Monday, November 12, 2012

Outside Play Everyday & What to Wear: Part Two

Shoes & Accessories & Babywearing in the Great Outdoors


I'm a bit late getting this post out into the interwebs this week.  Battles with a server and computer issues will do that.  Alas, here is the information promised.




Seriously, I have to exercise extreme control and tap into my sense of practicality when it comes to shoes for Lil Guy. For outside shoes it comes down to a hiking shoe, rain boot and snow boot.  When shopping for shoes, I keep my eye out at second-hand stores.  Kids grow out of shoes so fast, the wear and tear can be fairly minimal.  I'm also a member of Zulily and I was able to get two pairs of Keen shoes basically for the price of one.  Score!  If you know your kids size in a particular brand, you can be more certain of the fit. 

For an outside shoe, you need something nice and rugged that can withstand a little mud and water. When kids are tromping around and exploring their outside world, that means getting down and dirty.  How could you not resist standing or sticking your hand in mud; being enveloped by all that sensation?!?  Keens are a perfect fit for our son's wide foot and the Gypsum is a great all-around hiker shoe for toddlers.  We are on pair number two and probably will stay with Keen as his monster feet continue to grow. 

You will want a rain boot for rainy days and puddle jumping.  Again, we went with Keen and their Coronado boot.  When the boot got a lil snug, we just took the foot bed out and it gave him a little more room to grow.  Plenty of width and I liked the treaded sole.  The lining is nice because it can wicks some of the moisture that builds up in a rubber boot.  It's now time for a new boot though and I'm not sure what we are going to try out this time?  Thinking about the Blog Glosh.  I  like that it is a lighter boot with pull on handles and the rugged sole. What are your favorite pair of rain boots?

To be honest, I don't have a lot of experience with snow boots.  It didn't really snow that much last winter and it can be a bit on the warmer side in the Asheville area.  Year before that is another story, but our wee one didn't need boots.  Alas, I was lucky to score a pair of MOON BOOTS at Target for ten bucks last year and think they will fit him through winter!  If you know me at all, you know how crazy I am about moon boots.  Dream moon boots for Lil Guy would be kid's Crocband Gust Boot in black.  If it were colder here and we had more snow, I would invest in a serious winter boot like the Sorel Children's Flurry TP boot.  Order a size tad larger, room enough for a wool lining  I would make for extra added coziness for the feet.  Boot like that would keep your feet dry and toasty, that's for certain.


Hats, Mittens, Gloves & Snap Cowls

Oh the hat.  There are so many different styles of hats and I could fill a book with examples. When it comes down to choosing a hat, just remember that wicking synthetics and wool are your best friend.  In this case cotton is rotten.   For cold and wet weather,  you want a hat with waterproof properties, or a waterproof hood to keep your hat dry.  This Elodie Details Classic Wool Cap is a great all-in-one.  PU-laminate lines are sandwiched between wool making it wind and water resistant.  Since our two year old has the head size of a five year old, we will be finding a new winter cap.  Big fan of hats with flaps that come around your chin.  Guarantees those lil ears are covered and protected from the elements.  For a handmade twist check out Worthy Goods' Toddler Country Hat made with tweed and a wool fleece lining. 

Snap Cowl
When it comes to the wee ones, I prefer mittens as they are easier to get on.  The Elodie Details Classic Wool Mittens match nicely with the Classic Wool cap.  Larger sizes feature a zipper that runs all the way up the thumb for ease of putting on.  A velcro strap insures the mitten stays on.   This year we went with an Outdoor Research Adrenaline Mitts for toddlers.  It is an insulated toddler mitt with a zipper for easy on/off for cold weather play.  What I like about this mitten is that it allows for movement and a firm grip.  If my toddler cannot pick things up easy enough, he is going to tear those suckers off.  These are not a waterproof mitten but have a repellency.  Polarn O. Pyret's mittens with cuffs look great and would be a good option for cold and snowy winter landscapes. I like the cuff as it tucks nicely under the jacket sleeves insuring that snow doesn't get down in your wee one's mittens. As far as gloves go, don't have much experience with those and until then I can only comment on mittens.  Important thing is to make sure your child's hands stay dry and warm!

Sometimes it is nice to have a little more protection from the cold winds and a scarf of sorts can come in handy.  Ever try and keep a scarf on a toddler?  Never had such luck with mine, so that why I came up with snap cowls.  You can quickly and easily snap the fleece scarf around your child's neck for added warmth.  Pull it up or turn it around to cover more of the face for extra protection. Again, for really cold weather I would use a polyester fleece to cover my babe's face.  Organic cotton fleece for colder day of running around with mama or papa on errands and you are just needing a lil warmth and not worried about needing to wick moisture.

Babywearing in the Great Outdoors


Babywearing allowed me to get out of the house and get active.  No matter the weather, I was prepared and that gave me freedom.  There are so many different options out there that will help to keep you and your baby warm  and dry when hiking around.  You will find DIY tutorials, PDF patterns and babywearing coats on my Outside Play Everyday Pinterest board. 

We went with Suse's Kindercoat Deluxe in a large enough size for both of us to fit into it.  I didn't really care if it was a little bulky as long as the little guy and me were cozy.  Best feature about the Kindercoat is it does it all; front, back and hip babywearing in the rain, cold, sunshine or snow.  The midlayer is fleece and can be worn on its own.. leaving you with a waterproof shell to be used as a raincoat in warmer weather.  Combined together you and the babe will stay roasty toasty.  Coat tested exploring 12 inches of fresh snow on the ground and going on multiple winter hikes.

If you have an Ergo you might like their winter weather cover.  Definitely a little more friendly to one's pocket book.  Adds a nice buffer to the elements and keeps them extra cozy.  I would definitely dress them up in weather appropriate outerwear that will keep them appropriately warm under the fleece. 

So ya, that's my two cents on bundling your kiddos up for outdoor excursions.  Next week is Thanksgiving and I have yet to do a gratitude themed craft.  Any ideas?  Perhaps I will think of something crafty and share with you.  Until the next...

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