Terre's Tots - Play. Learn. Grow.   Tips for children dealing with a Lakeville, MN winter  




Change the color:

Prepare Your Pre-Schooler for Winter

Despite the current heat wave we will all be buying winter garb for our kids very soon. To be sure winter is fun and creates an experience that helps your preschooler grow and become confident about his own competency, here are some tips about what you can do to make winter a success (or at least less stressful) and set your child up for success.

Recall that by the end of winter your preschooler will be 6 months older than he is now. If he did not dress himself last winter he very likely will this year. And indeed, should be encouraged to do so.

Your job? Of course, you must provide warm clothes that not only fit but are constructed and designed for your climate. But you want to make sure all the paraphernalia works!

Take the child with you to do the coat shopping...shopping with kids can be challenging , but the effort invested to have your child shop with you now will pay huge dividends this winter when she feels confident and competent as result of mastering some independent life skills.

Here's what to look for:

  1. Can he put the coat on by himself? Not over light summer clothes....can he do it over a sweater or sweatshirt?

  2. Can he work the zipper of his coat? Kids really want to do it themselves. If your child is in childcare or pre-school, she will want to be able to achieve the same level of independence that the other students do. Set her up for success by making sure she can work the zipper easily and well. If she cannot do it while she is wearing it, have her put the coat on the floor and try zipping it that way. She will "see" in her mind's eye what the process looks like and soon will be able to do it while wearing the jacket.

  3. Can he work the snaps and make them stay securely closed?

  4. After the coat is on and zipped...check the fit of the hood. Many coats work well till the hood is put on and fully zipped, laced, or snapped. Even if you don' think our child will wear a hood, a good fit and a hood that works well will be very welcome the day that he forgets his hat.

  5. Let him pick a hat he likes...from the 3 you first chose ahead of time that meet your criteria. Does the hat need to be tied? If so, can he tie it? Would he be more successful if the hat had Velcro? Will the standard kid size stocking cap really cover his ears?

  6. Can he pull the mittens on by himself?

  7. Do the mittens fit inside the cuff easily? Can he tuck the mittens into the cuff himself?

  8. Think about how your family stores mittens: if you have your children put their mittens in the coat pocket, have the child put the mittens he will wear this winter in the pocket by himself. Many coat pockets are hardly big enough for a little person's hand, let alone a puffy mitten. If as we do at Terre's Tots, you teach your children to put their mittens together and then put them in one of the coat sleeves, make sure he can do it himself without any assistance.

  9. Try to putting the mittens in the sleeve yourself to be sure the two fabrics work well together....will the mittens slip easily in the sleeve? or does the nap of either the coat lining or the mitten cause the mittens to catch on the fabric? not being able to make the mittens stay in the sleeve when he can clearly see the sleeve opening can be very frustrating for a 4 year old.

  10. Do the same with the hat(s) you chose: will the hat fit easily into the other coat sleeve? do the fabrics align well together? is the sleeve big enough to hold the big hat you and your child chose?

  11. Scarves: Have your child try on any scarf you have determined is warm. Does it feel good next to his skin? Does the fabric and thickness allow the child to tie it himself? Is it long enough to tie around her neck when the coat is zipped and the hood is up? Is it too long? Does the daycare he goes to have a playground? Extra log tails are a safety hazard if they can catch on playground equipment and chock the child or pull the child down while he is running/playing around swings.

Next time: snow pants and boots. Who knew getting your child ready for winter was such a science?


Terre's Tots - 13904 Fremont Avenue, Burnsville, MN 55337      Phone: 952-890-2078      Email:        2013 Terre's Tots, All Rights Reserved.