Winter is coming!!! The leaves have fallen off the trees and the is air is becoming colder. Soon enough, snow will coat the ground and we will all be spending a lot more time indoors. For those of us with young children, not yet in school or in daycare, it’s likely we are racking our brains trying to figure out how the heck we are going to entertain our littles without getting a case of cabin fever. We’re also likely planning out our children’s fall and winter wardrobes and even skincare essentials to keep them protected during the brisk months when skin is most compromised. If you’re anything like me, then you like to get ahead of these things and be fully prepared well in advance. This is why I’ve rounded up both the indoor and outdoor essentials that will make a world of difference when it comes to keeping warm, protecting delicate skin, and also keeping kids entertained for (hopefully) the entire winter. From indoor toys that offer up hours of entertainment to my favourite AVEENO® Baby® Eczema Care line and all of the cold weather gear you’ll be needing in between, here are my top 10 indoor and outdoor essentials for toddlers and kids.
This post is sponsored by Aveeno® Canada, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
1. Toys for Sensory Play:
I love a product that can act as a multipurpose item, especially when it is such a great price! We’re picking up this sensory table for Edwin as a Christmas present and I can’t wait to use it for not only eating and crafting but also for sensory play. The best thing about this table is that it comes with two bucket inserts that can be opened up and used for much more than simply storage. These buckets offer up SO many great ideas for sensory bin play. You can put things like water or sand in them for days when you don’t mind getting a little messy and for days when you want to do something unique, you can make up themed sensory bins (think holidays, seasonal themed, ice cubes with toys hidden inside, a jungle with animals…the possibilities are endless!).
2. A good snowsuit:
It’s likely a no-brainer that if you’re going to be outside with your kids, they’re going to need a trusty snowsuit. Whether that be a one-piece suit or a coat and snow pants, finding something that is both easy to move around in and will keep your kiddos warm and cozy is key. I love this option from Patagonia because it is lightweight yet keeps kids insulated and super toasty. While this is an expensive option to pay for upfront, kids will get so much use out of it and it can be either used for younger children the following year or resold with excellent resale value.
3. Winter Skincare:
As soon as the weather becomes even the slightest bit cooler, I notice a change in Edwin’s skin, especially on his cute chubby cheeks! His skin is drier, and his cheeks become red and patchy (so sad, I know!). Thankfully, our favourite children’s skincare line AVEENO® also makes an Eczema Care line for babies that works incredibly well for Edwin. AVEENO® Baby® Eczema Care line is a collection of washes, lotions, and creams that I know and trust and have used since Edwin was a newborn. Thankfully, eczema can be effectively managed with a gentle, daily cleansing and moisturizing routine and the AVEENO® BABY® Eczema Care regimen–an Eczema Care Wash and Moisturizing Cream. It helps manage Edwin’s eczema the gentle, way with a Triple Oat formula and ceramides to help soothe redness, itching, dryness, and irritation.
4. Toys for Imaginative Play:
Imaginative play or pretend play is definitely my favourite way to play as it brings back so many memories from when I was a child. I love things like play kitchens, dress up, kitchen sets like coffee machines, mixers, tea parties, etc., and even little tool kit sets. Edwin already has a play kitchen that he loves so much, so we’re going to get him a workbench style playset for Christmas, and also likely add to his kitchen with something similar to this barista set. I was searching everywhere for a hot chocolate set as I thought it would be so cute for Edwin to “help” me make hot chocolate this winter after coming in from playing in the snow but so far no luck!
5. Cozy Hat, Mittens & Socks:
Another no-brainer! Make sure to stock up on things like mittens, hats as socks as one thing I’ve noticed with kids is that these things get lost often and nobody wants to be searching for winter gear on the way out the door. Another tip is that these items can be found very affordably, just make sure nothing is too itchy because I personally know how uncomfortable that can be and with kids, it’s a big turn off from wearing the appropriate outdoor gear.
6. Toys for Open-Ended Play:
These are the types of toys that an adult may look at like “what the heck are we going to do with this” but kids find endless amounts of ways to play with them. Things like the pickler triangle and slide that Edwin uses for much more than just climbing, or a balance board that can be used for motor skills as well as a race track (and I’m sure many other
things my son would think of) are such great options to have at home because kids will never get bored of them!
7. Craft Supplies:
I have always been a huge fan of crafting and I truly hope to instill that love into Edwin. This easel is the perfect introductory toy to crafting and it is so affordable! I love that it can be used as a chalkboard, whiteboard, and have paper attached to it for endless ways to craft. Aside from the easel, I’ve also recently found coloring books and markers by Crayola that are NO MESS! These are perfect for little artists starting out because the markers only color on the special paper which means no fun surprises on your walls, haha!
8. Something Fun for Outside:
I can’t wait to get outside and play in the snow with Edwin this winter. While I imagine that the snow in and of itself will be enough to keep him entertained, it is fun to have a few snow appropriate outdoor toys on hand. I’m thinking a sleigh and shovel are mandatory, but I also LOVE the idea of a snowman kit to decorate Edwin’s first snowman with.
9. Sturdy Winter Boots:
Last year, I made the mistake of buying Edwin (well my mom bought Edwin) a very expensive pair of winter boots. He was only just learning to walk so we obviously didn’t get a ton of use out of them, but it also made me realize that boots aren’t something that can be passed down or sold for a good price when outgrown. Shoes become dirty and smelly and who wants to have hand me downs like that? I feel like as long as boots do the job in keeping kiddos feet warm and comfortable then keeping the budget low here is key!
10. Winter Themed Books:
I can’t count the number of times I’ve preached that I love to seasonally change out Edwin’s books…it is a passion of mine, lol! After the holidays are over and the Christmas books are put away, I like to bring out winter-themed books. Our (aka my)
favourite book from last year is My Winter City and Winter Dance, but I can’t wait to find more wintery books to fall in love with Edwin this year.