From flyverdragt to termotøj, when you’re new to Denmark and have never heard of these things, it can be hard to work out what your child should be wearing and when.
For Lydia’s first year of Danish nursery (vuggestue) we stuck to our English-purchased outdoor clothes. But after a few comments from her pædagoger (“these are no good” were said about the English version of waterproof trousers – yep Danes are direct – and particular when it comes to good outdoor wear), we converted to the Danish way pretty quickly.
In børnehave (kindergarten) children have to try and dress themselves for outside play from the age of 2 years and 10 months, and they are outside around 3 hours a day whatever the weather.
In Lydia’s børnehave, posters were put up to remind parents exactly what the children needed, to be both warm and able to dress themselves and I’ve found it a useful reminder.
The winter poster emphasises the need for a warm flyverdragt, fleece-lined boots that the child can easily take on and off – not with laces (snørestøvler), a warm elefanthue, warm under layers and the children should have waterproof ski-like gloves (vandtætte) not fabric ones (fingervanter).
The autumn poster recommends termotøj and regntøj that the children can easily take on and off if they need to go to the toilet. It says fabric gloves are fine, wellies are important, which can be with lining and the children need a hat or elefanthue.
So here’s a full breakdown of what you need, to dress like a Danish child in all weather.
The all-in-one snow suit for winter (vinter). Lydia’s pædagog recommended the Reima brand but they’re all pretty good in Denmark. These brands here are Thinsulate, Reima and VRS.
A quilted jacket and trousers for both autumn (efterår) and spring (forår). You can get them fleece-lined if you want but it doesn’t matter too much as you can always layer up. They’re not waterproof like regntøj but water and wind resistant. We have used Mikk-Line and Celavi brands. The brand Wheat is also popular but a bit more expensive.
Waterproof jacket and trousers for wet but not freezing weather, so used in autumn (efterår) and spring (forår). These are the Danish-standard of waterproof clothing and very good quality. Popular brands include Celavi.
The hat all Danish children wear, a lot of the year-around. This balaclava comes in varying thickness from thin cotton to wear during spring, to merino wool during the cold winter. The vuggestuer and børnehaver don’t like the children wearing scarves (halstørklæde) so the choice of hat is always an elefanthue.
Gloves. Fabric ones for the autumn (fingervanter) but waterproof (vandtætte) or thick ski-type gloves for the winter. Stock up one these because they always go missing!
Wellie boots. We always kept a spare pair at vuggestue and børnehave with thick socks nearby.
Fleece-lined winter boots. This is recommended for playing outside during winter. We got some affordable ones from the supermarket Kvickly.
Trainers for the autumn (efterår) and spring (forår). But always have wellies (gummistøvler) on stand by for jumping in those mudderpøle (muddy puddles).
The children also wear indoor shoes or slippers at børnehave, which you can buy from Kvickly or children’s clothes shops.
Second hand shops
Kitting out your child with all this can all be quite costly but luckily, second-hand children’s clothes shops are big in Denmark. We rarely bought anything new and used the following:
Mødrehjælpen shops (translated as mothers’ help) – dedicated to children’s clothes, toys and equipment.
Redbarnet shops (Save the Children) – dedicated to children’s clothes, toys and equipment.
Børneloppen in Valby – like a permanent flea market for children’s items.
Løppemarked – flea markets, which are very popular during the spring and summer.
Lidkøb in Østerbro
The app Reshopper where parents sell on lots of good children’s items. My friend’s child ripped a hole in his flyverdragt one day at børnehave but a quick search on Reshopper meant she could go and pick up a new one that evening for 100kr.
D.B.A which is good for all things secondhand (like Gumtree in the U.K.)
Now you’re all set to let your child play outside the Danish way!