Icon hamburger mobile nav
Try for free
Nov 26

How to Keep Kids Comfortable Outdoors with the Right Accessories

by Meghan Fitzgerald

The key to long-lasting outdoor play in winter is having the right gear (and getting it on your kids). It doesn’t have to be expensive (see our affordable winter-weather gear guide here), but it should be rugged and ready for messy play so that you can get outside every day — and stay outside. 

This year more than ever, spending time outside is essential for our overall well-being, even when the temperature dips way down. 

The right kids’ cold-weather accessories will make that possible. Once little hands get cold, the fun winds down fast. Hats, mittens and wool socks make great small gifts for stocking stuffers and the like, and will last kids more than one season, too, so you’re sure to get a lot of wear for your buck. 

These are our tried-and-true picks from brands we love and admire for their quality and value (read here for more of those). 

For more on getting your kids to actually wear their hats, gloves and mittens, check out our tips for getting wiggly kids to bundle up for the winter.

  • Hats: We’re a little in love with Zutano’s hats for two reasons: 1. They’re super cute and come with tiny ears, which inspires lots of animal pretend play and 2. They’re made of nice thick fleece that protects tiny heads.  
  • Mittens: If you’ve figured out how to get your kids to wear gloves and mittens (and keep them on), we commend you. For the rest of us, there are SnowStoppers, which come with an extended cuff that clings to arms so they stay on, while providing an extra layer of insulation from wet and cold.  
  • Neck Warmers: It has a funny name, but Turtle Fur’s neck warmers are made from fantastically toasty and soft fleece that will cover those bits that always seem to be exposed. 
  • Face Masks: In this most unusual year, warm face masks help keep kids faces warm and make safe playdates possible. For kids 1-4, we love these Bonvince face mask/hat combos. For older kids, a gaiter or balaclava style head and mouth cover like this one. With safe distancing, these cozy options can add protection from both the virus and the cold.
  • Lotion: Cold-chapped skin is real, and it’s no fun. To prevent it, try a balm that’s easy to apply to even the most reluctant kids, like Erbaviva’s organic lip and cheek stick. 
  • Hand warmers: Heat them up before you head out, and tuck them in your bag or pockets. They’re there when you or your kiddos need a boost. Or, tuck them inside wool socks, turning those socks into heated mittens kids can put on if their hands get wet or cold. Try handmade warmers or boilable warmers.
  • Sunscreen: Even in the winter, don’t forget the sunscreen! ThinkSport Kids SPF 50 is a brand we love for its efficacy, safety and eco-friendliness.
  • Socks! When feet are cold, the whole body’s cold. They’ll stay warm in rainboots and even snow boots with wool socks. We love Smartwool and Darn Tough for socks that insulate little toes through the thickest slush.

Meghan Fitzgerald


After 20+ years as an educator, curriculum developer and school leader, I have my dream gig—an entrepreneur/educator/mom who helps families everywhere, including my own, learn outside. Prior to Tinkergarten®, I worked as an Elementary School Principal, a Math/Science Specialist & and a teacher in public and private schools in NY, MA and CA. I earned a BA with majors in English and Developmental Psychology at Amherst College, an MS in Educational Leadership at Bank Street College, and was trained to become a Forest School leader at Bridgwater College, UK. My worldview is formed in response to a my environment, culture, family, identity and experiences, and I love to learn from others. What I write in this blog will inevitably betray the blind spots I have as a result—we all have them! Please reach out if there are other perspectives or world views I could consider in anything I write about. I welcome the chance to learn and update any pieces to broaden our shared perspective!

Try a Free Class

Callout img
  • Two class formats: try a free In-Person session (where and when available) or try Tinkergarten Anywhere, our on-demand product available anytime.
  • In either format, a certified Tinkergarten Leader will teach a Tinkergarten lesson and inspire your kids to play.
  • Sample the additional activities and resources families get each week to keep kids learning outside at home.
Become or Recommend a Leader
Activities blog module
  • Help us bring Tinkergarten to your community.
  • Recommend people you think would make great Tinkergarten Leaders.
  • Maybe that’s you!
  • Earn a $100 gift card to Amazon if your nominee becomes a Leader!

Sign Up For Our
Weekly Newsletter

DIY activities, tips, and weekly resources right in your inbox.

Ready To Get Started?

Choose a Product

New To Tinkergarten?

Try for free Invite Friends To A Free Class