This winter has been a brutal one for New Yorkers (and I’m not even sure it’s over yet). I for one was more than willing to load up on the cold weather gear, donning a new bubble coat, an oversized infinity scarf, and fingerless gloves with mitten covers in a concerned effort to keep out the cold and stave off the flu. Long johns were even necessary on a few of the more brutal days this year. Though most adults are eager to be as warm as possible during the winter months, it can be difficult to get kids to bundle up willingly. My niece and nephew whine and whine about putting on their winter’s finest: “The zipper pinches my chin!,” “I can’t breathe!,” “I can’t see with this hat on,” etc., etc. A good way to combat the incessant complaining and layering reluctance is to let kids make their own cold weather accessories.

Marissa.April1With Threadz, from PlaSmart, kids as young as age 6 can weave and knit with ease. With three kits available, kids can create their own beanie hats, scarves, or purses in just two hours.

Knitting Beginnings, from Manhattan Toy, is great to teach kids how to knit as well. Kids ages 8 and up can make an owl hat with this kit, which teaches casting on, simple stitches, binding off, and pom-pom making.

The Quick to Knit Scarf kit, from Harrisville Designs, is perfect for first-time knitters. Kids can choose from red, teal, or purple to make their own scarf complete with fringe ends.

All of these kits will not only serve as a perfect craft project on cold winter days but they will allow kids to get excited about wearing cold weather accessories throughout the season (which means less snotty noses for moms to tend to). Learning to knit with these kid-friendly kits can also inspire creativity, give kids a sense of accomplishment, and help develop concentration.

For more commentary from Marissa, check back each Monday afternoon. Views expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Toy Book as a whole. We hope that you will share your comments and feedback below. Until next time!