By Julia Vinokur

I love winter, and enjoy the season with my children while skating, skiing, and doing other outdoorsy things.   However, there are several things that I always have to think of before the season starts.

1. Snow gear: snow pants, coats, hats, gloves and snow boots are really necessary during cold winter months.  They come in handy when you get unexpected first snow and your kids are so eager to go outside and make their first season snowman.  Many schools require a full snow outfit, lacking of which might leave your child indoors while everybody else is playing outside.  I usually try to prepare everything at the end of the season.  If you buy everything in March, you would save a lot of money and time (shopping online when not pressed for time is great)!

2. Ski.  If you ski, it is wise to go to a local ski store and rent equipment for your child.  We usually go in September when there is still great variety, and plenty of time for the store staff to prepare the gear.

3. Skates.  I prefer to buy skates for my children each season.  Most of the stores have used pairs in a very good condition, sharpened and ready to go.  So, instead of renting the skates every time you go to the rink, you can have a pair of your own for the season.

4. Lip balm.  I usually buy several lip balms for my kids and put them in each jacket or coat.  This way you eliminate a chance of forgetting to move it from one coat to another.   Of course, by the end of the season most of them get lost.  There are several things that I can use as substitutes in case of emergency if you can’t find that last stick of chapstick.  Coconut oil can do wonders, Aquaphor works as well, and simple butter can serve the same function in a pinch.

5. Lotions and creams. In addition to the coconut oil, that I keep by my children’s bed, I try to get different organic lotions for children.  With the central heat everywhere, skin gets very dry and itchy, and lotions help to restore it.  I like several brands, including California Baby lotion, Earth Mama Angel Baby lotion, and Nature’s Baby Organics moisturizer.

Winter season is here, and with just a little bit of an effort and advanced planning it should remain a healthy, fun, and enjoyable time for your family.