All summer we get our kids outside, making sure to pack sunscreen, bug spray, a hat. We throw extra water and snacks in our packs, and head out, thankful for sunshine and long days. As the warm months turn into cooler days, we make sure to pack an extra layer, possibly a rain jacket just in case. but as the rain turns to snow, and the temperatures continue to drop, getting our littles outside can be a chilling thought.
So what can a mama do? Well, with the right layers, and know how you can keep getting your pesky adventurers outside, and keep some of your sanity. There are 6 key steps to follow when layering for outdoor adventures.
1. The Base Layer – this layer is worn next to the skin, so should be soft and comfortable for your child. Fabrics that are breathable and wick sweat are best. Silk or light wool blends and synthetic, such as Capeline Work best.
2. The Insulation Layer – this is the warmth layer. Heavier wools and fleece are best to trap air close to the body, allowing the heat to stay in and keep core temperatures up.
3. Happy Hands – it’s so important to keep little hands warm. Warm hands and feet can make the difference between an enjoyable trip or a cry fest. Start with a thin liner layer. Walmart and Costco carry good, simple options. On top of that place a well insulated, waterproof mitten. My favorite are those with zippers up the wrist, or a wide opening with a Velcro closure around the wrist. On super cold days, activate a hand warmer and push it towards the fingers between the liner and mitten.
4. Toasty Tootsies – keeping toes dry and warm can certainly help prolong a day outside. No one wants to play outside with cold feet, and toddlers are no exception. The best way to keep the heat in, and the cold out is to start with a cozy, warm non-cotton sock. Wool blends work to wick sweat which would cause toes to become chilly. Protect those tootsies with a cold-rated waterproof boot. Remember, not all “snow boots” are created equal, and some are not meant for prolonged exposure to outdoor fun.
5. Head & Face – we’ve all heard that heat escapes through our head so don’t forget to top everything off with a cozy hat. Wool blend and fleece are great options, and I love a hat with ear flaps. On extra chilly days you can add a neck gaiter or a balaclava for extra warmth.
6. Protective Layer – this layer protects your little explorer from the weather elements. Gear that is waterproof or water-resistant will keep him dry, and the fun going for hours to come.
My hope is that these 6 simple steps will help you and your little adventurer have a fabulous time all winter long. Let me know your thoughts or additional tips you might find helpful!