Our Winter Plan

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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…

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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?

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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.

prospect-park-with-kids-run

prospect-park-with-kids-uggs

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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.”

prospect-park-with-kids-walking

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.)

  1. Amy K. says...

    I fully agree that when it comes to winter gear you can’t go cheap. I have one trick for getting through the winter, bundling up. My tolerance for cold weather is very low and I live where the winters are really cold so I go all out.

    On my legs I like to wear leggings with jeans and my knee high Sorel boots along with leg warmers. On my torso I layer a sweater and a fleece jacket over my indoor outfit and top it off my Canada Goose mystique parka. On especially cold days I add a thnner, thigh length north face ThermoBall down coat underneath my parka. Thick gloves, a hat, a scarf, and my hood up are musts for me.

  2. Anna says...

    I am so glad I saw this post, I was just about to buy the Classic Uggs and now would much rather have the Slim version! Question – with the original Classics, they recommend to buy one size smaller because they run large. Did you end up with your regular shoe size or size down with the Slims?
    Thanks!

  3. I live in Canada and this year I FINALLY invested in a proper winter jacket. It cost a lot, but it’ll hopefully be worth it and last me like 10 years. So I can totally relate to what you’re saying. I don’t mind some UGG products, but my husband hates UGGs with a passion haha… it’s his pet peeve basically. When I was a kid I minded the cold a lot less… I’d play outside for hours with my sister. It seems like I’m more of a wuss the older I get!

  4. Grace Kim says...

    The hand warmers are WONDERFUL!!!! They use them in Korea (where we live) all the time! You can just stick them in your pockets and they keep your hands nice and toasty. I’ve also stuffed them into my boots (similar to UGGs) for a little bit when my toes wouldn’t warm up quick enough on super cold days :)

    I also ordered a Disana boiled wool coat + mittens (as well as a sleep sack) for my little guy this winter, and so far I loooove them! The wool is super soft and warm, and it doesn’t soak up water/moisture the way cotton does!

  5. My son’s preschool believes in nature and outdoor time for kids and as a result they spend one day a week in the woods having “natural classroom.” It’s so cool and has really inspired us to spend more time outdoors. Every weekend we try to get out of the house early and head out for a “hike” (with coffee and pastries usually!). We’re so lucky to live in San Francisco where the weather is manageable and there are great parks right in the city.

    When we do travel to snowy climates, I’m obsessed with the Patagonia Kids Baby Puff Mitts. I have tried so many other ones for our two toddlers and they are all such a pain to get on, they fall off, etc. These ones work so well and I’ve finally just started holding my breath and paying the steep price. Worth every penny when you don’t have to worry about them!

  6. Emily says...

    Couldn’t agree more with getting our little ones outside, being on maternity leave one of my goals has been to get our little guy out every day for some fresh air and the days we have missed he definitely has more restless sleep. He loves watching the waves at the beach, the wind in the trees and now crawling around the back yard trying to eat anything and everything in his path while myself or husband chase after him lol…our winters are cold, windy and very snowy where we live in Canada, we already have a very warm snowsuit for our little guy, and a carrier for him, and there may be a nice sleigh coming his way this christmas so we can continue on our almost daily outside adventures. When I was pregnant last winter I bought a belly panel for my winter coat from Make My Belly Fit and it was super awesome when our little guy arrived because I could put him dressed warmly in the carrier and then literally share my jacket with him during our winter and early spring walks.
    love your blog, emily

  7. Great plan!!!

  8. Toby’s pants just made my day! :)

  9. Those hand warmers work! They only last a few hours though, but are definitely worth a try.

    :)

    Thanks, Jo!

  10. My kids walk to and from school everyday because I don’t drive. Living in Alberta, Canada that can mean walking in some pretty awful weather! But it gives them daily outside time and fresh air regardless of the temperature, which means less cabin fever for everyone. And my kids love the hand warmers you linked to – they use them inside their gloves for skiing and sitting in the stands for freezing cold November football games.

  11. I moved to Chicago a few months ago and while exploring on a particularly cold day, I popped into Walgreens and bought those handwarmers. I’m so glad! It was really toasty! It lasted for hours too. It was nice walking around outside downtown and being able to have warm hands in my pockets!

    • Trish O says...

      Yelle, you need to stock up on those. I am from Chicago and we have not really had cold weather yet. Yikes, it gets really really cold for a long time. Hope you love Chicago. I do.

    • Trish O says...

      Oops, so sorry I missed a letter in your name.

  12. Can I just say that I really appreciate the way you do sponsored posts? Some bloggers just gush way too much about whatever they’re advertising, which makes them look so fake. Your posts always seem sincere and balanced.
    Also, your boys are so handsome! And– feels weird to say, coming from a stranger– I can’t believe Anton is that old already! Doesn’t seem like that long ago that he was born.

  13. Pnid says...

    Hi Joanna–have you tried biking in these slimmer UGGs?

  14. Katherine says...

    As an Australian I find the UGG boots trend really funny! We have had them forever but they have always been home slippers – I wouldn’t even think about wearing them out of the house. If you do it kind of looks a daggy and un-kept, like you’ve got out in your pjs! They are certainly not trendy here as they are in the USA. The store on 5th Ave made me laugh out loud! You made them look very fancy though!

  15. Jojo says...

    Hey Jo! I just want to let you know a little background about Ugg Australia because I really do not think they are a company with integrity! In Australia, where I am from, the term ‘ugg boot’ is completely generic. We’ve been wearing those sheepskin boots for ever and way before the US caught on! Ugg Australia is an American company that trademarked the word ‘ugg’ and a few years back it SUED a small mom ‘n pop Aussie company for using the word for its ugg boots. Somehow (i.e. bigger and badder lawyers) they were able to convince the judge that ugg is not a generic term – again – it TOTALLY is – and the little company had to pay up and stop using the word! I have nothing to do with either company just read this case in law school and it always stuck with me as being a really unfair of a bigger company taking advantage of its position – and in this case using it to create a monopoly over a word that is integral to the Aussie lexicon. I would never buy Ugg Australia products for this reason.

    LOVE you though! xo

  16. Candace K. says...

    Canadian Winters! They can be sooo long. My must haves are Boggs, yes I know… Nerd. They actually make some really attractive prints these days. They are water proof and warm to -30 degrees, and keep my whole family’s feet toasty. The kid’s versions are super cute. Also, it took my a long time to reconcile the fact that you need a good parka. And, if you live somewhere with cold winters, it is ok to have more than one ;)
    I also splurged on the &am enfant Evolution 212 stroller blanket for my toddler. I think they are brilliant, and will last a couple of winters, and kids.

  17. We are about to endure our first real winter since moving to Nebraska, and I’m already taking mental notes of where to go, what to wear, and how to pack efficiently in the midst of the snow :) I can definitely say that for those days we can’t escape I’ll have a few creative games for us to play!

  18. Hi Joanna,

    Long time reader, first comment. Seriously, that first photo of Anton is ridiculously adorable. I have two boys similar ages (3 1/2 and 5 1/2) and have really enjoyed your blog over the years. My boys are real homebodies and take A LOT of convincing to go outside, but we are always all so happy when we do. Thanks for all you do!

    Darrah

  19. KM says...

    We live in (endlessly) sunny San Diego, and I cherish the weekend days it rains and we “can’t” go outside!

  20. Halle says...

    There’s a company here in Finland where I live called Reima that makes a whole line of kids’ outerwear, from waterproof, padded snowsuits, to fleece, jumpsuit-style liners. Kids go out in every kind of weather and temperature here. At the healthcenter, they gave me a drawing with a thermometer on it and the amount of clothing needed at each 10 degree mark (in Celsius). The thermometer goes down to -20C (-4F)!

    • Michelle says...

      Wow, that’s very helpful!

    • Johanna says...

      I’d love to see that image! I have an 8 month old and live in Toronto and feel like I’m guessing all the time about how many layers he will need.

  21. jill says...

    I couldn’t agree more! I spent a year photographing the community garden I belong to, which I knew would be a pleasant experience, but I was surprised at how positively it effected me. Your story reminds me of forest kindergartens. Remember this article in the NY Times…

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/30/nyregion/30forest.html?_r=0

    In Japan they call it shinrin-yoku or “forest bathing”, which I love.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/health/06real.html

  22. Jen G. says...

    Outside, yes, there must be outside. I have an internal timer of how much inside time the kids can handle, and plan my weekends around balancing sleeping in and doing house chores and not having to get up and dressed and out right away, and getting them the outside time they need to not be bonkers.

  23. Gloria says...

    Bogs for snow and hunters for slightly warmer wet weather have been great with my two year old. Pategonia down coats are also great because they fit two years and aren’t too bulky in the carseat. I never regret investing in winter gear. For myself, I love Sorels in real snow. Ever since I started buying the right clothes for winter, it seems so much more manageable/enjoyable. I could not agree more with this post.

  24. Dina says...

    Outside time for kids is SO super important! As a pediatric Occupational Therapist I get so many referrals for kids who can’t sit still in class, who have delayed gross and fine motor skills many of which are directly related to the decline of outdoor play. Love the idea of trying to get outside everyday!

  25. Jen says...

    We lived in Europe for a year and they send kids outdoors in any weather. At school my daughter would be sent outside to play whether it was sunny, raining or snowing heavily. We were a bit shocked at first but it is completely normal there and the kids love it. They just put on the appropriate clothes and outside they go. It really made us rethink the way we live.

  26. Theresa says...

    I can’t get over Uggs being for high schoolers where I live. Adults wear them as well, but wearing Uggs with shorts is a popular style statement for teens here in Northern California. I certainly don’t get it, but way trendy. I’m in my 40’s, so decided to stay away from Uggs for that reason. lol

  27. Shannon says...

    I totally live by the “it’s time to go outside” motto whenever I see my 2 year old acting stressed, fussy, tantrum-ish. You know all the fun stuff of being a toddler. I love being outdoors myself and like sharing my passion of the outdoors with my son.
    Also, I can’t believe I’m going to say this: I love the new Uggs! Haven’t been a big fan or any fan of Uggs in the past. I’m heading home to CT from CA for the holidays and thinking a pair could keep me nice and warm. It has taken me a long time to realize the importance of good winter clothing as well.

  28. Lana says...

    Yes! I love this. My daughter recently started kindergarten and doesn’t get as much outside time as she used to, so every day after school I take her on a hike or to the park. It’s so refreshing!

  29. My 8-year-old son has autism and absolutely benefits from being outside every day … but not on a windy day. The sensation of the wind is overwhelming for him, so any ideas of kite flying on a beach are, sadly, a no go for us.

  30. Going outside, even for a short while, is truly good for the heart mind and soul. And a whole lot cheaper than therapy!!

    Nat Lewis
    Rocky Mountain Decals – Cute Wall Decals for kids, home and office!
    http://www.rockymountaindecals.ca

  31. So cute! Seeing Anton and Toby model them and the slimmer silhouette totally makes me want a pair of Uggs now! Growing up they had such negative connotation for me because in middle school it was the “posers” and cool kids who wore them with mini jean skirts and tan brown Uggs in the dead of winter or the early streams of summer–clearly the outfit was ill-suited for both. And that name!

    Well guess what Joanna, you are the cool kid for me that I want to wear everything you or Toby or Anton or Alex wear.

  32. I LOVE my LL Bean boots (http://goo.gl/fuIoLR) for winter! I bought the shearling insole for them, and they’re just great. :) The best part is that aside from protecting my feet, I can wear them with everything!

  33. Loribeth says...

    I was home schooled until high school and as soon as we finished our school work for the day my mom sent us outside. We lived on a farm so it wasn’t all play, had to take care of animals and help plant/pick crops, but it is one of my favorite parts of growing up. It’s probably not a coincidence that I decided on a career field that has me spending lots of time outside.

  34. Erin says...

    Love this post! Love UGG’s….I live in Canada and they come in very handy! These are very cute photos.

  35. alane meyer says...

    A person in the north of England once told me there is no bad weather, just bad clothing choice! They should know in the rainy wet Lake District!
    and yes those hand warmers work – i have used them for skiing.
    Love your blog thank you

  36. Heather says...

    Important question: I get the pricy worth-every-penny warm boots for the kids (that they grow out of every year), but they don’t make sense for indoor play. What do you do once you get to school/day care? Have a mister Rogers’ moment and Change into indoor shoes? Or have the kid wear the boots indoors all day?

    • CJ says...

      We live in Germany and at the German Kindergarten (age 2-6) all the children change into ‘house shoes’ when they get to school. By age 3ish, when they go outside, the kids go to their locker and change into their outdoor shoes on their own! All the shoe stores here have house shoes for kids and every kid at school has a pair, it’s great.

  37. J.D says...

    I hate going outside in the winter. I’m miserable from mid-November to April. I wonder if it’s because my parents are the same way and rarely took us out in the winter (south-of-France winter!). We always had tons of fun inside though, baking, playing with legos, drawing, crafts, watching movies, etc… I blame the over stimulation on too many screens and too much screen time, ah!

  38. Cynthia says...

    I love my Uggs! I do wear knee socks with mine to keep my legs warmer as I teach at an open campus high school. I also like Toms Nepal Boots, as I bought a pair last winter because we were having such a cold winter and I didn’t want to wear out my Uggs. The Toms don’t have real sheepskin linings, but they are not as clunky as Uggs and they do make them for children. I have a faux shearling hooded car coat from LL Bean which is very cozy when it is very cold. (And machine washable!) Unless we had extreme weather conditions, I made sure our girls got some fresh air every day when they were little. Children need to expend their energy.

  39. Ali says...

    I semi-recently lived in Norway for a year and what an amazing, perspective shaping experience it was. Specific to the post, everyone – even kids of all ages – basically lives their life outdoors. Schools have a part of their day that is taught outside, and all little kids have proper rain gear (including rubber gloves!) so they can be out even in the rain. Babies sleep outside unattended because the fresh air is good for them. Living that way really also makes you understand that you cannot underestimate the value of good winter layers/clothes. They really make all the difference! As the Norwegians say, ‘there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes’.

  40. Katie_B says...

    Yes to getting outside with the kidlets – I swear they sleep better, too! Uggs don’t work with the amount of snow and slush we get here in Southern Ontario, but my favourite for kids boots are Bogs. They are magic insulated rubber boots – somehow warm enough for those -25 degree celsius days, but my kid is also willing to wear them on warmer rainy days. Shopping for one pair of boots per year = winning!

  41. Oh my god, that first photo of Anton is just the cutest! He looks like such an old soul that could sit down and have some existential chat with you over a glass of bourbon……or maybe a hot chocolate. :)

    I’ve been wearing Ugg classics for about 10 years now and while I LOVE the warmth and coziness factor, the classic foam sole is absolutely terrible for the winter weather. I know this is a sponsored post and all but I’ve slipped and fallen too many times that I don’t even consider wearing mine if it’s at all icy outside. I’ve had other styles with better functioning bottoms they are usually too bulky and stiff for everyday casual wear.

  42. I read a book a few months ago about the importance of playing outside for at least 15 minutes a day. I grew up in MI and I played outside a lot. We moved to TX about 8 years ago and as a Momma to 5, I notice that my kids argue and fight a lot more over tv, computer games, and electronics when they are inside. If I send them outside to jump on the trampoline, have sack races, or play outside, they tend to use their imaginations more and play together a lot better. Some times, they don’t like to play outside when they feel it is too hot or too cold, but your post reminded me of how important it is and sometimes I just need to get creative. Love that your little one pretended to be a ghost while at the park.

  43. anonymous says...

    My saving grace in the winter is skating at the local ice rink in our park, we live in Toronto. You keep warm my moving and get your dose of sunshine, fresh air and exercise. Also, fun!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that sounds so nice!!

  44. Sally says...

    We have a dog and so my son also goes out every single day (often twice a day). Not always for long, but it’s impossible to not go outside (because the dog needs to).

    Being from Minnesota and now living in Massachusetts I insist on boots/coats/gloves/snow pants that are completely snow and water proof. They may not be as trendy as something like Uggs but they work so much better! Also, layers.

    • Aga says...

      what do you recommend for 2-3 years old?

    • Trish O says...

      Aga, for snow boots when my boys were very little I loved Bogs and Lands End. Both are great and easy to get on.

  45. Nancy says...

    Sometimes the challenge is to get the kids to wear the clothes, especially snow pants when there isn’t any snow, but is still cold out. A local kindergarten teacher who teaches an Outdoor Ed curriculum calls them “cozy pants.” No more arguments.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is one of those simple but brilliant parenting moves. thanks for the tip!

    • Trish O says...

      Too funny. However, the real challenge starts in middle school. Impossible to even get them in a coat. I will try to call them “cozy pants” but I think threatening to take away their phone will work better. ?

  46. jones says...

    I live in the Midwest where winters can be brutal and agree that getting outside (just for a bit) can be so helpful. Layering is so important and quality long underwear (that is silk) makes a big difference. I agree with other posters about the Uggs, though. Regular Uggs are useless when you have snow and slush b/c your feet get soaked. I do have a pair from several years ago that are the high Adirondack ones and they work very well in the winter, although sometimes I struggle to get them on and off.

  47. yael steren says...

    It’s very interesting what you said about the indoors being boring and overstimulating at the same time! As for winter, I love wearing arm warmers as an additional layer. It makes a difference! xx yael

    http://www.yaelsteren.com/blog/

    • Emily says...

      Couldn’t agree more about the arm warmers! They add so much warmth without the bulk of an additional shirt!

  48. Sadie says...

    I’m from the U.S., but I agree with the Aussies that Uggs re really just for inside. If you want the coziness of Uggs, though, with a real waterproof boot, get a pair of their insoles and put them in your willies or winter boots. It makes all the difference!

    • Willies :)

  49. Katie says...

    I love all the Aussies saying they’re only for indoor use! I think UGGS are hideous (but surely super cozy). I live in a college town and the girls will wear them every day from the first hint of cool weather, and with any outfit.

  50. Emily says...

    I have to chime in as a MN girl who cannot live without her Uggs. I tromp around all winter in mine, and they are absolutely worth the money. I always have their classic short boots which are easy to wear with a variety of pants. A lot of winter boots don’t work if you’re wearing anything other than skinnies. Uggs are quick to pull on and off for the commute to work where I keep a drawer of shoes to change into. We get massive blizzards here, and I’ve never had wet feet, so I’m not sure why some people have the misconception that they don’t keep your feet dry. Maybe people are thinking of the cheaper knock-offs? The only time I switch mine out for sturdier boots is when I’m going out for a walk in deeper snow since the short boots only come up to mid-calf. Also, I think your goal of daily outside time is a great idea for children and adults! During our rough winters, it’s really easy to fall into a rut where you can go days with your commute being your only time outside. I run outside year-round and that time outside in the crisp cold air makes a world of difference in my sanity during the long winter months when a lot of people are praying for spring.

  51. Diane says...

    Wonderful, something I need to start challenging myself on. My hubby is a huge fan of going out in the cold while I want to cozy up in the winter, making bread and hot cocoa for the little ones. I agree getting outside in nature is always beautiful and refreshing. My kids have great wintergear, it is myself who is lacking. Maybe getting some would make all the difference.

    • It will Diane – it will make all the difference! I had a great coat, boots, etc. but buying real snow pants is what made sledding and time in the slush with my kiddos fun. Then we come in a have cocoa by the wood stove.

  52. Diane says...

    Wonderful, something I need to start challenging myself on. I often want to cozy up in the winter, making bread and hot cocoa for the little ones but getting outside in nature is always beautiful and refreshing. The kids have great winter gear, it is myself who is lacking. Maybe getting some would make all the difference.

  53. Kellie P. says...

    Throughout the year, I take my daughter for walks on the wooded trails behind our house after work. Well, now it gets dark by 5, but I am determined to keep up with the walks, so I bought a bike light for the stroller. It works great; the only problem is getting used to not being able to see what’s snapping twigs in the woods beside us!

    • Kellie P. says...

      One more thing: These boots, made in norther Minnesota, are even better than Uggs. I can seriously spend hours outside in freezing temps and my feet stay toasty.

      http://www.mukluks.com/

  54. I totally relate to this! I just moved to the UK and am putting my full-time efforts into my blog and some entrepreneurial ideas… that leaves me inside and definitely overstimulated. I NEED to go outside and clear my head daily. It’s therapeutic!

    The Rossetto Blog

  55. Ellen says...

    I love these posts on motherhood/kids as they always manage to show small og big cultural differences in all kinds of everyday situations!

    I’m from Norway myself. Not all Norwegians LOVE the snow and cold (I don’t), but it’s still second nature and we have to deal with it and spend time outside. With proper clothing that’s possible without too much discomfort – outdoor clothing is BIG business here.

    The Norwegian religion regarding winter clothing is the 3 layer principle:
    1. Thin wool as base layer (wool/silk, wool/cotton if allergic or itchy). In the wintertime you’ll find kids’ wool in almost all clothing shops, although some brands are more recognised for quality than other.
    Kids will run around preschool in their longjohns/tights and tops when indoors. My kids hardly wear jeans during the winter season. Examples: http://bit.ly/1MpyiST

    2. Fleece or thicker wool as middle layer.

    3. Wind/water proof padded snowsuit/wintersuit or coat/pant as outer layer. Examples: http://bit.ly/1MDaX3U

    Waterproof and wool-lined boots or Goretex boots. Examples: http://bit.ly/20OqhAL.

    Generally kindergartens/preschools will go outside unless the temp drops below – 10 Celsius, depending on wind and other conditions. When properly dressed it’s not a problem, though not all kids love it, of course. And dressing the kids before going outside is hell, says my friends who work in kindergartens. :-) But still, a kindergarten’s stamp of approval is in direct relation to the amount spent playing outdoors, and I believe many parents feel that way. It’s just the way we’re put together (and maybe also because it means that we don’t have to go outside with them ourselves ;-)).

  56. Tammy says...

    Love your blog. Have to disagree on the Uggs though. Getting sheepskin is pretty violent and inhumane for that animal. There was a video that came out a couple of years ago. Awful.

  57. Awads says...

    As soon as the temps get below 60*, i’m living in my Ugg slippers! Those, and my trusty Ugg boots, have been keeping my tootsies warm (sans socks, yay!) for at least 5 winters and are still going strong! I can’t bring myself to buy another pair b/c the ones I have now are holding up so well! Investment pieces, i call them.

  58. Kato says...

    You are so right on both counts; the good winter wear and getting outside. Even without kids; in winter it is just so easy to limit your time outside to a minimum. And here in Holland it doesn’t even get really cold.. But you feel so much better if you just go; walk to work instead of taking public transport, go for a run (and feel like a ninja, added bonus;-)). For me seriously the best thing; buy a hooded parka. When you forget a hat, or an umbrella, it really makes a world of difference. Also a scarf the approx size of a picnic blanket..

  59. Ramona says...

    “There’s no such thing as bad weather….. just bad clothing!” Bundle ’em up and head outdoors! The child care center I used to teach at even took out the babes, bundled up in their snowsuits and many blankets, in buggies, and they’d nap wonderfully! Have fun with your little ones! :)

  60. Christina says...

    because there is no footbed, I would be hesitaded to let my children wear them. If they have some sort of foot malposition it will get worse. I would highly recommend sorel boots.

  61. May says...

    Adorable photos, and nice lead in for the UGGs.

    Yes to hand warmers.
    Cough drops or throat lozenges
    Fleece lined boots…wear socks or else you might have stinky feet more often than stinky cheese.
    Extra socks
    Gaiters and wind pants
    Tank tops under sweaters

  62. Aileen says...

    Myself and my husband are the same with our daughter. We live in the North East of Scotland so if we didn’t go out in bad weather, we would never get out!! There have been some real bad days where we don’t bother but manage to make it about 95% of the year. Our childminder and her school also encourage it so she is outside most of the time. She begs to get outside from the minute she gets up and will also spend the last 10 minutes before bathtime playing in the garden. I totally believe this is why she is very rarely ill as she is not stifled inside with no fresh air. Our saviours are 3 in one Winter Jackets, waterproof trousers and a waterproof and cosy boots. Uggs are for spring and autumn. Winters here can be very wet so Uggs are no use then!! Keep going with getting the kids outside, best thing ever :) x

  63. Marianne says...

    I’m Norwegian, so this is something I’m used to. I have two boys myself and would not dream of spending a single day without being outdoors for a while. It makes all the difference. If the boys stay inside for a day, they get cranky. Always. An hour or two outside, and they are satisfied. It’s great for adults as well, obviously! The weather is not important, just dress them well. Also, kids love it if you bring a snack every now and then. Some crackers, hot cocoa in a Thermos, fruit.

    During Autumn and Winter we often go outside when it’s dark, just bring flashlights and the kids will have a blast.

  64. prudence marule says...

    I am too in love with Anton’s uber cute outfit..its just adorable and he looks so well put together.. yay!! for uggs, when its winter here my feet never touch the ground.. my boots stay by my bed and even when i get up for the bathroom in the middle of the night, the lights do need to be on but my uggs do!

  65. I think it is wonderful that you take your children out and about in almost all weather. I really ought to do the same for myself, I stay inside too much.

  66. Oh, man. I love this post – this philosophy is one I believe to be true but when I read your post and reflect on how my 3-year-old and I actually spend our days, I realize there are times when we’re just plain lazy and we need to get out there! We live in Colorado and do all sorts of stuff outside on a very regular basis, but I’m into this goal of making it happen on the daily. It was easier when my son was younger and didn’t have an opinion – I threw him in the stroller every single day, no matter the weather, and we went walking. Thanks for the reminder and the encouragement that it is worth the fight – we are always happier afterward. :)

  67. Anton looks sooo cute and sweet in these photos. Uggs are so comfortable, but I do feel embarrassed wearing them out of the house for more than walking the dog or running to the store.

    For weather that’s just damp and chilly I love the Ugg Ashdale. It’s a duck shoe, basically a waterproof loafer with the cozy Ugg lining in it. Really wish I had discovered them earlier!

  68. Yes to indoors being overstimulating and boring, and yes to winter clothes being super important! I always hate the transition into winter because I have to think about what I wear now (compared to summer where you throw on a dress or a tshirt and shorts and bring along the same light cardigan just in case). But as long as I have a super warm coat and hat, I can walk outside for hours just like any other season. The cold air feels great and bearable on your face as long as your ears, core, and feet are nice and toasty :).

  69. Emily says...

    I’m from MN, but of Norwegian background. The Norwegians have a saying, “There’s no bad weather, just bad clothing.” Where I teach, we go out unless it’s zero degrees. I recommend a long down coat, something about having your legs covered really helps!

    • Diana says...

      Here in CO too! I live across the street from an elementary school and the kids are out at recess every day.

  70. You’re so right. It only takes a little urging and they go out and love it. Then they don’t want to come back in!

    • june2 says...

      Ha…my mother used to have to literally lock us outside (in safe suburbia) with the command to “go PLAY”, and I am so grateful, now.

  71. Another Aussie here – Can’t get my head around wearing these outside! I have a pair of ankle sized UGGS I wear in the house on super cold days when I can’t be arsed getting out of my pjs. To us, they’re slightly embarrassing but very comfy slippers :D

    Getting out and about in nature is always a good idea! I grew up that way though, it must be challenging in a huge metropolis like NYC.

  72. I love this! I’m due with my second in Jan and I have worried so much about how we are ever going to get out of the house enough with a newborn and cold cold winter! My 15 mo daughter is just in love with the outdoors, it’s incredible how free and happy she is when we explore. Loved reading this, I can completely relate!

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  73. Vanessa says...

    I love Cup of Jo and have been a long-time reader, but the transition to sponsorship in this post felt awkward to me. Other sponsored posts haven’t bothered me before. Just thought I’d mention it.

    • Kati says...

      I felt the same way!

    • Liz says...

      I thought the same thing… Also I’m from New Zealand and and UGG boots worn outside is seen as extremely tacky here!

  74. Lauren says...

    As an avid Australian reader, I had to laugh when I saw your Uggs and your comment ‘they feel like slippers!’. That because in Australia, they ARE slippers. We don’t wear them outside the house, in fact, the people who do wear them outside the house are considered ‘bogans’. :)

    • Caroline says...

      Haha yep!!

    • Trish O says...

      What is a bogan? Not a term we use in the US

    • Katie says...

      Haha, kind of like Berkenstocks for people living in Germany. My cousin lives there and when she comes state-side and sees me in mine, she always comments on how weird it is because they are house shoes (ONLY!) for her/ everyone in Germany.

    • jaclyn says...

      I can see how the Classic styles (with the foam soles) would be worn like slippers but there are lots of Ugg styles, at least in the States, that have big chunky rubber soles with lots of gripping – you don’t wear those as slippers do you? It’d be terribly cumbersome clodding around the house with those!

    • This is so funny–when I brought mine to Norway and was wearing them around the house, everyone made fun of me–they ONLY wear socks or true, soft-soled slippers around the house.

  75. Pie says...

    I grew up in LA and was lucky enough to have Harvey Karp as my pediatrician! What an insightful, wonderful human being and Doctor. Honestly, he made check ups and shots a breeze with his humor and warmth. So glad to see how successful he is!

  76. Hilary says...

    Icebreaker (from New Zealand) makes amazing merino wool clothing – not scratchy or itchy, just soft and comfortable and warm. You can but it online in the US and I think they have stores there as well.

  77. As a Twos teacher (a.k.a. teacher of two-year-old children), this rings SO true … Kids need their outdoors time! We may find ourselves going “crazy” because the kids are so restless indoors, but I imagine how crazy they feel! They need their time to run around outdoors.

  78. Ingrid says...

    I love my Uggs! I need a new pair, as I’ve worn them almost every day (even in the house) for four winters now. They were worth every penny!

  79. These photos are stunning!
    While I do love curling up on the couch with great book, getting outside during the winter months is so important! I am definitely going ice skating by the rink at Harbourfront as soon as it opens. They have DJ skate nights on Fridays so you can skate to some good tunes. Oh and I hear they give out hot chocolate.?

  80. Great post, Joanna! Canadian winters can be brutal (although winter in Toronto beats my winters during university in London, Ontario. We got the lake effect snow as it was so close to Buffalo.)
    My must-have winter gear:

    Sorel boots (excellent treading but quite big and clunky. Great for trekking through snow and over icy sidewalks without fear of slipping.)
    My down-filled, fur-lined parka
    from Aritzia (The brutal winds can’t touch me when I’m bundled up in this jacket!)
    Mittens
    A good hat
    A big, cozy scarf (love the
    infinity ones from American
    Apparel)
    Leg warmers
    Fleece-lined leggings (I bought
    two pairs from Payless last
    year and wear them under my
    pants or jeans. I don’t know
    how I survived without them!)

    P.S. I’ve tried those hand warmers and they are awesome!

    I’ve tried those handwarmers before and they do keep your hands warm and toasty!

    • Andrea says...

      I was scrolling through the comments and saw yours’ and wow! I went to Western too!! I’ve graduated but couldn’t agree more with the harsh London winter and the bipolar weather there (though I must admit I do miss it a bit) Definitely agree with your list of winter essentials :)

    • MissEm says...

      Yes – Canadian winters are rough! I spent a few in Montreal and I still get nauseated thinking about them (though it’s in the arctic air stream so it’s supposedly one of the worst spots). The Chicago winters I grew up with were nothing by comparison. Sorels, North Face coat, leggings under pants, cozy scarves – all of it.

    • Sorels are the best. I’ve had my pair for 20 years!!

    • Haha that’s hilarious Andrea! I graduated from Western in 2005 and I haven’t been back to London since. I do miss my time there but definitely not the several feet of snow I had to trek through to get to class! Which year did you graduate?
      And yes…I’ve had my Sorels for
      20 years and I don’t know how
      I survived winter without
      them!
      Missem – your comment abouy Montreal winters being nauseating made me laugh because I hear how brutal they can be. I plan on going for a visit next year but will go in the summer!

  81. It’s so important to us as well. We moved our daughter (now 13) 4 years ago to a Waldorf school and one of its (many) gifts has been their intentional scheduling of outdoor time. No matter the weather (unless it’s dangerous) those children are outside at least twice a day. And they stress the importance of proper clothes; they have to have rain boots that stay at school along with rain gear and snow gear as well!

  82. Janae says...

    Great job getting your boys outside! We place a HUGE importance on that as well. My older son attends a “Nature Preschool” and of the three hours that he’s there, the children are outside at least half the time. And that’s every single day, rain or shine (unless there is lightning). It’s a big change from his former preschool that was reluctant to get the kids dressed to go outside during Michigan winters. Every student at his nature preschool has a one-piece rain suit from Oakiwear – puddle jumping is encouraged! http://oakiwear.com/shop/ Oh! And you should check out the book “Last Child in the Woods” by Richard Louv. He talks about a “nature deficit disorder” among children today.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that is so, so cool, janae!!

    • Yes, “last Child in the Woods” opened my eyes up to what’s to come for this generation if we don’t push exploration and outside time. This is a great post!

    • Kate says...

      As an adult who went to a “nature preschool,” how great that you are doing this for your kids! One of my earliest memories is lying in a huge pile of leaves in the forest, looking up at the tree tops and the sky. What a massive privilege.

  83. Toby says...

    I love Ugg boots too! I’ve been wearing them for over ten years now. However, I must say that they are DEFINITELY NOT water resistant. If they get the slightest bit wet, they will stain – leaving you with a dark spot where the water was. They can be professionally cleaned at the tune of about $40-$50. They probably really are meant to be an indoor slipper as readers above have commented. My only advice is if you are wearing them outside, be sure it’s very dry out unless you don’t mind the water spots.

  84. M. Rugg says...

    We cannot live without our Snowstopper gloves!! It kids my kids hands warm & dry during our cold Buffalo winters.
    http://www.verandaoutdoors.com//

    • M. Rugg says...

      *keeps not kids :)

  85. I am horrible at getting outside with Luna. Then I end up feeling super guilty. Luckily for us we have a nice front & backyard so we do play in our own yard. Hope that counts!

    As for winter gear, we live in Northern California so it doesn’t get super cold, but I’ll admit I own a pair of Uggs (which I wore for most of my pregnancy)! They are not the best looking shoes, but they’re comfort is addicting! They feel buttery soft & warm! For Luna she wears Hunter boots with fleece inserts. They’re always do the trick!

    Xo Lendy
    http://www.twoplusluna.com

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, that totally counts!! i would give my left arm for a yard. right now anton literally does laps up and down our hallway, i feel terrible!

  86. Coralie says...

    I’m from the South of France and about to live my 4th Winter in the cold but beautiful Montréal (survive is a real challenge!), and I swear by the Blundstone and L.L. Bean for boots and the Montréal-based brand Soia & Kyo for the coat (feminine and stylish and yet very warm and confortable).

  87. Chloe says...

    Is that jacket from everlane? I’m 5’5 and it’s super long on me. Looks way cuter on you!!

  88. LS LaSalle says...

    For us in the DC area, it is summer that is the problem for being outside. Hot and humid with mosquitoes and poison ivy in the parks. Love fall, winter and spring though.

  89. We are a better family when we are outside together! Being from Canada and dealing with the extreme temperatures here, how we dress, and how we dress our kids is so important. Merino wool is the best for our climate. luvmother™ creates beautiful and functional children’s clothing, built to last using natural and considered fibers. The first collection is entirely in merino wool with a great colour palette, technical construction, fine detailing and every piece has a hand-me-down quality built right into it. Thats my choice for my kids!

  90. Jenny says...

    When I get in a funk, I always know that I’ll feel much better if I go for a walk. Exercise, fresh air, and nature all have amazing restorative qualities. I’m currently in the market for a good pair of boots and new winter coat so that I can take advantage of the outdoors even in the rainy chill of Portland.

    Suede boots have always been a bit of a conundrum for me. You want to wear boots in the colder months, yet the colder months often bring rain, and suede doesn’t mesh well with rain. Does the protective treatment on Ugg’s really do the trick?

    • Cait says...

      Not really. I’ve even bought the extra spray they sell to try to protect them but the suede is still going to look bad much faster if you wear them in wet conditions. They are also not waterproof, so Hunters are a better choice for snow/rain. That being said, I have had many pairs of Uggs, love them, and they’re the best for really cold (but dry) days.

    • Jenny says...

      Thanks for the reply! I thought as much. I just ordered some Keen “Elsa” boots for cold and rainy/snowy days. Bring on the cold weather outdoor adventuring!

  91. Mags says...

    Haaaaaa, sorry, but Uggs are great dry fall footwear but totally useless for winter (at least here in Canada). They aren’t waterproof so your feet will soon be soaked, and they’ll get destroyed by road salt.

    Get real winter boots (i.e. Sorels, Merrells, Keen, etc – waterproof and sturdy) and save the Uggs for indoors.

  92. Alicia says...

    I love your comment about Michigan. My husband and I are from Michigan but we’ve been living in Wyoming for about 7 years. The temperature here is consistantly colder than Michigan but we are waaay more comfortable here. And it is because of the clothing! We always joke how people complain about the cold in Michigan but they are only wearing a fleece or a thin winter jacket. Out here everyone bundles up in big puffy jackets and are as comfortable as one can be in below freezing temps.

  93. Pippa says...

    I agree with the other Aussies – The ugg boot thing is so funny! In Australia they’re just slippers (much more than the one brand ‘Ugg’) and you can buy them from the chemist. We grew up wearing them with our PJs and being told off if we wore them outside!

  94. It always gets ugly when I decide to keep my kids inside the house for a whole day. I have noticed it is more difficult to care for them. They become wild and unruly. Now, when we are out is a very different story, they behave beautifully and learn so much. Plus, having them inside the house all day always ends up on a bunch of TV watching, which makes me feel like a bad mother…, but allows me to do SO many things (sigh).

    • Julia says...

      Same here – feeling guilty when the Kids watch TV, seems like depriving them of exploring the world by themselves and with all their senses. And yes: sometimes is Mummy-time and Mummy does not want to go outside anytime the Kids do :-)

  95. Jo Chan Smith says...

    Another Aussie chiming in about Uggs! Kudos to the mastery of their marketing – they have a completely different image in the USA to Australia, where wearing them outdoors is akin to wearing pyjamas out. Not quite the done thing but some people do it anyway. :)

  96. Anna says...

    “They feel like slippers.” That’s because they are! :) I’m Australian and wouldn’t be caught dead in UGGs outside my front door. Our winters don’t have snow, but when we visit family in Europe and North America for winter (unfortunately the only time we all get a long break!)!we wear Sorel boots.

  97. Trish O says...

    When my boys were little they had uggs. My younger son would only wear uggs for a year in first grade. Love them.

    Now in middle school, I can’t get them to wear boots. They do wear Keem waterproof warm hiking sneakers. My middle school boys wear men’s sizes, so all shoes can be very expensive. And their feet are still growing, so it is not like they are an investment. However, I feel lucky that I can splurge on quality shoes for them.

  98. Angela says...

    For Christmas, I asked for the book Last Child in the Woods. It is all about what they call Nature Deficit Disorder, and I think speaks to many of the things you talk about here, Joanna. I’m really interested to read it, and thought maybe you would be too. ?

  99. Rebecca says...

    I try to like Uggs but just don’t like the look of them! And without socks wouldn’t they get sweaty??

  100. I just moved up here (from Florida!) and my first big purchase was a winter parka. It’s not the prettiest but it will supposedly be a life saver in a few weeks when temperatures drop. I’ve also heard about the uniqlo underclothing being clutch- any other time-tested tricks or secret weapons for beating the cold?

    • Anon says...

      UNIQLO HEATTECH IS AMAZING. i live in chicago, which has brutal winters, and i have invested soooo much money in expensive brands like underarmour. just bought my first set of heattech (longsleeve tee and leggings) for a hiking trip to colorado, and practically cried because it is so much better that underarmour, north face, etc. and heattech never smells! it is magic.

  101. artemisia says...

    Uggs makes some boot styles that a more moisture-proof that the traditional ones, if that’s what you are looking for. They aren’t quite as comfortable though.

    What do you all-weather types wear on your legs when you are out in the cold for long periods of time? I tend to layer silk long undies, then a wool layer, then my fleece pajama bottoms, but there has to be a better and more stylish way.

  102. I absolutely agree on the outside thing for kids, but I do contest the generalisation that the indoors are boring and overstimulating with “crazy cartoons, slick videos, clanging computer games, noisy toys and bright colors everywhere”. It depends what kinds of things you fill your home with – we have a rather peaceful indoor area, with none of the abovementioned things – the kids seem highly stimulated and rarely bored. There is balance.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      agreed, that’s a really good point.

  103. Getting outside everyday is so important, maybe even more so with little kids. I read somewhere that there is so such thing as bad weather just bad clothes. Light layers are so important! We often have high winds 60mph gusts and we’re still outside everyday.
    This year I’m investing in warm boots and a coat. Last year was our first winter in Washington (after 6 or 7 in San diego) and I was unprepared! Wet cold feet are the worst.

  104. I think it’s very interesting how things have changed since I was a little child. I’m Norwegian and I spent more time outside than inside during my childhood (no Iphones or Ipads back then), which can also be related to your “Motherhood around the world” post about Norway! I do believe that it’s important for children to spend a lot of time outside regardless of the weather, as there are several benefits to it. Even as an adult, I truly value the benefits of spending time outside and enjoying nature!

  105. Yes to both of your points about surviving / enjoying winter. Our rule since kiddos arrived has been “out by 10:00.” If we wait longer (and let’s be honest, 10 am is long after they wake up) everyone is cranky and it takes much more motivation to get out. We are all happier once we have spent a chunk of time outside – parents as much as kids. Outdoors can’t be enjoyed without the right clothes. Around here there are lots of chances to trade outgrown winter wear and equipment such as parkas, snow bibs, skis, skates etc. Invest in good quality clothes and trade them as they grow!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i love that rule!!

    • Our routine sounds very similar! Snack at 9 then out the door until lunch.

    • Ana says...

      I do the exact same thing. And it’s not only the kids; I feel a lot better if I get out in the morning. Rain or snow.

  106. Vivi says...

    http://www.polarnopyret.fi/

    This is one popular store for children in Scandinavia. The pages aren’t probably in English but if you browse through you can see the variety and selection of winter gear there is for children.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh yes!! they used to have a store by our old apartment. the boys have their winter jackets and they are AMAZING. here’s the U.S. version of the shop: http://www.polarnopyretusa.com/

    • Stacey says...

      A firm favourite!

      Along with merino, merino/silk blends for base layers, top marks for brands Joha and Engel. As wool doesn’t need washing often, just hang in a steamy bathroom and the natural wonders of lanolin will work their antibacterial magic. A spot clean/cuff rinse will keep all well between washes. I find there’s less washing in winter than summer, between wool and waterproof trousers, it’s not only making kids more comfortable but making life easier!

  107. Karen T. says...

    I just had this exact conversation with my dental hygienist (so weird, I know) who moved to Chicago from Dubai and she said her first winter here was brutal. Good coats/boots/clothes make ALL the difference in the world! And I love the idea of going outside every single day….I’m going to give it a try with my boys this winter. :)

  108. Tara says...

    Thanks for the great reminder! I have two boys very similar in age to yours and a couple cool, gray days have zapped my motivation for spending time outside. Maybe when dad gets home we’ll all go for a walk and rescue this day!

  109. Skye says...

    Well, I have to say, UGG boots ARE slippers! I’m from Australia too and here ugg boots are an inside shoe! Outside frolics permitted for getting to and from the pool for early morning swimming training or maybe a late night emergency dash to get milk! I will agree that they ARE an awesome pair of coziness though :)

    • Klix says...

      Hahaha! I’m an aussie, too, and thought the exact same thing.

      Now my family is living in Germany and we find that Birkenstocks, an outside shoe in Australia, are usually inside-shoes in Germany, so we get looks of shocked looks when we wear em outside.

    • Amen! I’m an Aussie living in NYC and the fact that Uggs are seen as proper shoes here and not slippers is so funny.

    • Sarah says...

      Ha, another Australian here and I was about to say the same thing! I have an English friend staying with me and had to explain that wearing ugg boots outside the house is a complete social no no…

  110. Stella says...

    Wool wool Wool! Inside and out, skip the crappy fleece that won’t breath and ruins the oceans and get long johns and a shirt in wool as layer 1, and wool socks as well (thin ones) and the keep going ;) wool will keep you warm and will still keep you warm even if you swear or get wet. Don’t know how easy it is to find in the us but here in Sweden plenty of stores and chains have for both children and adults. I’ve spent many winters in Chicago and each time I’m surprised over how badly people are dressed…

    • Jackie says...

      Was hoping someone would say this!! Can you share your favorite wool brands? Or do you think handmade etsy-like items work too??

    • Trish O says...

      Jackie, I really live Smartwhool socks for the entire family and Patagonia. Think they are so worth the price.

    • Stacey says...

      Thanks to our lovely Norwegian friends we’ve tried a few brands. Joha is outstanding quality and doesn’t shrink. Engel makes the softest wool/silk blend base layers, nothing beats them but they are worth a hand wash over machine if you want to reduce the minimal shrinkage. I’d size up/roll up the sleeves to really get mileage!

    • Stella says...

      So glad to hear Jackie!! Living in Sweden I have a few Swedish brands but fex the store Polarn and pyret sells. They are a bit pricey but I got stuff for my 2-year old that he will wear for at least 2 winters, and then im hoping for at least 1 sibling… We might move to Chicago so I know we’ll get plenty of use from it :) h&m has as well that are very price friendly! If you are a bit crafty you can easily make layer 2 from old sweaters. Last winter I got a cashmere/silk sweater for like $7 and made pants and a sweater for my son :)

  111. Kate says...

    The uggs are cozy and comfy until they get the slightest bit wet-then they are totally ruined! No matter what (even if the ground is wet but it isn’t raining) don’t wear them outside. I ruined mine:( The handwarmers (and feet warmers) are awesome, Ever since our very snowy cold winter last year, I lived for them, keep a stash in your purse, and whip them out when you are waiting outside in the middle of January! xo

  112. Emma says...

    Oh my goodness, that last photo of Anton is just the sweetest.

    I’m in my 20s with no kids, but this is a good reminder even for me to get myself outside! It really does make a difference. Why oh why is it so tough sometimes?

  113. Chelsea says...

    :) I’m from Australia & here Uggs are not just like slippers they ARE slippers. Granted we don’t quite get the brutal NY winters you guys have to endure, so if we did we too might have to transition Uggs form indoor-with-pyjamas wear to everyday-out-at-the-park wear too.

  114. I am sitting here in a warm house in Upstate NY with 2 cats and my Uggs on lol My feet have been so happy since I got my Uggs. I get sore throats and a cough easily in winter so I am very well supplied with scarves. But my absolute favorites are these softer than a babys bottom fake fur things that loop around your neck and keep it warm as toast. I also bought fingerless gloves out of the same “fabric” ? that are great for driving and whenever you still need your fingertips to be naked :)
    It is very gloomy up here today … November is definitely here ..

  115. Hi Joanna!

    We recently (during OHNY weekend) took a tour of some of the lesser-known areas of Prospect Park, centering around the Vale of Cashmere. We live half a block away from the park, and had never even ventured into that area. One other stop on the tour was the Zucker Natural Exploration Area. Have you been there with the boys? I bet they would love it!

    https://www.prospectpark.org/visit-the-park/places-to-go/playgrounds/zucker-natural-exploration-area/

    ps…that sweater hoodie on Anton is the cutest!

  116. I love this idea. I struggle getting my 9 month outside. Other than the stroller and the occasional swing at the playground I have a hard time finding things for him to do outside. I need to make it more of a priority.

    • If he can crawl and climb and you have a playground around let him have at it, even in gross weather. My kids were all over the playground from the time they could crawl.
      No playground? A patch of grass works too, he’ll explore!

  117. Elisa says...

    Adorable! Love your jacket – where is it from?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you! it’s from everlane: http://bit.ly/1EtApqB

  118. Chelsea says...

    I love Toby’s pants! I’ve seen them in a couple of your posts :) Do they make them in adult sizes? I want a pair!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      oh my gosh, hahaha, he loves them and wears them ALL the time. alex was initially worried that kids might make tease him in kindergarten, but two other boys have actually gotten the pants now, inspired by him, haha!

  119. I know it’s been talked about several times in this space, but Scandinavians/Northern Europeans really have this dialed in. They are not afraid of the weather–especially with kids! And, as they say in those countries, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.”

    I’m expecting my first baby in January (!!), and while I relish the idea of having an excuse to stay cooped up during the worst winter months here in Colorado, I also know it’s so good for me to get outside and get some Vitamin D (at least we get a good bit of sun here in Denver even in the winter!). And speaking of puppies needing to go out–our first year here, last year, we got a dog, and that forced me to leave our apartment several times a day and realize it’s not actually *that* bad (I’m a native Angeleno, so winter is pretty foreign to me). Anyway, good luck! Oh, and yes, Uggs are awesome for being your slip-on-by-the-door shoes for a quick dog walk or jaunt to the mailbox!

  120. Bridget says...

    Loved this post, and couldn’t agree with it more. Check out 15 Minutes Outside by Rebecca Cohen. It has a different outdoor activity suggestion for every day of the year. Fantastic resource! I also recommend the Sorel Joan of Arctic boots for women (I was obsessed with the ones I got last year) and Lands End winter coats for little boys. You are right…the proper gear makes all the difference in everyone being willing to go/stay outside.

    • I got the Sorel Joan of Arctic boots from Anthro this year–I LOVE them!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i’m going to look up rebecca cohen! thank you!

    • Emily says...

      Have to say, just went through a massive boot buying research – ordered over $1000 worth of boots from zappos after polling my parents group for recommendations (I just moved to the boston area from 9 years in DC). I got 3 different sorels (including the joan of arcs) – which were all well recommended but those boots are HEAVY. Like, over 2 pounds! They also make your feet look GIGANTIC. I ended up getting a pair of Baffins which are canadian made, ridiculously warm, lightweight, and surprisingly cute AND have killer treads for walking on icy snow. Also! They have toggle closures which is just awesome for not having to worry about shoe laces coming undone in -20 degree windchill.

  121. Love the idea of the indoors being both boring and overstimulating. Probably it’s true for adults, too.

  122. So cute! In my mind, UGGS were only for girls/women and Asian boys but your boys are proving otherwise! I LOVE my UGGs (: I’m from Edmonton, Alberta, Canada (as in, we see minus 40 Celsius at least once per year…often for a week ?) and I’ve definitely used those hand warmers in both my mittens and ski boots when skiing every winter! I find that my toes and fingers get cold easily whereas my body stays warm when I’m moving so they’re the perfect solution (: So toasty and warm (:

  123. What is it with youth and the aversion to winter clothing? Granted, I grew up in Texas so it wasn’t much of an issue, but then I lived in Philadelphia and Chicago and never learned how important it was to be properly dressed! Then when I was the ripe-old-age of 30 I went out on a rainy day in wellies, a trench, and an umbrella and I was WARM and DRY! It was a revelation! Which is so embarrassing, because how can you go 30 years without learning that lesson??

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      i remember going into a little store in the west village years ago, and the clerk randomly told me that he had JUST figured out how awesome rain boots were. i had never had a pair — i always shuffled around in soaking wet sneakers — so i went out that evening and bought a pair. it was like this weird, very overdue AHA moment!

  124. Nat says...

    Kombi hats, mittens and socks are the best for Canadian winters where hats MUST cover the ears, mittens must be easy to put on and take off little hands and socks can help keep everyone warm in -25C skiing and sledding weather. Also, thermal underwear from Costco for the whole family!

    Also, LOVE Uniqlo thermal underwear and cannot wait until they are sold in Canada!!

  125. kathy says...

    I always..always…tell my friends that there is nothing like a pair of Ugg Boots to keep you warm. Uggs all the way in the winter!!