Winter Clothes for Kids – How We Prepare for the Winter Season

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Are you beginning to plan out your winter and figure out your winter clothes for kids? Today I’m sharing what clothing and gear kids need for a long winter.

Are you beginning to plan out your winter? Today I'm sharing what clothing and gear kids need for a long winter.

Winter Clothes for Kids

I was recently asked if I could share how I’m preparing our kids for winter and the items that they will be using. I know that preparing for a new season (especially winter!) can be a little stressful so I’m happy to share and hopefully, this makes things easier on your family!

Some things to know before you dig into this article.

We have 3 kids, all ages 8 and under.

We live in South Dakota. Winter is long and not easy.

We homeschool and will be at home for the majority of the winter but will still have outings with friends and to church.

With this in mind, check out the different sections below to see what we have for everyday clothing, outerwear, and other winter things.


Everyday Winter Clothing for Kids

We follow a fairly minimalist approach to clothing, really only having what we need. I outlined this approach in my Minimalist Children’s Clothing Article. That article shares what I believe is the minimum amount of clothing that a child would do well on, depending on the season. Clothing will be slightly different for boys and girls because girls have more styles to choose from (ei: dresses, skirts, etc). Here’s what we have and what we prepare. Each of these items is per child.

7 Long Sleeve Shirts

I usually get long sleeve shirts for the kids at Carters or The Children’s Place. I do not buy shirts with phases or sayings on them just because I find them odd. We will buy shirts with the occasional generic picture on them (ie: a dinosaur, hearts, etc), but that’s about it. We also do not buy any “character” clothing items. (And please don’t feel judged if you do buy these items! I’m just making a statement for our family, all families are different. 🙂 )

I like to have a good mix of shirts, some thermal shirts for the colder days and some of the “t-shirt” material for the warmer winter days.

One more thing to note on the shirts, I usually always buy tunics or dresses for “shirts” for our daughter in place of regular length shirts. This is because she wears leggings in the winter and they just make more sense with a tunic in my opinion.

4-5 Pairs Lounge Pants/Leggings

These are the pants they wear every day at home. Because of sensory issues, jeans don’t get worn much at home and plus, lounge style pants go better under snow pants. Instead of lounge pants for my daughter, I have fleece-lined leggings which I bought from Carters.

I bought all the lounge pants for my boys from Kohls because they have size slim in their Jumping Beans brand and we need it!

1-2 Pairs of Jeans

As I mentioned, we have some sensory issues so we don’t buy many jeans. I do have at least 1 pair on hand per child to wear to church on Sunday or to wear to town. I get our jeans from The Children’s Place because they go down to $7.99 for the basics.

Socks & Undergarments

Each child gets a new pack of socks and undergarments at the beginning of the winter. I always buy black or colored socks because they get them so dirty! I will get the socks anywhere I find a good deal.

5-6 Pairs of Pajamas

Each child has this amount of pjs and I almost always get them from Carters but I wait for them to be about $5 per pair of jammies (on clearance). Most of the pjs are just long sleeves with long pants but each child has at least 2 pairs of fleece pjs also for the colder nights.


Each child has a fuzzy warm robe so that they can wear it over their pjs as needed. My boys have had theirs for a while (I think I got them from Kohls?) but my daughter needed one so we got this Robe for Girls from Amazon and she absolutely loves it.

Church Clothes

Each boy has 2 button-down shirts that I rotate for church and my daughter has 2-3 dresses. The boys wear their shirts with jeans and their tennis shoes, my daughter wears her dresses with her nicer boots.

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Outerwear Gear For Children

We are outside every day, even in the winter unless it’s below zero. (And even then we still have to do chores but the kids usually stay inside.) Winter in South Dakota lasts from October to April if we are lucky…but usually we get snow from September to May. Here’s what I have for the kids and the links where I bought everything this year.


We have to have the overall kind otherwise they have trouble staying up on my slim boys! Right now I’m only buying snowpants for my oldest and then passing them down to both of the younger kids. I always buy black snowpants so they go with any coat the younger ones might have.

This year I bought these Waterproof Snowpants from Amazon and I’m really happy with the quality. I always buy waterproof snowpants!

2 Pairs of Gloves

Each of my children actually has 2 pairs of gloves, one for playing outside in the snow and one for wearing in the car when we are traveling. My daughter is still using mittens so she got This Pair of gloves for the snow this year. The boys prefer gloves with fingers so they got These Gloves this year. I honestly haven’t found it worth it to buy more expensive gloves that those because on the days when it’s really super cold, they aren’t staying outside for long anyway.

For the gloves in the car, we use simple fleece gloves. I bought these Fleece Gloves for the boys and these Fleece Mittens for our daughter. They both appear to be warm and soft, perfect for the car but the gloves that I bought for my daughter are a little on the large side so you might want to size down if you order those.

2 Coats

Coats are something I try very hard to always purchase the season before, otherwise, they can get so expensive! Last year I found a clearance coat for my daughter at Target. The boys both had to get new coats last year as well but they still fit them this year. I purchased their coats at Sam’s Club and if you have to buy them new, Sam’s Club seems to have pretty good prices on coats. I like to find the “double layer” coats when I can.

Like the gloves, each of my children also has a second coat. This is a thinner fleece coat that they can wear in the car safely in their car seats. This year they all have Columbia fleece jackets that I found on clearance. They are perfect for the car! If you can’t find that brand on clearance, be sure and check your local farm store which is where I found ours.

2 Pairs of Shoes

Yes, each of my children has just 2 pairs of shoes for the winter! My daughter got an extra pair this winter (cute boots!) because I found some on clearance, but otherwise, we stick to the basics.

Each has a nice pair of tennis shoes that they wear to town or church and each has a pair of waterproof boots that they wear at home. (Think muck boots). I always seem to get them at different places each year. This year’s shoes were bought at Target on clearance from last year.


I’m very particular on the hats that our children use, I always buy the ones with the face cover. They can easily pull down the cover if needed but it saves me from having to buy a scarf and they can’t lose this neck/face cover unless they take off their hat!

For this year I purchased thee Fleece Hat/Face Covers and they are super warm and soft.

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Flannel Sheets

Other Winter Things for Kids

There are a few other things that we use only during the winter time and even though they aren’t winter clothing for kids, I still felt like they fit into this blog post.

Flannel Sheets

I purchased Toddler Size Flannel Sheets for my daughter (really hard to find!) from Amazon and I found nice Twin Size Flannel Sheets for the boys from Kohls. These sheets will last them many years and getting them out will be part of our “getting ready for winter routine”.

Fleece Blankets

We keep fleece blankets for each member of the family in the car for when we are traveling, you never know when you might need them. For these I just get them $1-$2 blankets that you can find at Walmart or Menards in the winter.

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Now I know what you are asking…why are you buying these winter clothes for kids new instead of getting them used? Well, the reason is that it’s very hard to find decent children’s clothes (especially boys!) in the sizes that we need. Children just get so hard on their clothing!

Occasionally I will find something in good shape that we can use, either a hand me down from someone else, a good deal from Once Upon a Children, or a nice find at a rummage sale. All the other items we need I buy out of season from the places I’ve listed above. This way we are still getting a great deal, even though we are buying new.

What is on your winter clothes for kids must buy list?

Merissa Bio

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  1. I enjoy reading about you and your family and the winter in S D that you have. I am in Arkansas and we might get a snow once a winter but not much. we had a very bad ice storm in 2009 and it brought trees down in our yard and on our house. I plant a garden every year and enjoy my flowers and garden so much. I am 76 have two children and three great grandchildren and sew all the time. I just had a hip replacement and am trying to get back to sewing, I have made about 12 dolls so far to give away at Christmas. I am also sewing for my girls and have stopped making dresses for them because we can’t get out to church right now because of the virus. I love to bake but can’t right now on account of hip surgery. we are having a beautiful fall and I want to decorate so much but not one will be here to see it so why do it. I too buy out of season when things go on sale. Sorry for such a long comment but just felt like talking ha ha.

    1. Dorothy you sound wonderful! I hope your hip repair heals quickly and you are able to get back to living! If you ever want to share on how to sew a doll send an email to me! I would love to listen and learn you must have so so much knowledge to share! [email protected] all that you wrote I would love to hear or read about!!

    2. I’m just now starting to follow along and I really enjoy your work. I can relate to living in South Dakota as well. I spent three years in Rapid City and some time at the VA hospital in Hot Springs.

      Keep up the good work! 😊

  2. Great article! Awesome idea to buy black socks! We live in South Carolina, land of the red red clay dirt! You have inspired me to buy dark socks next time we need a new package!!! Thanks, Mom! 🥰🥰🥰
    I appreciate your desire to keep things to a minimum and live simply. I’ve been paring down much each time I rotate through hand me downs for the youngest of three daughters. Slim pickings by that child!! 🤣

    1. When I first moved to NW Fla from Pa, I kept hearing and seeing signs that Red Clay was not allowed on the beach. I wondered what he had done……

  3. Thank you for your suggestions. I love reading your blog. We live in Minneapolis and our raising two grands. I am lucky to have many thrift stores available. Sometimes, the item still has the tags on! There is some things that must be bought new. We are now homeschooling as well.

  4. Great article w/ great suggestions! I love that you buy winter hats w/ pull down face masks! I was born & raised in MN; when I was 12, I walked home from school (approx 1 mile) w/ my hair pulled back in a pony tail, NO HAT, & ↓ zero temps… YES, I froze my ears, and they are still sensitive today! ( over 50 years later!) & I made my kids wear hats every winter! (even though I moved to NE Ohio, and winters aren’t as “tough” here!

  5. I’ve always had luck buying really early in the season from the local resale store. I’ve bought North Face, Columbia, some really good brands. I hate to say it but I “shopped” for new boots for my son, the morning that the lost and found was going to good will. I figured by that time if someone really wanted their lost boots by then they would have found them.

    As for toddler sheets, I made so many sheets for the toddler bed, a width of fabric works and then I made a top sheet as well and attached them so they wouldn’t come apart.

    I’m past that now with a 14 and a 10 yr old but that’s what I did.

    1. Good tip on making the toddler sheets! If we weren’t in such a busy stage of life getting moved into the house, I totally would have done that. They are so simple and small. I like to make pillowcases as well so that my littles can pick out their own custom pillowcase fabric. They make fun stocking stuffers at Christmas! 🙂

  6. Hi!! I thought that was an amazing article, I would have liked to see something like that when my son was younger. I do have a question though. Do you have another list for the adults? I have so many clothes and I am trying to cut back. Any advice would be welcome.
    Thank you

  7. Oh! my usual attire is a sleeveless tee, a sweater (thickness depends on the season) I have started wearing yoga pants or legging type pants. much more comfortable then jeans. when winter comes I wear tights underneath. and those extra lthick leggings that only cover the shin
    thanks again in advance for any suggestions.

  8. This is a great article! would like to see one for adults, especially for those of us new on embarking towards a simpler lifestyle. Also something along the lines of paring down our kitchen possessions.

  9. Great article, thank you! We do much the same thing with the minimalist approach! I find it’s much more manageable for kids to help with their own laundry too! Do you have a Target around you at all? We get all the kids’ clothes there because they have a 1 year guarantee on all the Target brands (Cat and Jack is the kids’ brand). If our boy runs through the knee of his jeans, I take it back to the store with the receipt (no tags needed) and get the full cost of the item back on my original payment method (We use cash). It seems crazy but they guarantee their clothes will last at least a year. They’re good quality so most of ours don’t get returned but it’s nice to have that option! They also make their jeans sizable with the button and elastic in the waistband. 🙂

    1. Yes we do have Target! I’ve found a few good things there but sometimes struggle because my boys are so slim. That’s a nice guarantee on their clothes!

  10. I was very curious to see what you do, as I try to very minimal as well. You have almost the exact plan we have, right down to where you buy your clothes. That was a fun discovery! And yes, I avoid writing and such on shirts. To me it feels like a billboard. And yes, always buys coats on clearance when you can! Thanks for a great post! It is such a good topic to be talking about.

  11. I raised twin grandkids ,live on ranch they forget to take boots off etc. I also went to black socks. Looked for black with gold heels or pink heel for girl. Always one group solid black. Just made it easier hate to bleach.

  12. I have two toddler boys and we live in southern Missouri. The boys are blessed to have slightly older boy cousins who live in North Dakota and Pennsylvania so they get plenty of good winter gear handed down! I still buy a few things (mostly summer stuff) when my older son starts outgrowing his clothes between visits from the aunts! I do have to buy shoes for my oldest because so far, he’s the only one who inherited wide feet. I buy shoes used on eBay. Rubber boots, I buy new because they wear out so fast and I want to be sure they are water tight. We do most of our clothes shopping at yard sales, thrift stores, and Facebook and I buy a couple sizes ahead and sell things we don’t end up needing on eBay or Facebook. We are in a rural area with several small town thrift stores that get a lot of donations that don’t get sorted through very well so it takes a while to find the good stuff, but I don’t pay more than $2 for pants or shirts. I will pay a little more for good outerwear and shoes (if you need it, you need it!), though often I get those for a dollar or two as well.