Gloves are best if your child is going to be engaging in outdoor activities that require a good amount of manual dexterity and fine motor skills (i.e. building a snowman) . The fact that the thumb and fingers are separated by in their own sections of the glove usually causes them to be somewhat colder than when wearing mittens.
Mittens are great if warmth is the main priority, as fingers can rub together, when inside mittens, providing extra heat for those little hands.
But, what if you could combine the two? Gloves and mittens combine to find my best pick, suitably named 'Bare Paws'.
On a ski trip in 2002, Jeff and Zach Golden decided there had to be a better way to keep your hands warm and still access your fingers to wipe your goggles, blow your nose, etc, without removing your gloves on the ski lift. After a year and a half of Research & Development, the father and son team partnered up with their resident "buddy" Mike Wolinsky, and came up with BearHands. Combining fun and functionality, BearHands are unique, super-warm, ThinsulateTM lined, paw-shaped mittens that allow you to access your bare hand through a secret Velcro flap. What a great idea! You can purchase them on-line at:
My next best find resulted when i realized the turmoil parents face, when they try to keep mittens on their little kittens. What? Lost your mittens, you silly kittens? Well, they won't call you silly anymore, with the latest invention called "Mitt-Ons."
After many frustrating Canadian winters, we designed MITT-ONS, innovative mittens that stay on! The secret to keeping them on is their sleeve that extends to the elbow, worn under the coat. They are made of warm Thinsulate, have a zipper at the wrist for easy access to hands, a grippy surface on the palm, a rip resistant tip and a cotton thumb for runny noses. Available in 3 colours and 3 sizes. These patent-pending MITT-ONS were designed to stay on! Check out the video on our website: www.onsgear.com/products. Available on-line at www.onsgear.com. E-mail us for details: info (at) onsgear (dot) com. MITT-ONS™ Features:
Warm Thinsulate Waterproof mitt
Soft Fleece Removable Sleeve
Adjustable Velcro Wrist for Snug fit
Grippy Surface on Palm
Cotton Thumb for Runny Noses
MITT-ONS™ are available in 3 colours (pink, navy and black) and 3 sizes (ranging for ages 2-teens). They retail at $24.95 a pair and can be purchased online at www.onsgear.com. http://www.familyfuncalgary.com/mitt-ons-a-mitten-that-stays-on/
I found another great mitten-stay-on find, when I visited the OshKosh store in Belleville. They sell mitten clips at $10 each. These are a handy alternative, also, to ensure that your little kittens do not lose their mittens.
Most brands of kid's mittens share these same characteristics and most manufacturers produce both designs in a variety of weights, colors and insulation ratings. The major factors in choosing gloves or mittens for your kid depends on what kind of climate they will be exposed to and what type of outdoor activities he or she will be engaged in.
Some of the major brand names of kid's mittens and gloves (and my best finds) available at stores in this area are:
Kombi Kids Mittens (a little more expensive, but well worth it, if your child is outdoors building snowmen!)
The kid's mittens and gloves pictured above are all good quality, insulated, and made by brand names like: Firefly, Spyder, and The North Face. The mittens made by Firefly (top picture) are on sale at 30% off and available at Sportchek! As the old saying goes, "you get what you pay for." The quality is shown in the price, as all pictured items range in price from $20-$50.
The pictures above and below show Hot Paws Hats and Mittens for kids which are very warm and of good quality – all available at Sears.
These adorable (and warm) Sherpa baby mittens are available at Gap stores and priced at $15.
These cozy Roots Canada mittens are priced at $16 and, I thought, a good find!
I must say, one of my favourite places to shop for kid's clothes is in the grocery store!!??? The mittens pictured above can be purchased at Sobey's in Brighton in the Joe Fresh clothing section. They are made by 'Thinsulate' and are priced at only $10!!!!
The next top question from parents is: 'How do I keep a hat on my baby or toddler?'
Well….the best type of hat, in my opinion, to buy for your little one, is one with ear flaps. Typically, hats with ear flaps will stay on your child's head, since they often have a velcro chin strap. Here are my top finds for children's hats:
This is a Trapper Hat, found at Gap Stores for $15. It is trendy, plus it has the added advantage of being a quality find, a very warm hat, and all at an economical price!
This is a Roots Sherpa Hat ($20), which is also very warm, fashionable, and the quality shines through!
If you just want a basic hat and mitten set for your little one, and prefer the economical route, I would suggest these sets available at Old Navy for a cheap price! Or, the one pictured below, is more of a fashion statement, a little more of a popularity contest (with comic relief!) and less about braving the cold, Canadian winter. This one below is available at Toys R'Us. Oh, so cute!!!!!
You can purchase these items at many local department stores and shops that sell outer wear (as referred to above). The best place to shop, in my opinion, can often be online where there are many merchants offering quality apparel at bargain prices (L.L.Bean, Ebay, Kijiji, are just a few examples). If you want a real 'steal' by buying homemade winter apparel check out the stuff posted on 'etsy' by visiting the link below.
Also, there are great Thrift Stores in the Belleville area which offer great finds for your child's winter apparel. I visited Wee Share, and was very impressed with their selection and quality outerwear available at a low price!
Or, how about getting really creative, and making a pair of mittens out of an old, tacky, Christmas sweater? Yes, that's right, a recycled pair of mittens made out of old sweaters. They may also be referred to as 'smittens'. You can visit the DIY link below on how to make your own!
Also, if you really want to save on the cost of mittens, try knitting some yourself! And, if you’re really generous, knit one pair for your little kitten, and another for a child in need of warm mittens this winter!
I visited the Stirling Public Library yesterday, and found out some interesting information. An upcoming annual event is their Mittens for Kittens Drive. Residents who live in the Stirling Community can either buy mittens to donate (with donations going to the Community Development Council to needy children), or knit their own to donate. Don't know how to knit? The Library hosts "Knitting Night" where anyone can learn how to knit or knit with the best knitters around! These 'Knitting Nights' happen on the first Tuesday of the month beginning Dec 2nd/2014. It is all part of the Mittens for Kittens Mitten Drive, and you can bring your little ones along as there is childcare including storytime and simple crafts provided. For more information you can call: 613-395-2837.
We wish you luck in your search for a great pair of kid's mittens, gloves, or hats for your child!
For more great product ideas for every season, sign up for our momstown monthly newsletters!