Playground Gnomes

As a mother of 5 little kids, I’m continuously encouraging them to go outside and PLAY!! My view is the less time they spend inside the house, the less mess they’re making inside that I have to clean up!  They must be sick and tired of me going on about the need for them to run around, get some exercise, breathe fresh air and to keep their dirty shoes outside!!   I often catch them playing in the yard without coats, shoes and sometimes even clothes…how scandalous!  Well, this is Scandinavia and we are trying to fit in!

However, this ‘lack of clothing’ malarkey simply won’t cut it with the upcoming winter weather.  Children in Scandinavia play outdoors regardless of the what the elements have in store.  The only problem is dressing them properly so they stay warm and dry while enjoying the great outdoors.   So the solution to all this my friends is to turn your children into little “Playground Gnomes”.

All children in Scandinavia wear waterproof, fleece-lined, brightly colored, playground suits that are either one piece, or two piece (overalls and jacket) while out and about exploring the playground.  To add to the cuteness of their look, they will also be sporting waterproof boots, hats and gloves.  Basically, they look like little gnomes (especially the preschoolers) hobbling and bobbling about the playground.  While visiting a preschool in Iceland a few years ago, I noticed that even the teachers on playground duty wore similar, adult size, playground suits.  How cool is that!  Literally!

This determination to enjoy the outdoors, despite the harsh climate, demonstrates the lengths that Scandinavians will go to in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  It also shows that learning to enjoy being outdoors is something that is instilled during childhood.  I completely agree with this ideology because if something becomes the ‘norm’ from an early age, then usually it develops in to a habit by the time the child is an adult.  This is probably why I see so many Scandinavians of all ages out cycling, running, walking, hiking etc…despite the weather.  Simply stated…being Scandinavian means being one with nature.

So go, get your kids suited up and turn them into Playground Gnomes this winter!


These are some of my favorite companies that sell playground suits:

Muddy Puddles

Mywear Active at ICA stores

Newport Kidsport

Polarn o Pyret 

66 ° North

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