Check Your Kidswear
Kids keep growing, and you want to make sure that things fit before old man winter comes calling. To make it easy, here is a list of the most important gear that you should have ready for the kids when they get set to go outside on a blustery day.
Gear for the Head
Let's start at the top, and that is a good winter hat. A good hat is one that keeps a kid's head warm and stays on their head. A great winter cap is one that has the ability to cover the ears when really needed, since the ears are at risk when the temperatures dip way down.
The good news is that winter caps are stretchy, so you won't have to replace this often, but make sure it is a proper fit so it will stay on. A hat made with wool is usually a good choice.
Earmuffs are optional depending on the hat. If you kid has a cap that will cover the ears to combat the wind chill you can skip it.
There are different kinds of earmuffs to consider. You can opt for the traditional over the head or behind the neck version, or you can opt for the ear band that looks like a head band, only sits lower for the ears. Both do a fine job, but active kids may prefer the band, unless they have glasses, which can feel strange.
A scarf is another optional thing that depends on the coat, but there are few coats out there that would protect the neck as well as an added scarf.
The scarf is where you can have a little fun with design and color, so why not make a statement with it? There is no doubt that speeding down a sledding hill face first without a scarf is asking for a neck full of snow and ice.
Gear for the Body
This one seems like a no brainer, but you should check the fit each year. A winter coat should not be too tight. Remember, you need room for heavier clothes underneath in the winter, so if you are trying it on in the fall when your child is wearing a t-shirt, that is not the best test.
It's a good idea for a winter coat to extend well past the waist. This way, even if a kid isn't wearing snowpants, there is good protection from the snow and wind at the waistline.
Snowpants may just be the greatest invention ever made for kids. When it comes to winter kidswear, a good set of snowpants takes the cake. Long gone are the days of big snowmobile suits for kids in winter that required a full body-length zipper to get into and out of. Snowpants make it easy for a kid to put them on and take them off all by themselves.
If you kid will be out in extreme cold or playing a lot in the snow, snowpants are a must. Since they have an adjustable shoulder strap, you should be able to get more than one year out of a pair. Look for insulated snowpants with the bib and shoulder straps. They are the best snowpants for kids.
Gear for Hands and Feet
Gloves or Mittens
One of the top two things that a kid complains about in the cold is their hands, so spending your time and money on a quality pair of gloves or mittens is a smart choice. Older kids will prefer gloves, but the little ones may be more comfortable in mittens.
Make sure your child's winter gloves are waterproof or water resistant, at least, to keep them comfortable. A pair of sloppy cold wet mittens will not to them any good. If you have to choose between a quality pair in black or a lower quality cute pair with a great design that you child loves, pick black.
Children's snow boots have come a long way from the old moon boots days and that's good, because cold feet are the other big complaint of kids playing outdoors in winter.
Like gloves or mittens, winter boots are an important place to go for quality, although you can get by with the middle tier boots for most kids. The most expensive are simply not necessary, as you can add much cheaper warm socks to the package to compensate. Just stay away from the cheapest boots you see, or cold toes will be the result.
Like gloves, look for children's winter boots that don't allow water in or they will be worthless. Dry feet will be much warmer than wet feet every time.
Where to Find Winter Kidswear
If you plan, you can save lots of money on winter clothing for kids by shopping out of season. Two of the best ways to do this are by shopping garage sales and clearance sales.
Garage sales in the spring are the most likely to have winter clothing but you will see it all summer long. Spring is when parents decide that their child has outgrown some winter clothing and they want to get rid of it. Since many winter coats and other gear is made to last for years, you can find a like new item for a fraction of the cost at a garage sale.
Clearance sales at retail stores are also good bets. These usually occur after the middle of winter as stores attempt to get rid of excess merchandise before the spring clothing comes in. A great strategy is to buy this year for next year. Your chances of guessing the size correctly on winter kidswear is pretty good, since winter gear fits loosely. Just predict what size they will be next winter (one more size?) and get that gear this year. You will save up to 50% or more.
Preparation Means Warmth
By preparing ahead of time you can insure that your kids are ready for the winter cold and have all of the equipment that they need for enjoying the fun things to do in the snow.
There are other things you could add to this list, but this is the essential kidswear for winter that you need to cover to know your kids have the outdoor gear they need for the cold.