How to Dress a Toddler for a Snow Day - Canadian Toddlers Outside in the Snow

How to Dress a Toddler For a Snow Day

Last week, I wrote about how I dress my toddler for a cold fall day, but today we got hit with first snowfall and it’s time to pull out the winter gear for those cold snowy days. The thing to remember about dressing for a snow day is that snow is wet which is totally obvious, but easily forgotten. The key to warm snow play is to STAY DRY.

Which means, sometimes, if it’s really wet snow you might actually prefer to dress your child warm like the first few steps, and instead of a snowsuit, or snow pants, opt for a high-quality rain gear.  I did say rain gear. Especially if it’s warm wet snow, classic rain gear like rain pants or a rain jacket can keep your child dryer than some snowsuits. Also, when looking for a snowsuit that will be played in, make sure you find that durable waterproof suit because it’s the wet that can really kill the mood on outdoor play.

How to Dress a Toddler For a Snow Day

Things to Remember:  This is how I do it. How you do it might be different. Don’t obsess about brands and specific pieces, just be strategic about layering for warmth for a happy day. Let us know how you dress for a snow day in the comments. We all learn from each other.

Also my toddler is 18 months old. She’s not the hugest fan of the snow. I dress my 3 year old a little differently.

Start with a Base Layer

And for me, the colder it gets the more important it is to bring out our one set of wool. On an average snowy day where it’s 0C, I will just dress her in whatever, but if it’s going be a long outdoor walk or playdate, or if it’s below -5C, then I definitely make sure we have wool on.

You can find wool base layers in a variety of different places and with different qualities and price points. In the past I have bought thinner wool base layers from MEC –  Wee Woolies – Wheat ClothingMountain Warehouse. These are all online shops. I honestly haven’t found wool locally in the North. Sorry.

If you want a thicker wool pant, then I might recommend the following options: Sloomb Playwoolies from Lagoon BabyCustom Wool Pants from HumBird Wool

As always, read your labels on the wool, some wool is machine washable, and some is handwash only. It’s really easy to handwash wool, and easier than the washing machine.

Base Layer to dress a toddler for a Snow Day

What about Socks?

Yes. You want a thick good sock. And fudge, they are expensive but they make our outdoor experience that much better. 

Because they are easy to find at Carters in College Heights, we have the thicker Kombi Socks. I have splurged on Smart Wool socks and they are great but really expensive and hard to find in the smaller sizes.

If I don’t have thick socks or they are missing, I do a double regular sock.

Then Add Some Regular Clothes

Because she’s already wearing a double knit pants, I’m just adding a shirt, but if she was wearing leggings, I would then add a pair of fleece jogging pants, or fleece pants from MEC for extra warmth.

This is really so that if we decide to go to Starbucks that she looks like a normal person, and more asthetics.

how I dress my toddler for a snow day - regular clothes layer

Warm Outerwear Layer

My child is always cold, so I add ANOTHER layer of fleece before the snow suit. My first, this was enough for him with a snow suit. Layering can you help navigate this as you can add or remove layers based on their personal temperatures.

Sometimes I do a fleece layer with a shirt and pants, or I do pull out the fleece bunting suit and layer it under her snow suit. It is bulky but she’s happy and warm, and then we can play outside.

Warm Layer of Clothing for Play

This layer is typically going to be my car seat safe layer. If we are going anywhere, this is how I dress for the car. I’ll add blankets and she’s set. Snow suit is ALWAYS last when we get to our destination as it compresses the effectiveness of the car seat. You’ll want to ensure that the fleece fits snug and well. Big, baggy or poor fitting fleece will still add too much bulk to your car seat situation.


Yes, now we can add the final touches to our outdoor snow play attire: the snow suit.

For toddlers, I prefer a one piece. It’s easy to fight them into, and you only have one thing to remember instead of a coat and pants. I’m that person who ends up places with only one shoe. It also prevents cold backs and snow in their diapers. #notcool.

Picking out a snow suit can be intimidating. It’s a big decision.

I’ve always gone with Columbia as a brand I trust, but have lately been checking out other brands like these ones, or North Face, and Burton make some great one piece snow sets.  Those are brand names I’m familiar with and trust my kids in, but I do know others rock other suits. Leave your recommendations in the comments because it will really help us out.

how I dress my toddler for a snow day in Prince George - Outdoor Gear for Canadian KidsWhat about Accessories?

Yes, don’t forgot a hat, and gloves and boots.

Hats: anything works for us, but I did stumble upon these really cool wool balclavas at the Baby Footprint.

Gloves: I just keep them in the knit ones until they become determined to use their hands. I mostly roll over the sleeves on the snow suit for as long as I can. My favourite waterproof winter durable mitts are Stonz Wear. They are worth every penny, just don’t loose them.

Boots: this contentious because everyone in Prince George loves their Bogs, but they don’t fit my kids feet. I buy my kids Stonz Wear because they are super lightweight and super durable. They are also warm. I’ve heard great things about Kamik boots as well.

Now we are going to play in the snow!

Don’t mind my half dressed toddler, the first snow day is always the toughest because your new snow gear hasn’t arrived, and who knows where the other glove.


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