If you’re a parent to a toddler, you know who really runs the show – no matter what you tell yourself. So when it comes to getting your stubborn little one to listen to you while out playing in the freezing weather, it’s tough! From pulling off their hats and gloves, to trying to eat the yellow snow, to stuffing some snow in their sister’s pants, toddlers just don’t listen to their parents. I like to call it “selective listening”.
So when it comes to keeping them safe and warm while getting outdoors this winter, here are a few tips:
Use a fitted hat with ties. If the hat is too big, it’s likely to fall down over their eyes, making your little one want to throw it on the ground. Ties will help, or at least make it more difficult to pull off! Keeping their noggin warm is incredibly important, as we lose a lot of the heat through our heads.
Choose a warm, waterproof jacket (if you’re in a winter wonderland of snow) that leaves room for the layers underneath. Choose one with a hood, and that will fit over their hat.
Layer, layer, and more layers! Fitted on the bottom (closer to their skin), looser on top. Easy to remove layers so that you can quickly take the top pieces of clothing off after your babes start heating up from all the running around they do.
Buy a good set of snow boots. If it’s not quite worth it based on where you live, you can also use rain boots and a warm set of socks, or two. Make sure the socks aren’t too tight, which can restrict blood flow and therefore making their little toes to freeze faster!
Gloves. Good luck! [just kidding] but in all seriousness, there’s something about gloves and mittens that kids just do NOT like. I’m lucky if I can get my little one to keep them on for more than a couple of minutes. I haven’t found the secret, BUT the puffy mittens make it hard for them to grab the other mitten off. Or the gloves with ties at least help you from losing too many behind. Also try putting their gloves/mittens on before their jacket, which may help them stay on longer.
Keep it short. It’s better to go out for shorter periods of time, more frequently than to go outside once for too long. Their tiny little hands and toes can get cold very quickly, so it is important to come back in to warm up. Have a snack, and if you have the time, go back out later.
Stay hydrated. Just as we can get dehydrated in the heat of the summer, kids can get dehydrated in the dry, winter months. They get caught up in playing when they’re having fun, so drinking water is not at the forefront of their minds.
Put on lip balm, to save those adorable plump lips from drying out! You won’t notice until they come back chapped and cracked, so be preventative and smack some on before leaving. Choose fun flavors that they will enjoy putting on.
If you’re driving somewhere, take a blanket with you for each kid. It’ll give them something to snuggle up with, especially while the car is still cold. And make sure to take off their dirty boots before climbing into their car seats, or you’ll have to add cleaning the car to your to-do list!
Strip off the extra layers as soon as you get inside, so their bodies can quickly respond to the drastic change in temperature.
Best of all, have something warm brewing for when you come back inside. Whether it’s a thick bowl of chili, a new soup recipe, or even just a yummy cup of hot chocolate (with extra marshmallows!), your little ones will be happy for the hot treat. *Leave the hot drinks for indoors, as they can actually cool down your body temperature instead of warming you up!*
What other tips do you have for outdoor winter safety while toddlers play?
How do you and your family play safely outside in the cold and snow? Let me know in the comments below!