Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Keeping Little Hands Warm in the Snow: Convert Snow Mittens into Long Mittens

Blue background with snowflakes and child wearing pink polka dot snow mittens

I grew up in beautiful, sunny, warm Brazil! I arrived in the States about 10 years ago in January. When I embarked on the plane in Brazil it was around 30oC (86oF) and when I landed in the States it was -30oC (-22oF)... It was a shock to say the least! I almost turned around to go back home... I seriously considered it...

I love winter now! I find myself eagerly awaiting the first snow fall along with my daughter. I love how the world magically transforms with the snow and ice and how the light is so different! But I admit that it took me a while to learn to really appreciate winter. Learning how to dress properly (Layers! Layers! Layers!) has been the main factor in my change of heart.

I am slowly venturing out to play more and more in the snow with my daughter (I even got myself a pair of snow pants!). But one thing that scares me is the way the snow gets packed in around her wrists... Then I freak out about frost-bite and we're back inside after 10 minutes! After the last big snowstorm I tried attaching her mittens to her coat with duct tape It worked well for a while but I wanted something more permanent. A few days later a friend of mine introduced me to long mittens (here is a pair on Amazon). Brilliant!

Since my daughter has a good pair of snow mittens I wanted to see if I could figure out a way to convert them into long mittens. The sleeves I wanted to add to them would have to be snug enough to cling to her arms but also stretchy. Then it hit me: socks!

All you need for this is:
  • Child's snow mittens
  • Adult mid-calf socks

This is my original sketch for the idea and it really couldn't be simpler: cut the foot part of the sock off and sew the top part to the mitten.

How to hand drawn black ink sketch of snow mitten and sock

Start by cutting the socks a little above the heel. Discard the foot part of the sock or save it for another project.

Slip the sock onto a bottle of water (I did this to stretch the sock in order to sew it properly to the mitten).

Black sock cut by pink scissorsBlack sock over water bottle

Pull the mitten onto the bottle and over the unfinished end of the sock.

Sew the sock to the mitten using a hemming stitch.

Needle sewing a pink polka dot snow mitten glove held by cute multi colored polka dot nail art

The sock is now attached to the mitten!

I ended up running it through my sewing machine, just for my own peace of mind (I found this kind of difficult to do because of the small circumference of the mitten opening and the volume of the sock...).

Time to have fun in the snow!

Child wearing home made long snow mittensChild holding white snow in the palm of a pink polka dot mitten

After making the long mittens I was looking around on the internet and discovered that I'm in good and plentiful company when it comes to snow mitten problems. Here are some great snow play tips:
  • Duct tape the mittens to the snow coat (The Kid Project)
  • After I made the long mittens I found a kindred mind who did exactly what I did! Check out Keep the Kids' Hands Warm with this Tip.
  • Great video showing how to layer and dress kids for the snow! (Nature for Kids)
  • Solutions for keeping kids from losing a mitten/glove in the snow... because you know you'll only ever find it again in the spring! (NJ Family)
  • Here is a good list of general guidelines for safe snow play (Parents.com)

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