|Swedish winter, 2009.|
Whether you're going out in your backyard, or going on a trip somewhere chilly, here are some tips on gear that can help you and your kids to stay warm and dry and having fun.
Slip these on underneath your kids' regular clothes, or underneath their snow-suit or snow-pants: it'll keep them nice and warm, and they're usually less bulky than wearing sweatpants or similar garments underneath. Just make sure the underwear you pick is comfortable for your kids: nothing itchy, and nothing too tight.
Woolly mittens are great for keeping hands warm, but if your kids are playing in the snow, it's better to pick something that won't get wet right away. If the gloves go up a bit over the wrist, they protect a lot better in wet, snowy weather and give your kids a chance to have more fun in the snow.
These handy clips attach each glove to the coat sleeve, and are really handy: especially for little kids who might like to pull off and throw away (or drop) their mittens and gloves.
If your kids' feet are cold (or worse: cold and damp), they are most likely feeling cold all over.Winter boots should keep feet dry and warm, even if kids trudge through some slush and deep snow. Look for lined, waterproof boots, with a thick sole that gives a good grip.
Regular cotton socks don't cut it when it's cold outside. Get some nice, warm, toasty socks to keep those toes warm inside the winter boots. There are lots of varieties, so pick something that will fit comfortably inside your kids' boots. A good pair of socks inside a good pair of winter boots can definitely make the difference between having a good time in the snow, or heading back inside.
Boots will likely get wet if your kids are playing in the snow. Electric boot dryers will help you get that foot-gear ready for another round of play. If you don't have an electric dryer, stuff the boots with newspaper (pack it in tightly) to help them dry out faster.
A folding drying rack can be very handy in winter. Put it up when your kids come inside all wet from playing in the snow, and throw their snowy, wet hats, socks, gloves, etc. on it. The clothes will dry a lot quicker than if they're just thrown in a pile on the floor. In case you're traveling (to a ski resort for example), bring along a travel version (even a laundry line will work). Sure, you could throw things in the dryer, if you have access to one, but a drying rack saves energy, and it can easily be stowed, or packed into a suitcase if it's a portable version.
I love toboggans and sleds, but if you are traveling somewhere snowy for a weekend, or if you only get a few days of possible snow every year, inflatable snow tubes are a handy option. They take up less space when stored, and they are a ton of fun on a snowy slope!