Exploring the great outdoors is fun for all the family, but it’s essential that kids keep warm and dry when playing outside. The end of summer shouldn’t be a signal to stay indoors or the end of their fun. Here are a few simple methods to make sure your children are protected as it starts to get colder.

Adding a layer underneath clothing is the first and most important step to staying warm during the colder months. With a good quality set of kids’ thermals, you won’t have to worry about piling on too many other layers, which can be uncomfortable for your child. Thermals are a great inexpensive investment, keeping the kids warm and snug without much thought at all. They are comfortable and cosy, so can even be worn around the house when it gets cold.

Avoid awkward materials such as denim and suede as they can get very uncomfortable when wet, taking a long time to dry out. Micro-fleece jackets aren’t as bulky as regular fleeces but add some extra insulation. You may want to put an extra layer on top of one depending on just how cold it is, such as a soft shell jacket or a gilet. Splashing in puddles is one way kids make the most of the bad weather. Let them dance in the rain without worrying by wrapping them up in some waterproofs. All in one rain suits are a good option for little ones, or a waterproof rain jacket over their thermals and warm clothes for older children. If it’s cold rather than rainy, a thick winter with a hood will help keep the heat in.

According to The Telegraph, keeping the hands and feet warm is vital. Prolonged cooling can cause non-freezing cold injuries such as chilblains, Raynaud’s disease or even trench foot. This can be easily avoided by making sure your child has a pair of thick gloves and socks whenever they go out in the cold. This also ensures they don’t heat up their cold hands too fast as this can also cause the small itchy swellings known as chilblains. Ears tend to get cold very quickly too, so cover every base by getting your child a hat that can cover their ears comfortably.

As well as a pair of thick socks, some good quality waterproof shoes are essential to prevent leaks that cause chilly toes. Snow boots may sound extreme, but they have a comfortable protective lining that is perfect for the winter months when the temperature drops even more. If you’re more worried about the rain, lined wellies or walking boots will keep both the water and the cold out while giving your child extra grip so they don’t fall over slippery puddles or sleet. Gaiters are a good addition as they protect the legs and ankles for some extra coverage.

It’s not just all about clothes, however. It may surprise you, but carrying some snacks and hot drinks can help keeping the kids warm. This is because your body tends to burn calories faster when it’s cold to keep your body warm, so it’s important to eat enough throughout the day to prevent losing calories. A flask is a great investment as you can fill it with hearty soups or hot chocolate, which children are sure to love. Have a hot meal on the table if they won’t be outdoors for long – it won’t keep them dry, but it’s sure to warm them up quickly and gain back any calories lost in the cold. If you need some inspiration, the Metro have a list of the top winter comfort foods.