We are firm believers in the Danish "no bad weather only bad clothes" philosophy. I will admit that I sometimes (ok ... often) curse my way through the dressing process in the winter but it's always worth it in the end. If we DON'T make it outdoors for some reason, NP can always tell shortly after walking in the door at the end of the day just by the kids' behavior. They NEED, as Olivia would say, to 'blow the stink off' daily.
As you may have noticed in my previous farm fashion posts, farm *fashion* is really more about function than class. You won't find any of us on the cover of Vogue. Ha.
And with that, I present ....The Components of a Toddler's Outdoor Winter Wardrobe:
1. The Expensive Part
BOOTS! Warm ones. And waterproof. Yes, they are expensive. Yes, they can be cumbersome. But warm waterproof boots are ESSENTIAL to any kind of success with outdoor play in the winter. And boots can usually be passed from child to child so that helps bring the cost down. You can also occasionally find good used boots on swap. If you do find a pair in your kiddos size, snatch them up fast as they don't usually stay on swap for long!
Wool Socks are another worth while investment. For $15-30 you can get a half dozen pairs of toddler size wool socks and they are worth every penny. Again they can be passed down from sibling to sibling and I can tell you from my own years of wool sock wearing experience that they are transformational. I highly recommend them both indoors and out during the cold winter months.
On a side note: I encourage you to consider gifting the more expensive and durable pieces of children's winter gear once your crew has outgrown it. Good quality coats, coveralls and boots can provide several winters worth of warm outdoor play but most kids grow so fast they will only get to wear it for one season.
2. The Nit Picky Part
Neckies. Neckies are the best thing since sliced bread. Seriously. Waaaaay easier to slip over a toddler's head than any scarf and stays in place too! My personal opinion is that a neckie increases the warmth factor of an outdoor ensemble by at least 60%. Neck stays warm and neither cold breezes nor snow find their way down kiddos neck and into their coat.
Leather "chore" mittens. Yes, leather. And yes, MITTENS. NO GLOVES ALLOWED. Initially we purchased these mittens because O wanted chores gloves 'just like daddy.' Although these are mittens and not gloves, they were reminiscient enough of daddy's chores gloves that O accepted them and they have been the warmest and most waterproof mittens we have found. They also stay on well and hold up to mud and all of the chore time wear and tear. And again they can be passed from one child to the next.
3. The Upcycling Part
Glove holder on-ers......I am accepting nominations for a better name :P These wonderful creations are the last item to go on. They are simply old knee high socks of mine which we have cut the toe off and cut a slit for the thumb. By pulling them on over the gloves and coat sleeves it makes it harder for kids to take their gloves off and even more importantly, it keeps the snow and cold from sneaking in between gloves and the ends of coat sleeves. I wish I could take credit for this brilliant idea but honesty compels me to admit that I saw this tip in some 'life hacks' video somewhere on the internet. I can however, wholeheartedly confirm the efficacy.