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3 Ways to Warm Up the Kids (and Yourself) This Winter

Photo by Taryn Elliott

Many kids hate being cold, and once they figure out how the thermostat works, a battle ensues. You probably hate being cold, too, but as an adult, you understand the stakes. Bumping up the temperature by a degree or two can impact your monthly energy bill, enough to throw off your home’s budget. 

The struggle is real, and if this situation sounds familiar to you, we have good news. You can find ways to warm up your kids (and yourself) this winter without touching the thermostat.

Insist That Everyone Wear Socks and Layers of Clothing

Layering is one of the simplest, most scientific ways to stay warm, as you can keep your body from losing heat through conduction or convection.

If your kids are constantly complaining that they’re cold, try dressing them in layers, including socks, hats, and long underwear. Odds are good that you have to buy your growing kids a new wardrobe every winter anyway — or at least add a few new items each month. The next time you shop for clothes, be strategic with your purchases and buy clothes that will be easy to layer.

Enlist the Family in a Weekend DIY Project to Winterize Your Home

If buzzwords such as “energy-efficient” and “thermal envelope” grab your attention, you’ve probably already discovered the suggestion that you seal up any cracks around your home’s windows and doors with caulk or weather-stripping. You may have added the task to your to-do list and bought the supplies before you stopped to think about how many doors and windows you have in your house.

Fortunately, if you have kids who can complain about being cold, you also have a crew to help you prepare your home for cold weather. Set aside a weekend morning or afternoon to tackle this DIY project, and make sure everyone pitches in to help you.

Ensure That Everyone Remains Well-Fed and Hydrated

Your body works best when you properly fuel and hydrate it, and that principle extends to staying warm. When you’re consuming a few more calories than you’re burning — which implies being “well-fed” — and drinking enough water, your body will be better equipped to handle cold weather.

Baked goods pull double duty, since the heat from the oven will help warm your home. Sipping a warm beverage can also help, but only if you’re bundled up. Otherwise, the sweat your body generates as your hot cocoa raises your core temperature will evaporate, leaving you colder than before you had your drink.

Keeping little fingers and toes warm doesn’t have to overwhelm your checking account. This winter, you can set your thermostat to an economical temperature without the parental guilt that inevitably follows your kids’ complaints. Try the three strategies above to increase your family’s comfort, and remember, these items are only starting points. You can find frugal tips for staying warm on the internet, so no matter what your household’s heating budget may be, you can avoid the tough choices that come when your winter energy bills outpace that budget.

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