’s very long. If they have bangs, you may want to clip them out of the way so they’re not falling in your child’s eyes as they play. If they are wearing a hat, make sure that it is a style that will stay put, such as a baseball hat or beanie (a hat can also be used to secure their hair out of the way). Also, make sure they don’t have any accessories such as necklaces or scarves that could get caught on something.
- Remember the sunscreen.
Sunscreen isn’t technically clothing or an accessory, but it is an essential for the playground. Children’s skin is very delicate and burns easily, so if they are going to be out in the sun for more than a few minutes, then you should apply sunscreen to their exposed skin. When choosing a sunscreen, make sure that it has at least an SPF 30 rating (and ideally higher), protects against both UVA and UVB rays and is water-resistant. If your kid has sensitive skin, then specifically look for kids’ or fragrance-free sunscreen formulations, which are usually free of common irritants. Sunscreens are available in many different forms — including creams, sprays, sticks and gels — so you can choose the one your kids like most.
We hope that these ideas will help you pick out the perfect playground outfits for your kids, and have fun the next time you’re at the playground!