School and nursery children wearing waterproof dungarees and splashing in puddles

Buying School Waterproofs - Outdoor Clothing for Schools and Nurseries

"We need to buy our school waterproofs for outdoor play, where do we start?"

Being given the job of choosing the perfect children's waterproofs for your school, Forest School or nursery can be quite a daunting task! There are so many different types of waterproofs and brands to choose from. Before you buy school waterproofs there are a few key questions you should ask: How are you going to get the best waterproofs for your budget? What about sizing? What is the best fabric for school waterproofs? How do you clean the waterproofs? How durable is the fabric? 

We advise schools and nurseries daily about buying school waterproofs so we've decided to put all our years of experience into this guide. Hopefully, by sharing with you our advice and guidance on the best waterproofs for children it will make the process of choosing the right children's school waterproofs quicker and easier for you.

Child in waterproof trouser splashing in puddle at school

Which fabric is best for school waterproofs?

When it comes to buying waterproofs for schools and nursery children you want to choose a fabric that is waterproof, easy to care for and of course it must be very durable. 

"Water and mud will literally run off this type of fabric."

Young children are more like to wear their waterproofs to sit in a puddle rather than climb a mountain, so the fabric that's best suited for school waterproofs is a polyurethane (PU) coated fabric, like the Didriksons kids waterproofs Galon fabric. It is 100% waterproof, durable, soft and doesn't require re-coating. It has an almost rubbery feel to it and water and mud will literally run off this type of fabric.

School waterproofs fabric

How much do you need to spend to get good quality children's school waterproofs?

There is a huge selection of waterproofs on the market. You can pick up a cheap set of school waterproofs but in the long run it will not be a cost-effective purchase. With waterproofs you really do "get what you pay for".  We've had many conversations with schools and nurseries over the years who have bought cheap school waterproofs and within six months they aren't working, usually they have either torn or the seams are leaking and the children are getting cold and wet. So they end up spending more money having to buy twice.

To get school waterproofs that are going to survive the daily rough and tumble you are going to need durable good quality clothing. Typically we would expect the waterproofs we supply to last at least 4 - 5 years in a school environment. Having said that we spoke to a Headteacher earlier this week who was buying her school waterproofs from us to replace her previous batch of Didriksons waterproofs that have finally come to the end of their life after 8 years of weekly use at her school.

Remember good quality school waterproofs aren't cheap but they are much much better value in the long run.

Children wearing waterproof dungarees and jacket sitting in a puddle

Which sizes of school waterproofs should you buy for specific classes?

With over ten years experience of selling school waterproofs we have a good idea of the size splits you'll need for a class of 30 children. Have a look at the table below where we've split out the sizes we would recommend for classes from Nursery to Year 6.

School Year Size range
Nursery 10 x 2-3 yrs, 15 x 3-4 yrs, 5 x 4-5 yrs
Year R 10 x 3 - 4 yrs, 15 x 4-5 yrs, 5 x 6-7 yrs
Year 1 15 x 4-5 yrs, 15 x 6-7 yrs
Year 2 5 x 4-5 yrs, 20 x 6-7 yrs, 5 x 8-9 yrs
Year 3 15 x 6-7 yrs, 15 x 8-9 yrs

Year 4

5 x 6-7 yrs, 20 x 8-9 yrs, 5 x 10-11 yrs

Year 5 20 x 8-9 yrs, 10 x 10-11 yrs
Year 6 5 x 8-9 yrs, 10 x 10-11 yrs

It you want to purchase a class set of school waterproofs we have bundles available to buy on line at discounted prices.

Which type of kids waterproofs should you buy?

Many schools come to us requesting children's waterproof trousers as opposed to dungarees. However we often recommend that the dungarees may be a better option. With dungarees the child gets waterproof coverage right up over their tummy and up their back. This means that on a damp but not rainy day children can go outside in just dungarees without a jacket and are almost fully covered.

Also, fitting children of different shapes and sizes is tricky but can be easier with dungarees as waist size is less of a concern and the shoulder straps prevent the dungarees slipping down. Having said this it is a bit more of a faff to go to the toilet wearing dungarees rather than trousers, so some planning is required there! Also sometimes Year 5 and 6 children see dungarees as babyish and so aren't very happy to wear a pair. 

On balance though we think that for school waterproofs dungarees are a better option than trousers as they are more versatile, easier to fit to a group and give more waterproof coverage.

How to clean children's school waterproofs without damaging them

The first rule of washing any waterproofs including school waterproofs is don't do it unless you really have to. Regular washing damages all types of waterproof fabric and will reduce the garments longevity. Also with the type of waterproof fabric we recommend for schools you mustn't tumble dry them or put them in direct contact with heat, for example you shouldn't lie the clothes directly onto a hot radiator.

In summary: wash the school waterproofs a little as possible; don't use fabric conditioner; let them air dry and make sure they are fully dry before you store them away over the holidays.

Here's a short video where we go into a little more detail about how to wash school waterproofs:

How to store kids wet weather gear

You'll want to make sure that your school waterproofs dry out between uses and aren't dumped in a box to fester! It’s best to hang the clothing on pegs to air dry inside or outside, if you want to dry them faster then turning them inside out is a good tip. Don't be tempted to use a tumble dryer or lie them directly onto a radiator as too much heat will damage the fabric. Simply hanging them on hooks to dry overnight is the best idea. If you are packing the waterproofs away for the Summer Holidays then make sure they are 100% dry before boxing them up.

How to easily repair waterproof trousers, dungarees and jackets

The PU waterproof fabric we recommend for schools is very durable but if a child snags their dungarees or jacket on a spiky branch or fence then they can rip. Don't worry though repairing these waterproof is very easy. For a few pounds you can buy waterproof repair patches which will seal up the hole and give the clothing a new lease of life. Here's a short video we made to explain how to repair Didriksons waterproofs:

School Waterproofs FAQs

Can we change the size split in a school waterproofs bundle?

Yes, you can order a bundle of school waterproofs, Didriksons dungarees or sets from our website in bundles of 20 or 30. Then email us to explain the size split you would prefer and we can then update your order.

We need to arrange a payment for our school waterproofs via bank transfer with terms, is this possible?

Yes, please email us with your order details and a purchase order number and then we can invoice your organisation with agreed terms for payment for the school waterproofs.

We have a limited budget, which school waterproofs should we buy?

If you just buy the dungarees for your school waterproofs you'll find them very versatile and useful all year round.

Can we use out Sports Premium and PE funding to buy school waterproofs

Increasingly schools are using their Sports Premium funding to purchase school waterproofs. By having school waterproofs available means children can benefit from year round outdoor physical activity, whatever the weather.

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