Must Haves for Kids Winter Clothes

posted in: Kids | 0

BRRR it’s cold outside today!  As I look out the window, it’s currently 6 degrees with a 16 mph wind, which makes it feel like -12.  ICK.  I guarantee the kiddos will not be playing outside today  🙁

Winters in Minnesota can be brutal.  This year, we have actually had a very mellow winter (knock on wood!)  Other parts of the country have had some pretty massive snow storms, however, and it makes me remember the importance of having the right winter clothes for your kids.  Even in Minnesota, where we supposedly know our stuff, I see parents making stupid decisions (sorry to be so blunt!) about what their kid wears outside.

Let me tell you a few things that are NOT okay:

  • Cotton gloves-of any shape or size.  These may work in the fall, but as soon as we have any moisture and the temp drops below 35 degrees, these are not acceptable.
  • Hoodless jackets
  • Flimsy shoes or any shoe that allows water to be absorbed
Having worked in child care for MANY years, I have assembled a list of the perfect gear for kids.  It keeps them warm and dry, and STAYS ON!
Note: I am not being paid to endorse any of the following products, they are all my own opinion.  However, if you buy using the link provided, I do get small percentage for advertising, but it doesn’t cost you anything!

  • Mittens– Should be waterproof, and have the long sleeve going up the arm.  Notice I said MITTENS, not gloves.  The reality of kids getting their fingers in 5 separate holes is none existent without a lot of help, and they get colder faster.
  • Hat– Should come down over the ears and STAY ON.  If you notice that your kid’s hat is slipping up over their ears, then it’s not keeping them warm.
  • Snowpants– OVERALLS OVERALLS OVERALLS, that’s the main point.  They should have a easy zipper and be long enough to come down over their boots.  Snow pants allow snow to get in between their coat and snow pants.  Kids want to play in the snow, let’s make sure they can.
  • Coat– I will never understand why kids coats are made with so much stupidity.  Honestly, I want my child to be warm, not just cute.  If you want to have two separate coats, go for it.  This is the coat they should have when PLAYING outside.  It should be long enough  to discourage snow from getting in, have a ZIPPER, hood, and cinched sleeves.  Ideally, the mittens go on before the coat.  Have your kiddo push their hands out and then make sure the coat is tight around the glove.  This keeps the snow from getting in and keeps the mitten on.
  • Boots-Waterproof, easy enough for the child to get on independently, and preferably a little big to allow for extra socks.
So those are the basics.  I would say these guidelines primarily apply for kids 1-5 years old, but they’re a good rule of thumb for all ages.
Now, one last point, let’s talk about the order of which you put their snow gear on.
  1. Snowpants
  2. Boots
  3. Mittens
  4. Coat
  5. Hat
Now, tuck everything in.
  • Hood over the hat
  • Zipper all the way up
  • Snowpants pulled down over the boots
  • Gloves firmly inside the coat sleeve

I know some people have other systems for getting kids dressed, but I have found that by far, this is the easiest, fastest, and most effective way.  All of my 2 year olds can put on their own snowpants and boots.  I help them with their gloves, then they 1-2-Flip their coats.  They then come to me to zip the jacket and check that everything is tucked in.  I put on their hat because otherwise I find that it falls off when they flip their coat on.  I can get 5 kids dressed in about 5 minutes with this method.


Is this the process you follow with your kiddos?  Have you found winter gear that you just love?  Share in the comments!


Note: 1-2-Flip is a great way for kids to get their own coat on during all seasons.  Simply lay the coat on the ground with the hood next to their toes.  They stick one arm in each sleeve, and then flip it over their head.  SO EASY!




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