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Tracy C. Gold

AUTHOR, EDITOR, TEACHER

How to Gear Up Your Toddler for Staying Outside (For Covid-19 Safety)

on November 21, 2020

My daughter has been going to a local preschool that has kept the kids almost completely outdoors due to Covid-19. She LOVES it! She’s been going since October and they’ve taken the whole class indoors for about one hour due to a rainy cold day. That’s it!

Friends have been asking me what I do to keep her warm. Her school sent us a supplies list but it wasn’t exactly easy to find things small enough for her (she’s 2.5 but even a lot of 2T stuff is too wide for her, so anything that came in generic “kids” sizes or that didn’t offer 2T/3T was a no-go). I did a lot of digging, and I’m here to share my list of my favorite outdoor gear for toddlers. I bought this all in somewhat too-big sizes hoping she’d grow into it. Even though it’s only been a couple months, it is already starting to fit her better.

For context, we are in Maryland, and the worst weather we’ve had so far has been windy, rainy, and about 40 degrees. I may add to the list as the weather gets even colder.

Some of these links are affiliate links, meaning I get a little money if you buy these products, which I will likely use to get my daughter more winter gear.

Rain Pants
It’s hard to stay warm when you’re soaking wet, thus my daughter’s school recommended rain pants. The best place I found for toddler rain pants was Oaki. They aren’t cheap, but I bought them in a size up so they’ll last. The tie-waistband makes sure they stay on and she has plenty of room to grow. I bought two pairs so one could live at school in case of sudden rain. She also frequently wears these to school when it’s not rainy, as wind protection.

Ava in her North Face raincoat
Ava in her North Face raincoat

Rain Jackets
My daughter has a ridiculous amount of rain jackets . . . four!! . . . but one stays at school just in case, and the others are frequently wet from being rained on, spilled on, or washed, so four has actually been the right number of rain jackets.
Hatley
Oaki
North Face
Land’s End (they have great sales so don’t buy full price!)

*Note that on any waterproof product, the waterproofing can wear off. You can extend their life by using a waterproofing spray. I would especially recommend this if you’re using hand-me-downs.


Snow Suits
We haven’t had to use this yet but we are ready!
Land’s End

Shoes
Gotta keep those little tootsies warm!

Great for everyday use:
See Kai Run
I always try to order these a couple sizes up on clearance for the next season. I would say they run a little small compared to other brands. They have some insulated products too but we are still going using our other rain boots that are smaller!

Great rain/all-weather boots:
Bog Boots
Sizing in the middle

Haven’t used these yet but they’re ready to go when it snows. I would say they run a little big compared to other brands.
Oaki Snow Boots

Socks
This was a huge challenge. My daughter’s feet were tiny! I really struggled to find wool socks, as recommended by her school, for feet this little. All the normal kid brands just have thin cotton socks. Now that she’s a bit bigger the smallest in kid sizes is working! Not going to lie there is a LOT of grimacing over the very high price of these tiny socks which will inevitably be lost, but gotta keep those feet warm. You want to look for crew socks because the little booties slip down and leave that cold space at the ankles.

Teeny tiny tootsies:
Smartwool sock trio
This is the Amazon listing but $30?! for a set of three toddler socks, ACK. Check around on Smartwool’s site and REI to look for a sale. These are thin, but nice wool quality.

Not wool, but thick socks from Amazon
These are decent quality and at about $16 for 3, much more recently! However they are not wool which means they won’t necessarily hold heat when wet.

Slightly bigger tootsies:
Smartwool “Margarita” Medium Crew
The small size of these work for my tiny tot (size 7/8 shoes), with room to grow, which is good, because they aren’t cheap! (They can also be found at REI if you are a co-op member.)

Long Underwear
This was another struggle. Here, I regret ordering 3T instead of 2T, because if the long underwear falls off, so do the outer pants, and I’ve got a naked toddler with her butt in the cold air on my hands. Thus, I would order the current size in these!
Land’s End
REI Co-op
Terramar

Gloves/Mittens
Honestly have to throw up my hands in defeat here. She will not keep these on! Even though mittens are warmer she prefers to have her hands more dexterous. So far, we’ve just done multiple pairs of cheap cotton gloves that she can change if they get wet.

However, I did find these at REI a few days ago and they seem like they might work and be slightly more waterproof (size small).

Fleece-lined Pants
I want these pants in my size! So cozy!

Primary (Use my referral link or code for a 20% discount! Code: PRIMARYTRACYG65 — they also have some “seasonal” aka fun colors on sale as I type in certain sizes)

Lands’ End (Inventory looking a bit low! These say “girls” but I don’t really think that matters)

Hats
My daughter has quite a collection of hats that I can’t find online. I did just buy her this one from Turtle Fur at REI because it was SO SOFT. Seriously, Turtle Fur makes the softest, warmest stuff (for adults, too!). I also got her this one with ear flaps to keep her little ears warm!

Neckwarmer
I’m obsessed with neck warmers for myself in the cold, so why shouldn’t my daughter have one? She let me put this neck warmer on her and it’s SUPER soft! Again, Turtle Fur for the win (I love their adult neck warmers also). This fits now but should fit her for years. She also will occasionally wear mine but it has lots of gaps that I imagine cold air gets through because it’s large.

That’s it! Good luck staying warm and healthy this winter!


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