Layers are the key to making dressing children for cross-country skiing easy. Layers give the child the flexibility to adapt their clothing according to their needs that day. Without layers you can both under dress them and over dress them. An enthusiastic young skier can generate a great deal of body heat and perspiration even on the coldest days.
A warm polar fleece/wool toque or balaclava that protects all of the ears is essential. Headband and earmuffs can be worn on warmer days. Neck tubes are also a good idea.
A good pair or two of gloves or mitts is critical. Usually a young skiers hands are the first body part to become uncomfortable in the cold. Shelled thinsulate or polar fleece liners with a water repellent/waterproof shell are good.
Young skiers( 4-6 yrs) can wear a full snowsuit, as they don’t move fast enough to generate excess body heat. After that , as they become more energetic and skilled they need to be dressed so that excess heat and moisture are allowed to dissipate away from the body. Dressing in layers should be used for these children. These layers can be removed or replaced easily.
The layer next to the skin should be made from a material (polypropylene) that keeps moisture and perspiration away from the skin and retains its insulating qualities when wet. Lifa, Patagonia , Sierra Designs are some of the many brand names that you can purchase. What ever you do avoid cotton!
Insulated snowpants are a good idea for windy and cold days.
Light wind-pants or rain pants over one or two thin layers of polypropylene or polar fleece may provide sufficient warmth and more freedom of movement and still repel the snow on warmer days.
Polypropylene shirts covered by a polar fleece jacket and on windy/very cold days a windbreaker or light insulated jacket is a very simple way to keep the upper body clothed. It is quite warm, allows excess heat and moisture to escape and repels the snow as well
Avoid cotton. A wool blend with polypropylene or some other synthetic is ideal.
For children who tend to get cold feet you may want to send an old pair of big woolen socks with the toes cut out to pull over their bindings. Please send 2 pair of socks if required for a better fit.
Avoid cotton clothing (undergarments, socks, pants, and tops), as cotton is a very poor insulator when wet.