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Small Home Living in a Rainy Climate

As summer wound to a close, our four-year-old was spending hours each day playing outside. When you live in a small space, sending the kids outdoors is a great way to get them to use up some energy and for everyone to have a little separation from each other. Sunshine quickly starts bouncing off of the walls in our tiny living room when we're cooped up inside all day.

We live in a corner of the country where it rains pretty much non stop from November to April (or May or June). As the fall weather has been rolling in, I've longed for those long, sunny days of summer so Sunshine can go run around and enjoy all of the wonders to behold right outside our door.

Thus began a search for suggestions about how to make outdoor play a possibility even as the rainy season begins. I was excited to discover that I was not the only parent with this dilemma (hardly!), and that there really was an easy, affordable solution.

Enter the rain suit.

Imagine that a pair of coveralls and a rain coat had a baby, and that's what a rain suit is. It's a one-piece, head to ankle, waterproof suit that makes outdoor play possible year round.

We found one on Amazon made by Oakiwear, and Sunshine picked green. Just a few days later, it was in our hands. (Thanks Amazon Prime!)

Our first real trial of the suit came last Saturday, when we discovered we were under a flood warning right after we promised Sunshine we would take her to the pumpkin patch. After some discussion, Chris and I decided to bundle everyone up (including poor Sweetheart, whose own Oakiwear suit I didn't order in time to use on Saturday; it arrived this morning) and enjoy ourselves despite the weather.

The look of pure joy on my children's faces as they stomped around in puddles and picked out pumpkins was seriously amazing. I did my best to keep Sweetheart as warm and dry as possible with multiple layers of clothes, including fleece pajamas, under her waterproof coat, which worked but felt a little like a scene from The Christmas Story. Sunshine just wore her regular clothes with a fleece jacket under her Oakiwear rain suit, and she was able to run and splash and scoop up muddy pumpkins without me worrying about how wet and cold and miserable she would be in just a few minutes.

Sunshine was completely dry underneath when we stripped the muddy suit off her before heading home, and one of the workers at the pumpkin patch was so impressed that she had us help her find one on Amazon to buy for her own granddaughter.

One of my favorite things about the Oakiwear rain suit is how flexible the sizing is. All of the cuffs have velcro and are completely adjustable, plus there is an elastic drawstring around the waist to customize the fit. Sweetheart's 3T-sized yellow rain suit arrived today, and out of curiosity, I let Sunshine try it on, too. It fit a smidge short, but I think she could have worn it. It's a bit big on Sweetheart, who usually wears 24 month clothes, but with the wrists, ankles, and waistband tightened, she should be able to play in it without any trouble at all for the next couple of years. Sunshine's size 5 fits her great with room to grow as well.

The other great thing is that the Oakiwear rain suit folds up to be about the size of one of my husband's t-shirts. When storage space is at a premium, this matters!

After our muddy, wet escapade on Saturday, I put the rain suit in the washing machine on delicate, and it came out looking like new. Because of its waterproof nature, it didn't benefit much from the spin cycle, so I stuck it in the dryer on low with a dry towel for a minute or two just to stop it from dripping all over the floor, and then I hung it up to finish drying, though it was already pretty dry at that point.

The Oakiwear rain suit seems very well made, and if it gets my girls outdoors this winter, it will be well worth the $40 we paid for each one.

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