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Early Breakfast with James Stewart 4am - 6:30am
1 February 2019, 11:01
After weeks wrapped up indoors, getting back into the swing of the school run can seem like a daunting prospect - but it doesn't have to be a chilly one with these tips.
A few inches of snow can cause chaos in Britain, but in colder countries like Sweden or the US, kids happily trek to school in feet of the white stuff.
We’ve taken inspiration from our friends overseas to help you prepare your kids for the cold school runs – turns out they’re not made of tougher stuff, they’re just prepared.
We’re also chucking in a few handy ideas that’ll help you keep the little ones extra toasty when they come home from school.
With these simple rules about layering, and some other fun things to do as a family, you’ll get through the cold months with no trouble at all, while staying warm and dry!
Seems obvious but dressing kids for cold weather is quite literally skin deep.
Make sure they’re wrapped up warm before you head out to school or on your next family adventure.
Base, mid and outer layers are all super important.
Thermal leggings and vests are great as base layers because the thin nature of these clothes mean they’ll fit under school uniforms, and for girls, thermal tights can be worn all day.
While micro-fleeces are great as a mid-layer and can be worn like a normal jumper.
If you’re lucky enough to have a few coats to choose from, consider the weather when picking that all important outer layer.
Waterproof trousers are another great way to keep clothes dry - particularly school uniforms - and will protect your children’s clothes from any muddy splashes on the way home.
Outer trousers also keep the bitter wind at bay, and lined ones also add an extra layer of insulation.
Accessorise like a pro
A hat is an important tool for keeping your kids warm, and it’s recommended to get one with ear flaps.
Gloves are also important, and waterproof gloves are a must for months when rain and snow are likely.
While mitts keep hands a lot warmer than gloves, kids find them harder to play in them.
Hand warmers can also be used to stop youngsters complaining about being cold - and you can make the most of them on the return leg from school.
Protect small toes
Protect small toes with thermal socks and invest in some waterproof footwear like wellies or snow boots.
If your child has walking boots, invest in some gaiters to keep them - and their feet - dry.
Your child will burn a lot of calories to keep warm, so make sure you have some snacks on you, from fresh fruit to sandwiches, to top them up when they start feeling cold; this is especially handy on the walk to or from school, or on family days out.
If they're having fun in the garden or park, have warm drinks and soup ready for when they come in to keep them hydrated and can warm up again quickly.
Schedule in breaks when children are playing outside so they have time to warm up before they go out in the cold again.
Tempted to keep children bundled up when they come inside?
Ideally keep the thermostat between 20C and 22C so they don't overheat.
While the cold weather may be the perfect excuse to curl up on the sofa with the kids, especially after a wet walk home from school, why not swap the sofa session one evening for some indoor family fun.
Get the kids moving with these fun family games and there’s no doubt they’ll be warm all evening.
The family floss
Don’t worry about looking silly because all the coolest kids have given this dance craze a go.
Get your arms ready to swing and get the family together in the lounge for a floss like no other.
Just clench your fists and repeatedly swing your arms from the back of your body to the front, on each side.
You might need to watch a tutorial online to nail it for the first time (or let your kids teach you!)
The floor is lava
You’re not going to get warmer than lava, so this game is a great way to get active with the kids and keep them warm and entertained indoors.
In this game, players pretend that the floor is made of lava and need to avoid touching it.
Be prepared for a fair amount of jumping on sofas!
This game is cheap and cheerful but requires plenty of energy.
The objective of the game is to keep the balloon in the air for as long as possible.
While it can be played sitting down, we suggest standing up so you all work up a sweat.