When winter rears it’s ugly head, it means business. While some folks swear by winter, when you have young children the dark cold days can get old pretty fast. I’m a firm believer that winter should be a time of rest, but pulling on your flannels and sitting in front of a movie isn’t going to work if you have kids that want to go, go go. Having a gentle rhythm for the coldest months may be a life saver for some.
Get outside. Your idea of a good time may not be frolicking around in the cold, but for kids who have been pent up in the house most of the day, going outside for even ten minutes can be a life saver. Winter is made much bearable when you have the proper gear like snow boots, thermal socks, and base layers.
Raid a local craft store. My favorites are the chains like AC Moore or Micheal’s, because they seem to have the best deals. Stock up on finger paints, brushes, stamps and inks, stickers, and craft kits for the gloomiest of days. Kids of all ages can engage in crafts, and something as simple as smearing peanut butter on a pine cone for a DIY bird feeder can be the highlight of a snowy afternoon.
Head to the library. If your library is anything like mine, there should be a loan program that allows you to request virtually any book or video from other libraries in the area. Look up kid friendly book reviews to pick the top choices on baking, crafting, and doing science experiments with kids. These books can be your inspiration, if you’re stuck in the winter blues. Libraries also have videos, music, and interactive computer games available, so take advantage and stock up each week!
Explore your town. Chances are there’s some neat stuff in your town, or the surrounding towns that you haven’t experienced yet. Museums [no matter how small] can be the perfect place for kids to explore, and learn a bit and most offer free admission or even free classes for kids. Check out a local bookstore, a pottery center, or other local vendors to see what they have to offer. Even running out to get a peppermint hot coco on a blustery afternoon can be fun for both you, and the kids.
Play board games. Even if you have a house with toddlers, you can play board games. The Very Hungry Caterpillar is fantastic book and game for kids 3 and up, and that’s just naming one of many. Look on Ebay or Craigslist to find gently used games, stock up, and spend your afternoons playing with your kids.
Take winter in strides, and give yourself a break. Yes your kids may watch more television during the months of January and February, but it won’t last forever. Soon they will be driving you nuts with demands to play outside, and to go swimming and you will be wishing that you could snuggle up on a blustery day instead.
Author: Tracy Alverson Euler