Most of us are probably in the middle of cold winter temperatures and bundling our children up so that they can go outside and play for 10.3 seconds before they have to come inside with half the snow in the yard clinging to their coats and boots.
And if you are not having cold winter temperatures can I come visit you? Please?
The upper number was the indoor temperature this morning. Why yes, I do want your sympathy.
In the spirit of 1.4 degree weather and two feet of snow I offer some tips I have learned along the way to make the experience of playing outside in the snow more enjoyable and perhaps stretch the time your children play outside to a full minute.
The problem: Snow getting into the boots or on that little area between the boots and snow pants that inevitably happens when your children are crawling around in the snow.
The fix: Plastic grocery bags, more than just for groceries.
1. Tuck the pants into the socks. I am sure you all do this already. Otherwise the pant leg rides up inside the snowpants.
Then put the plastic bag over the child’s foot and use the handles to tie it around their calf.
2. Put the boot on just like normal. The plastic bag will actually make it easier to get on.
3. Pull the snowpants down over the boots just like normal.
4. The beauty of this is that when the snowpants pull up, like they always do, the plastic bag keeps the snow from making their pant leg wet and also keeps their feet snow free.
Gee Chris, now go wash that wood floor of yours!
The problem: Gloves that slip off or sleeves that ride up exposing the wrist area of skin. Once that happens it is all over. The snow gets inside the gloves and they cry.
The fix: Behold the wonder that is tape:
I pull the coat down over the top of the gloves, like normal, and then tape the gloves securely to their coat sleeves. Making sure to cover a good wide area. I used painter’s tape in these photos, but you can also use duct tape.
Here is a photo of the tape in action. Rolling around in the snow, making snow angels, climbing snow drifts, perfectly dry warm hands.
The problem: You are going to be outside playing in the snow for an extended period of time away from the house, like sledding and need a way to warm up.
The fix: Rice socks!
Finally something to do with all those mismatched single socks. Take a child sized sock, a clean one preferably and loosely fill with rice. Not the quick cook kind, the regular long cook rice. Seal off the top of the sock with an elastic band. Now nuke the bag in your microwave for a minute until the bag is warm. Give your child the bag to keep in their pocket. Then they can use it to warm up periodically.
You could also be crafty and sew the sock shut. Or even more crafty and make a cute little pouch from fabric. These would make an adorable, and practical) party favor if you have skating or sledding party for your child.
Older children can benefit from these also as they tend to pursue outdoor activities for longer periods of time.
Throw a book of matches in their pocket too just in case you lose them in the wilderness they can have something to eat. (Just kidding. Though if you are going to be skiing of sledding or hiking anywhere that is remote you should have some sort of matches or lighter with you. Sorry that was just my paranoia peeking out for a moment.)
Alternately, you can just stay inside the house, clutching your cup of hot coffee, and admire the snow through the window. Not that I prefer that, ahem.