Four years ago, when Toby was one, Alex and I challenged ourselves to take him outside every day of the year, even during blizzards or rainstorms. We almost made it (we skipped a few real clunkers) and it made all the difference. Toby felt so much happier and more relaxed…


Back then, I read something fascinating: For children, being indoors is both overstimulating and boring at the same time.

Throughout history, “children spent most of every day frolicking outside,” wrote Harvey Karp, M.D., in his brilliant book The Happiest Toddler on the Block. “Our homes are boring because they replace the exciting sensations of nature (the feeling of the wind on their skin, the brilliant sun, the soft grass, etc.) with an immense stillness (flat walls, flat floors, no wind).” Yet at the same time, being indoors is overstimulating: “It bombards them with jolting experiences that kids in the past never had to deal with: crazy cartoons, slick videos, clanging computer games, noisy toys and bright colors everywhere… which can make many little children feel stressed.”

Isn’t that interesting? And doesn’t it ring true, even as an adult?



Here, we went to Prospect Park in Brooklyn, where the leaves crunched under our feet, Anton pretended to be a spooky ghost, and we all loved feeling the cool breeze on our faces.




My other big realization: how important good winter clothes are. It’s funny, it took me more than THIRTY years of life (and I grew up in Michigan!) to figure out that you cannot skimp on winter wear. Good gear is essential to enjoying cold weather, versus completely hating it.

UGG Australia asked if we would like to try their boots, and we jumped at the chance. We’ve never really had good boots — most just rainboots or sneakers, even in the winter. Their new Classic Slim collection (launching today) is like their classic UGG boots, but with a sleeker shape. The toe is smaller and feminine. Every pair of UGG boots is pre-treated to be water and stain resistant. And they’re lined with sheepskin, which makes them warm and comfy. I wear mine with jeans and a comfy jacket to the playground and on walks around the park. They feel like slippers.

Perhaps best of all: They’re designed to be worn without socks, so you can just pull them on and go. Such a lifesaver with wriggly children! Here, Toby is wearing the kids classic in Pine and Anton is wearing the toddler classic in Redwood. You can see all the colors here, if you’d like.

We’re all wearing them this winter, and I’d highly recommend them. As my friend Peter says, “Little children are like puppies, you have to take them out.”


Thoughts? What are your tricks for getting through the winter? Any other gear you’d recommend? (I’ve always been curious about these.)

(Photos by Nicki Sebastian for Cup of Jo. Anton’s sweater is from Misha and Puff. Toby’s favorite pants are from American Apparel. This post is sponsored by UGG Australia. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that support Cup of Jo.)