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Outdoor preschool- napping outside in winter and need help with gear

Hello!  I'm new to this community but not to REI nor to the outdoors.  I run a small preschool, and we've been able to re-open post-covid because we can be almost entirely outdoors all summer (except for bathroom breaks).  Fall and spring present particular challenges, but napping 3-5 y.o.'s outdoors in the winter in Massachusetts presents a particular set of challenges I'm ill-equipped to plan for!  I'm envisioning that each child needs a short sleeping bag rated to 0º, a single tent small tent (bc of covid they can't be in a tent together), a pad, and maybe a sleeping bag liner.  I understand that no one can give me advice about the absolute safety of napping kids outdoors with specific gear, but if you HAD to plan for it, what do you think we'd need?  Thanks in advance for you advice!

2 Replies

What a great question! I have some initial thoughts, but I am sure others will add some too. As a visual thinker, I immediately thought of a circle of kids taking a nap with a central camp fire - so the kids are like the spokes on a wheel, or the petals on a flower... But okay, some specifics. A minimum of Sleeping bag, and pads for sure, but with little kids you don't need a super plush sleeping pad. In my experience kids will sleep on anything as long as they are warm, so a simple sleeping pad like a ridge rest, or z-lite should work. Temperature ratings for kids bag can be tough as very few use the EN rating system. You might have to hunt for an accurate zero degree bag for kids. You could use a sleeping bag liner to boost the temp of a kids bag, but if you find a good reliable kids bag you probably won't need a liner. 

Instead of a tent, I envision oversized tarps that could have several kids under them. No walls to trap viruses, but a roof that will protect from rain and snow. 

Done right, these kids could be really Snug and have an awesome outside nap!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

Thank you for this Brett!  I really appreciate your insights!