How to play outside every day, even when it's cold- Winter Essentials

Updated: Nov 15

During the summer, outside play seems so easy to motivate. It's warm, sunny, and you can go swimming or hiking or just play in a hose in the backyard! Then this all starts to change when we feel that cold winter wind blow and our children look at us and say they just want to stay home. Has that happened to you yet? I have tried time and again to act like I love freezing wind to my children. I've exclaimed with joy "oh wow! Look how windy it is, that looks like fun!" and they look at me like I am the biggest liar on the planet. Honestly, who wants freezing cold winter wind blowing in their face on a hike? *Silence*

Nevertheless, we have to get outside every day, even in winter. Why? Because I just do not feel like myself, and my little ones are just miserable in the end- if we do not have at least a little bit of time outside. We live in the South now but even when we lived in New England, we would take these girls out bundled up in snow storms and the coldest winter days because we have come to realize just how necessary it is for all of us to breath fresh air every day. So we bundle like our lives depended on it and we have learned that layering is the key. With winter on the way, I wanted to share with you my favorite layering & winter weather items to keep my little ones warm while we play outside in the cold.

1) Start at the base. It is expensive to invest in wool base layers but I have learned that if you save up for it and buy even just one set per child, it is worth it. Nothing beats wool. It is warm even when wet and incredibly breathable. I have one child who does not like wearing jackets or sweaters or anything because they run so hot and get sweaty- wool base layers are the only thing that keeps her warm but not overheating. Polyester fibers tend to make sweaty kids even sweatier...if you know, you know. *Nui Organics is my absolute favorite base layer. I am an affiliate for them but I don't get free wool- I buy it each year and save up for it. We get the merino silk blend because it is incredibly soft and light weight so it is the perfect base layer. If you want a thicker base layer check out their wool thermals. I also just love this company and their morals.

2) When it is really cold and windy but we want to do a big hike in the morning- boiled wool overalls are our favorite. They aren't as big and poofy as snow pants but they are just as warm. We do our wool base layers and then these boiled wool overalls and then a warm jacket and that is usually all they need, even when it is really cold out. Maybe we will add a sweater if we are visiting up north and need extra warmth but these are one of the warmest layers. They allow for lots of play and hiking but keep legs and core incredibly warm. We get the Disana boiled wool overalls and while they can be tricky to find, they are worth it! Amazon has the full-body suits with a hood that are perfect for babies and toddlers: *Full body Disana Wool and we got our overalls from Mamaowl - they have a lot of great options for wool too!

3) For our jackets, I actually buy them every spring when Patagonia has their huge sale. It is usually around March and you can get their down jackets for about 50% off. We get their down sweaters with hoods and those are incredibly warm and keep heat in. I also buy them down vests during this time too and just stock up. Patagonia is my favorite brand for outdoor gear because it is always incredibly well made, their customer service is amazing and their environmental standards are awesome.

4) WEAR A HAT. Oh goodness y'all. Put a wool hat on that baby and they will not be cold. My little ones have two grandmothers who knit for them each year (so lucky) and so they always have a fresh wool sweater and wool hat to wear each season. Honestly though, if they didn't knit for them, I would. You can get wool yarn that is really affordable and make your own wool hat for a fraction of the cost! *DROPS yarn is my favorite- super warm and super affordable.

5) Keep those tootsies warm! Warm and dry feet are key. We have had our favorite snow boots but honestly they change each year. Right now I am grateful that they can still wear their Baby Bogs because those are super easy to walk in and keep their feet dry. Some snow boots are just impossible for them to walk in! So our favorites are Plae & *Baby Bogs but I'll need to find some new boots one day- if you have a favorite comment below! We always wear Merino Wool socks because they dry faster than synthetic and they insulate more than cotton. We love Nui Organic merino wool socks and they last so long!

Alright y'all now I know some of you are like me and you're looking at this list and going $$$. Yup. You need to invest in warm weather gear and before you think I have millions of dollars to spend just to keep my littles warm, let me remind you that I literally save and set aside money all year to do this. I don't buy more than we need AND I always get the biggest size the girls will fit into with the hopes they can still wear it next year. Here is the most important part- sell the gear when it stops fitting. Each time they grow out of something that was expensive, I sell it and then keep that money set aside to use for the next size up of whatever that was. Poshmark is my jam and I am always able to sell all of these brands really easily on there because you are buying quality.

Do you love to take your littles outside even when it's cold out?! What are some of your favorite items?

*Shows affiliate links- I will get a small commission if you use my affiliate links but it will never cost you anything. I will also never recommend you buy a product that I don't already have and love.

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