The Ultimate Winter Gear for Your Kids

As you head out into the blustery, winter-y weather that has descended on many by this point, you will want to make sure the kids are well equipped to handle all that mother nature dishes out. Here are some of our favorites for your snow days.

One of the most important winter wear items is a durable, water resistant coat. The Dare 2b Boy’s Dedicate Jacket is a coat for both daily wear and for serious outdoor play.  Girls Entrust Jacket also available- same jacket, different name. It not only wears well, but has all sorts of features that your kids will love. It has a waterproof outer layer, and is made with a breathable 4-way stretch fabric. The hood is detachable (but doesn’t fall off) and has an elastic trim, making adjusting it easy. The coat also has internal mesh pockets, and all the pockets zip (so not as many lost gloves and whatnot). It has bight reflective details, making spotting your child on the trails or during snowball fights even easier.  Available at http://www.dare2b.com/ for about $140. Infant snuggler suits (one piece coats for babies) available for about $50 each.

snow gloves

You will want sturdy gloves- it’s hard to play outside very long with cold, wet hands. The Jr Rascal Glove by Seirus comes in fun options like skeleton, zombie, and Digi (think video game/Minecraft looking), and feel as good as they look. Kids will like them because they are fun, you will like them because they are functional and do their job well. They are windproof and water resistant, and have Heatlock insulation to keep little hands warm. They feature a gauntlet cuff that cinches easily to help keep ice and snow from getting inside, and have SureGrip on the palms and fingers to help them hold onto whatever they are trying to keep in their hands. Most gloves are really slippery, this is a cool and useful feature. For about $30 at https://www.seirus.com

snow boots

For snow trekking, you will love the Icebug Myoko BUGweb GTX.  These boots are fantastic- and yes, they have adult shoes and boots. You will love them that much. I have had Icebugs myself for several years, and my son and I agree they are both comfortable to wear and great at keeping your feet warm- we both really like them.  These boots are cut slightly higher then the ankle, and keep you warm with fleece insulation. They have a GORE-TEX® outer shell that will keep your child’s feet dry. They are easy to put on and take off- any parent that has had wars with snow boots will appreciate the double Velcro that kids can adjust themselves. No one will complain about sore feet in these boots- at least no one I’ve met. Available for $169.95 at http://icebug.com/us

To go under your boots- and often not thought of until it’s too late- you want warm, comfortable, and high socks. Yes, high- at least mid calf, because there is nothing more annoying then a sock that falls under your foot while you are walking about. They should also stay put, not the drooping kind. Those are fine for lounging at home, not so much for activities. Hi-Tec makes socks for men and women, and we’ve worn them on a multitude of activities and climates and been happy with them. They are soft, they stay where you want them to, have both zone cushioning as well as cushioning though the entire leg, and (a must) reinforced heel and toe. No toes poking out, and they will last longer. They also have arch support and compression, which is pretty advanced stuff for a sock.  These retail for between $15 and $20, which might seem like a lot for socks- but like I said, these do flex an awful lot of muscle, and you might be surprised and how much happier your feet will be when they are warmer, for longer- and without annoying under-the-heel nonsense that often happens when wearing boots. Pick yours up at http://us.hi-tec.com/accessories.html

Ready to hit the slopes? If not the mountain, perhaps a neighborhood hill. Your kids will really enjoy the Freshie Snow Scooter. It’s something fun and new, yet not so wildly different they will have a hard time using it. A great way to keep active and outdoors when the weather outside turns frosty.  Lightweight and easy to carry (as well as store), it is made of high impact plastic so those rough runs and wipeouts won’t ruin it. Use it to scoot sans wheels down snow covered walkways or driveways, or as a snowboard with handles down hills.  It’s super easy to maneuver and use, even for the less athletically inclined. Fold up the handle and put it away just about anywhere when you are done playing, or when Spring is around the corner. Prices vary, from about $40 and up depending on retailer, at retailers like Amazon and Sears.

Disclosure- Samples were provided in order to review. All opinions are my own and honest. For more, see “I Disclose.

“Rise from the Ashes” with Smokey the Bear #SmokeyBearHug #OnlyYou @smokey_bear

smokey the bear

If you are one to keep up with national news, you have no doubt seen the chaos and devastation that the wildfires are causing across 7 different states. Thousands of acres burned, families who have lost their homes, and even people who have lost their lives. We have all heard the message of Smokey Bear – he has been telling us to prevent fires for 72 years now. His message is just as important now as it was back in 1944.

Smokey Bear’s message about wildfire prevention is the center of the longest running and one of the most successful PSA campaigns in our nation’s history. Although progress has been made, accidental, human-caused wildfires remain one of the most critical environmental issues affecting the U.S. the Soberanes fire, in California, is a perfect example. This fire was caused by an abandoned campfire. By someone being careless and not thinking about the consequences.

fire

We have to take preventative action, always! And while we all know that matches, burning cigarettes, and abandoned campfires are all potential threats for wildfire – there are MANY lesser known causes. Ones that you might be participating in and not even realize it.

Did you know? A wildfire can start due to the following:

  • Improperly extinguished fire pit
  • Dumping ashes from a BBQ/grill
  • Metal chains hanging from a moving vehicle
  • Parking over tall, dry grass
  • Dying embers left in a campfire
  • Oil from a lantern

Note: To Avoid Such Issues You May Make a Best Fire Pit that will help in various ways while traveling.

Coinciding with Smokey Bear’s 72nd birthday, the Ad Council, the U.S. Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters (NASF), have launched a new series of public service advertisements (PSAs) created to help prevent wildfires nationwide by increasing awareness about less commonly known fire starts.

forest fire

Although most of us don’t behave this way intentionally, each year we learn of devastating wildfires caused by careless behavior which can impact millions of acres of forest and thousands of homes. Although four out of five wildfires are started by people, nature is usually more than happy to help fan the flames.

  • In 2014 there were 7,933 wildfires caused by lightning, but 55,679 wildfires caused by human error (as reported to the National Interagency Fire Center).
  • In 2015 58,916 human-caused wildfires burned over 2 million acres.

Nature, the forest, our parks and trails – these are all an immensely important part of our lives. We need to take the pledge to be smart when we go outdoors. To do everything we can to preserve our beautiful forests. Will you join me in taking the pledge? I for one want to see these incredible lands preserved for my children and for their children.

Discover the Forest #Naturehood

Did you know? Children who play outside are more creative, have lower stress levels and more active imaginations. They also become fitter and leaner, develop stronger immune systems, and have greater respect for themselves and others as well as the environment.

With all of the new technologies and overscheduling of today’s world, it’s easy to forget just how close—and how important— your local forest or green space really is for your kids! There are many developmental benefits for children who spend time in nature, and it’s closer than you think.

Spending time in nature can spark the imagination of kids of all ages. Even then, after aimlessly wandering into hectic schedules, technology overload, and the never ending busy world around us, adults, like ourselves might find a spark of creativity in exploring the outdoors.

Saturday, September 26th, is National Public Lands Day! This is a day to encourage your family, friends and colleagues to enjoy your local #Naturehood. What is #Naturehood, you ask? It is the forest that is right in your neighborhood, and you may not even know it. Beyond the swings, slides and clearings, there are trails, trees, wildlife and water just waiting for you.

The forest and the outdoors are a place for adventure, learning, fun, and discovery! You can even incorporate it into homeschool lessons, or just a fun weekend science lesson. The forest provides many benefits, like fresh water, shade and fresh air. There are so many possibilities. It might be tough deciding where to begin. Check out these games and activities, which can help get you going.

Forest Snapshot Game – Get behind the lens and take photos of your favorite forest friends in their natural settings.

  • Biodiversity Bingo – How many different kinds of plants and animals live in your neighborhood? Find out by trying this PBS KIDS Plum Landing scavenger hunt!
  • Forest In the City – Can there be a forest hiding inside the city? Watch this PBS KIDS Plum Landing video with Ranger Jesse and find out!
  • Sound Safari – What kinds of sounds do you hear around your neighborhood? Try this PBS KIDS Plum Landing Sound Safari activity to find out!
  • Use A Compass – Finding your way with a compass is easier than you think. Learn an important skill for navigating the forest.
  • Leaf Rubbings – Leaf rubbings are a cool way to document your forest discoveries. See what they’re all about, then get outdoors and make your own.

Visit the Discovertheforest.org “What to Do” page for a full list of fun activity ideas to get you started on your outdoor adventure!