Winter Gear for Kids + How to Dress Your Child

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Winter Gear for Kids + How to Dress Your Child

As we get deep into the winter, it’s important to make sure that the kids are all bundled up in plenty of layers when they go outside! With temperatures dropping and the wind chill making it even colder, frostbite and hypothermia are two big concerns for kids as they venture outdoors. Dressing little kids (and big kids) for a snow day can be overwhelming. If you take time to invest in the best winter gear, your child and family will truly enjoy being outdoors this winter season. We are breaking down the how-to on layers and a list of must-have winter gear for kids during the cold days.

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Base Layer

When dressing your child for the cold climate make sure they have a proper base layer. The base layer is for absorption and probably the most important thing. Even though they may be out in cold temperatures, if they are doing lots of physical activity such as sledding or snowshoeing, they will break a sweat. Their base layer will keep them dry. This layer includes a close-fitting undershirt and long underwear. Long sleeves are a must!

We love to use this base layer and find it super affordable. Click the image below for more details and to order.

Middle Layer

The next layer is the middle layer and its purpose is insulation. This is the layer that traps the heat from your child’s body which insulates them from the cold, winter weather. If you do not a middle layer your child’s body heat escapes quickly. There are a ton of options when it comes to the middle layer such as synthetic, natural, wool sweaters, fleece, flannel, and more. Typically you probably already have something in your child’s closet you can use as a middle layer.

Below are some great options! Click the image below for more details and to order.

Outer Layer

The final, top layer is called the outer layer. The purpose of the outer layer is protection! This layer consists of a coat that protects you from the wind, snow, or rain. A lot of times when we think of dressing ourselves or our children we jump right to the outer layer and skip the other two layers. When we do this, we end up super cold, wet, and probably some tears. When shopping for outer layers, remember it is covering two other layers, so size up.

There are a ton of options for winter coats but ideally, a waterproof coat is best for snow play and you’ll want to look for something that is well insulated to help keep them warm. I always look for “ski jackets”. Although we may not be skiing, I find them to be super warm and durable. Do not forget snow pants or rain pants. When your kids go out and play in the snow, snow pants are a must! This outer layer is what protects the legs from the snow and cold.

You can also buy a snowsuit. One-piece suits are a great way to cut down the number of items you need to buy and most times are the best way for kids to get outdoors quickly to play.

Below are some great affordable options! Click the image below for more details and to order.

Cold Weather Gear Extras

Winter Hats

Children, especially those that are younger, can lose up to one-third of their body heat through their heads. Make sure that you put a warm winter hat on their head before they leave the house! This can also help protect their ears from frostbite as they play. We are big fans of our b.e.happe design hats! A wonderful woman-owned business from Des Moines.


Keep those fingers from getting frostbite by getting the kids some waterproof mittens or gloves to put on before heading out. Like most winter gear, waterproof is always preferred to keep melting snow out! These waterproof, insulated gloves are perfect for creating snowballs.


For the older kids, scarves are great to keep their necks warm and can also be used to keep their mouths protected too.

Warm Socks

A cozy pair of thick socks are the perfect addition to their winter gear to keep their toes extra warm while they play outside! Merino wool socks are perfect for this.

Winter Boots / Snow Boots

Some warm, lined, waterproof boots are the perfect footwear for kids to round out their whole outfit. This will help keep their feet warm and these boots specifically help with traction. This can help them when they are walking up snowy hills or just navigating snow in the backyard.

Face masks

If your kids like to play ninjas, they will love these face masks! Face masks are a great way to protect your child’s entire face from wind, cold air, and snow.

If you keep these layering tips in mind for your children (and yourself) you will have a much more enjoyable time outdoors this winter season!


Erin Huiatt

Erin is a reliable resource and stepping stone for women and families to find support and make connections within our community. She wants families to feel confident to reach out and ask for help and advice to get pointed in the right direction. She enjoys traveling and exploring with her two children in tow!

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