A good friend of mine has a simple theory about how to successfully introduce children to the activities you want them to enjoy in life. Just make sure they are always warm, dry and comfortable. Make the activities fun, let them do it with people they like spending time with and make sure they get fed and watered at the end.
We have been putting this theory into practice with dog walks since Theo was born and it’s proved pretty successful. We walk (or cycle) to school and back every day and do longer cross-country walks at the weekends. There’s always a hot chocolate waiting at home at the end and we try to ensure he’s kitted out for whatever the weather throws at him.
People seem to surprised that we still walk to school in the rain, but children often enjoy bad weather more than sunshine and when you look at this picture you can start to understand why…
When Muddy Puddles asked us to review their 3 in 1 Explorer Jacket it was pretty much a match made in heaven, a small boy who loves the outdoors and a tough and versatile winter coat. The 3 in 1 coat comes with a fleece jacket which detaches from the waterproof outer and can be worn on its own or as a warm lining for the waterproof outer.
Jim who can be a little cynical about items we are given to review, immediately declared that it was “probably the best children’s coat he had ever seen” – Bold words indeed! But there was a tougher critic we had to run it by. Theo is notoriously picky about clothing and I was keeping everything crossed that he’d agree to wear it, a bit of a gamble considering it wasn’t in his favourite colour of red!
Fortunately after some initial reluctance to try it on, he’s worn it every single day since. With his unruly mop of surfer-boy hair, he looks a little bit like a Brit Pop singer and it keeps him both warm and dry.
I have heard from other parents that their sons have refused to wear coats with fur lined hoods because they are “girlie” or “tickly,” interestingly this version of the jacket (there are three others) is supposedly designed for girls as it is more pulled in at the waist. I picked it because I liked the fur hood and only realised it was gender specific later. If your boy or girl doesn’t like the trim it does detach for washing so you can always remove it.
Of course a winter jacket is only half the kit a small boy needs, footwear is quite important too and a couple of months ago we stumbled across the perfect boots to wear with our Muddy Puddles jacket. These waterproof sheepskin lined wellies are from Cuckooland.
When I first saw them on their website I didn’t believe they could possibly live up to the claim of being entirely waterproof, but after several months wear I am seriously impressed, I’ve even bought a pair for myself, although if I am completely honest they do look better on smaller feet and in the darker colour. The waterproof coating is only really visible close up, so most people just think they are a pair of Ugg boots.
Both the jacket and boots have had some pretty rigorous testing over the last few weeks with the harsh winter weather we have had on the south coast and I’m really pleased to be able to confidently recommend both. There is only one thing I would do to improve the jacket which would be to have it in a range of brighter colours… But then again there’s nothing in life that I don’t think could be improved by adding more brighter colours!