Try Before You Buy – Outdoor Clothing Boxes

What is this all about?

Creative STAR have put together several boxes of outdoor clothing  that schools and pre-school settings can borrow, for free, for up to one month at a time. Children try the clothes out to find out which work best for them. This means that if a school or setting decide to develop a stock of outdoor clothing, then they have experience of different sorts and can make a more informed decision that has meaningfully involved children of all ages.

NOTE: At the moment this service is only available in NE Scotland.

Key aims

  • Children are actively involved in trialling the different clothes and give their opinion as to the clothing which they believe works best
  • The children learn about how to manage outdoor clothing. For example developing a system to dry wet clothing, learn how to manage coming inside and dealing with any mud or mess, etc.
  • Classes may use the box as a springboard into an enterprise project and take responsibility for fund raising for a class set of clothes
  • Enthusiasm and interest is generated by trying out the clothes – This makes going outside purposeful
  • That it’s an opportunity for parents and carers to see the range of clothing, the positive impact it has on the children’s comfort levels and experience of being outside – They can also provide valuable feedback and advice
  • Schools and settings save money buy making an informed choice about the best clothing to buy

How does it work?

  • A school or setting should get in touch with Creative STAR to find out when a box is available. if there is a waiting list, you will be told how long it is that you may have to wait. You can reserve a box in advance. This can be helpful for primary classes in particular.
  • Your class or group may borrow the box for anything from a few weeks to a half a year. Please use the clothes in a normal way. Let children wear them outside, get them dirty, etc. Stains will happen and dirt will become ingrained in some of the clothes as part of normal use.
  • The clothes are cleaned prior to returning. Check the label of each item to see the cleaning methods and instructions given and follow these directions. This is an important part of borrowing the clothing in that some outdoor clothes can take a long time to dry and this can be worth remembering.
  • Every item should be put back in the box before returning. Schools or settings may be charged for lost items. If an item becomes torn or broken, let Creative STAR know. Wear and tear will happen and it enables a replacement item to be ordered. Saying this, don’t go to extremes when testing – using the clothes as a tug of war rope, or stamping them into mud is not okay.

What sort of clothing is in the box and how many items are there?

Every box will contain around 20-24 sets of clothing. The clothing includes:

  • Dungarees
  • Jackets
  • Trousers
  • The Early Years boxes and the Baby box (0-3yrs old) also includes all-in-one suits.

Who supplies the clothes?

The companies that have supplied the clothing are all small businesses who are passionate about outdoor play and learning. They have generously donated clothing or given discounts towards the establishing the boxes. There is no compulsion to use these companies but they would love to have you feedback about their products. Companies include:

It is also worth visiting the outdoor clothing advice page.

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