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December 02, 2013


Does your school have a lost and found? My husband volunteers at our school to sort the stuff every few months. You'd be shocked (or not-ha!)at the volume of stuff - much of which is actually marked with the child's name! He returns the stuff that's marked and then the rest goes to charity. Anyway - you might check the mitten bin......

I second that. Check the bins at school. Piles and piles of unclaimed remnants get donated every trimester here. REALLY nice stuff.

If they were mine and any older I'd 'tough love' after the 2nd set lost...and expect them to go without for several weeks.

Get the ones with a long yarn connecting them. At least then they will lose them a set at a time.

Ha! I thought that little kittens book/rhyme was some weird thing unique to my childhood.

I agree get the kind with the loooong string connecting them. Not only do they stay or get lost in pairs, when fed through coat sleeves they can be downright harder to lose!

Length of elastic to connect mittens, feed through coat sleeves, tie or stitch mid-point of elastic to firmly stitched on hanging loop of coat. Worked for us as kids and our kids too! Or make them pay for the replacements . . . ?

I threatened extra chores for every mitten or glove lost! They haven't lost them yet!

We lost 4 pairs, the good, new ones of course. Two pairs were in the car. Now I have to send extra pairs to school in a ziplock. The string works! I only know the song in French.

I had to laugh at this. My kids have lost various things at school over the years and I finally started putting names (or initials) on everything I could. We went through the lost and found many times. This year we are homeschooling so I actually bought everyone a nice set of gloves since I figured they hopefully won't lose them in the entry way or the yard. But I wouldn't put it past my 7 year old.

I concur with the mitten strings idea. They're irritating, just enough to teach care!
I buy my children's gloves in multiples; around 3 or 4 identical pairs. That way I can generally find 2 of them on the dash out in the morning.

On another note, I have really small hands. Small enough that I can still wear the gloves my sister wore to school when she was around 7 (I was 1). I once lost one in Paris, France (aged 21). Because of our unusual surname, and the name tape my mother sewed in for her, the glove managed to get back to me in London, England! I still have the pair (at 37).

This will get you called "mean mommy" but will work: Every time they lose mittens (or clips), take the cost of replacing them out of their allowance. They will rapidly cease to lose the mittens!

LOL. So been there.

And the casual announcement that they can't find them and don't know where they are is infuriating.

My 2-year-old's mittens are tied to a strong that goes up one sleeve, behind her neck, and down the other. Darned near impossible to lose.

Agree re: mitten strings. An oldie but a goodie. Sometimes our children need to suffer with itchy wool strings on their backs/necks just like Laura Ingalls Wilder & co. And you could consider making them walk uphill to school both ways in the snow, as well. Character forming.

That's what the long string is for??? Holy cow, I am the dumbest human alive. I feel like I am in a whole new world now.

Today I realized that we don't know where my son's winter scarf is, the one he's supposed to wear as part of his school's "winter light" celebration on Thursday. I'm really glad not to be discovering this Thursday am, but I don't know how he's managed to lose it because it hasn't really been cold enough to wear winter scarves yet in Amsterdam. I swear it's been in his cubby with all his red hats, but there's so much red in there I guess I haven't noticed its absence.

I'm a knitter, and I'm nine months pregnant, and the thought of going out and buying an acrylic scarf in the next two days has me nearly in tears. I know I'll laugh about this soon but...

I'm a knitter, so it's knitted or crocheted string for our mittens. Haven't lost a pair yet, though the strings make the mittens, on warm days, either filthy from dragging or they become weapons (think very soft flail).

Yes I have boys, how'd you know.

Sew a strip of elastic inside each sleeve, above the wrist, and sew the other end to a mitten.

Maybe the kind of mittens attached by a string that goes through the sleeves and across the back would work?

I always hated mitten clips.

Bill Cosby does a funny bit about the mittens on long sleeves. He calls them "idiot mittens". Like most of his routines, it's funny and safe for little ones to hear. I'm not tech savvy enough to add a link, but I'm sure it you google it......

As with others, I vote for the string - the set was called "idiot mittens" when I was growing up.

My mom crocheted a long chain and attached my mittens to the chain and threaded through the arms of my coat - as long as I had my coat, I had my mittens. Worked like a charm!! Anyone that can crochet can make you long chain quickly - not me, of course, because I've tried to learn several times but can't quite get the hang of it. If family and friends can't do it, perhaps Etsy?

Everyone's advice sounds very reasonable. Especially the part about charging them for lost mittens.

"Stop losing your damned mittens, you furry little ingrates." You slay me!

My 7-year-old girl has taken to losing just about everything. She was better in kindergarten and first grade! We lost the second jacket/coat last week and the odd glove. All 3 lunch bags have been lost but miraculously found again. It's definitely a new occupation for me (properties manager).

Well,, Julia, you know that MY precious snowflakes NEVER lose ANYTHING. Except, of course, just ONE of every goddamned pair of really good, waterproof ski mittens they ever receive. E is the absolute WORST loser of things I've ever met, even worse than my husband.

Well, it feels like every single one. In reality, it's more like half. ;-)

I agree on the mitten strings -- those clips were the bane of my house. We'd find them - correction, ONE of them -- here there and everywhere at all times of the year, though never on their mittens in the actual winter.

Give me the detailed description of their lost items and I will check the overflowing lost & found whenever I work. Surely they'll turn up., Sometimes they take a while to filter to the lost & found, depending on if they were lost on the playground, lunchroom, classroom, etc. Is your last name emblazoned on every article? That's always key for us, as well.

I was going to say I recall when I was little having my mittens tied/sewn to a string and the string was looped through the arms. I can't believe mine has not lost his yet. Now you've got me thinking how to avoid that.

I hear ya, lady. My 10-year-old STILL regularly loses his mittens. And one cannot be mittenless in Minnesota in December, so natural consequences are not exactly helpful here, are they?

So you know what I did? I got him a pair of woolly, fleece-lined Winona Knits mittens. I asked him to finger-crochet a long chain of yarn (something he already knows how to do). Then I sewed the ends of the chain onto his mittens and strung it through his coat sleeves. No more lost mittens!

Hubby keeps saying he looks like a preschooler with mitten strings, but the boy DOES NOT CARE. He's just glad I've stopped snarling at him about his mittens. :)

I also vote for the string and for checking the bins at school. Although at our school it's a bit of an expedition. Leave enough time to wade through piles and piles of stuff.

I apparently live in a very, very paranoid school district. No mitten strings or scarves allowed, since a mitten or scarf might get caught on playground equipment or, and I am not making this up, get caught in a closing bus door. I would be surprised if anyone has been dragged by a bus because of a snagged mitten-on-a-string (and if anyone has, it was a freak accident and really cannot be statistically significant), but that's the rule "just in case". Kids also aren't supposed to wear crocs in the spring/fall because they too might somehow get caught on playground equipment.

My kids get good mittens for Christmas. If they lose any, I'll replace them once, but they can only use them for home play after that. They have to use dollar store mittens and buy them themselves for school after they lose the good ones. (Context: kids are 5 and 7, and we live in Ottawa, Canada.)

Utterly mortified to admit this, but it's the internet, so what harm could it do, right? Anyways, I will be crocheting my own mitten string tonight (which I had not thought to do on my own, thank you other commenters) because I, at the age of 36, have already lost 3 right-handed gloves this winter. My soon-to-be-4 year old has lost none of his winter gear.

RFID tags? Maybe Patrick could rig something up.

This is my worst nightmare, because I just bought Henry mittens for ski racing that cost...I shit you not...more than my first car. Somehow, writing one's initials in Sharpie doesn't seem like enough. I am thinking of taking out insurance on them.

This is completely unrelated, but I saw this and immediately thought of Patrick and his past font adventures: http://www.designer-daily.com/elefont-elefant-alphabet-41521.

I sewed a long strip of elastic to my kid's gloves and fed them through the sleeves. They stopped losing them. :)

If you haven't , I would suggest putting your last name on everything going to school. I'm the volunteer for our school for lost and found and if I see a name on it, make sure it gets back to the owner. Most stuff does eventually end up in the lost and found closet. My youngest once lost a mitten..in class..as they were leaving for the day. Turns out it fell off her desk into her neighbor's backpack. This was in October. His mom found it in the backpack in April! But we did get it back. 😄

Ok. I second several of the comments here. One: sew the mittens to elastic or a short string and sew the elastic/string to the coat sleeve. I love the mitten strings but our schools would not permit string mittens for the same reasons listed by Shawna. Two: buy multiple pairs of the same mittens (per aendr). If one is ripped off the coat, lost etc., you have extras (although I usually ended up with all lefts!). Three: Name tags! If there is a tag inside the mitten, write names on with a sharpie.

Mitten clips just get lost along with the mittens. Useless things.

Man, I hated those years. Good Luck!

I second the yarn idea except: use elastic string (it is very hard to break) and thread it through the tag at the collar. Forget the clips and sew the mittens directly to the thread. This should buy you at least a few days per pain.

Do the kids jackets have mitten pockets? I had to teach mine that when she took her mittens off, they go in the pocket. She hasn't lost them since. (And I do love the yarn/elastic idea).

Now I get why the mitten clips don't work--I had thought that would be the solution a couple of years ago, but no go. I am going to buy some elastic after I pick up my older son from school. On another note, I decided years ago that we'd stick with winter accessories (snowpants, boots, hats, mittens) in only black for my two boys, and coats would be chosen to coordinate. Every year when Lands' End has holiday deals or clearance sales, I stock up on the black stuff and now have a nearly bottomless pile to choose from when something goes missing. I still don't like it, but it hurts less when I only spent $3 on a fleece hat.

I buy one pair of nice mittens and a whole bunch from the dollar store. If they lose the good ones, only the dollar store mittens go to school after that. I will maybe buy another pair of good mittens for going sledding, etc, but they don't go to school.

Yep sew some yarn on them and tuck them in their sleeves!

Yup, idiot mitts are in order. And multiple pairs of the same mitts. There is a 2-needle style of hand knit mittens that don't have a specific left or right mitt that are excellent for younger kids. You just knit ton of them all the same colour and when a mitt goes missing, you grab a new one from the bag and presto! a set of matching mitts.

1st grader lost his brand new Angry Birds winter hat within a week. I bought a less nice replacement and told him any future replacements were coming out of his allowance.

It's been warm ever since...

I was the mean mommy who suggested charging the little furry ingrates (whoops, okay, not furry) for new mittens, but I've repented since then. I think the person who suggested sewing short lengths of elastic to (a) mitten and then (b) sleeve had the most workable and humane solution. ;o)

And this is why if be shocking mother if we lived in a cold climate. Mittens, hats, coats? My mind bleeds...we're flat out remembering lunchboxes and water bottles here. Yet another reason to be glad to be an Australian!

Five pairs...yes, five pairs of identical black stretchy gloves are the only way to guarantee my son has a matching pair of hand covers.

I buy them on summer clearance for $.50 a pair.

Oh, and four identical black watch caps.

My daughter has the same pair of mittens with cute kittens on them no less for going on year number two...never misplaced one, go figure!!

This year I realized the problem with our winter accessories setup was getting the hat/mittens home each day. Now I buy two of each for each kid, and place one set of mittens/hat in the backpack for my oldest and one in the daycare cubby for my youngest. The second set is a backup for the first and being out and about at hoem. It's my kids' job to get their hat/mittens back in to their backpack (and cubby respectively), with some help from their teachers. This works a lot better for us. The kids are still responsible for their own stuff, but it's easier to remember to do and fewer steps, less room for error.

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