Ah, winter. The runny noses, the thousands upon thousands of layers, and the decreasing likelihood to leave the house are sure signs that autumn has fled and winter is in full swing.
I don’t mind the winter too much. Okay, that’s a lie. I used to tolerate winter. But ever since I had my first child, I have noticed that the cold weather is now accompanied by an ominous feeling, an almost sinister whisper that follows me around and warns me of less tranquil times: “Winter is here,” the breeze seems to say. “You won’t leave the house for days,” the trees rustle. “We’re booooooooooooored,” my children whine.
Let’s face it: Winter is cool, your kids are cool…but trying to think of ways to entertain your children during the winter is a challenge that even the most Pinterest-proficient mother struggles with. Those cool DIY gingerbread houses are awesome, but we all know you will eat it eventually. Then you are forced to come up with more ideas to appease the angry offspring sitting before you, their little minds filling with thoughts of mutiny as you suggest yet another movie marathon.
But never fear – I am here to help. Here are four winter-friendly ideas that will keep you and your little ones from climbing the walls until spring.
1. Get Crafty.
I know, I know! Pinterest has killed the crafting desire in parents everywhere. But there are some fun and easy ways to entertain your kids with arts and crafts. For instance, try building a snowman. Since we Georgians don’t often see real snow, one great way to accomplish this craft is to cut some white construction paper and let your kids decorate it like a snowman. The best part about this project is that you get to sit back and say things like “Mmhmm, good job!” and “Way to be creative,” every few minutes while catching up on your latest show.
2. Have a Theme Day.
A Theme Day is where your kids pick a special theme for the day. Like the color orange for an orange-themed day, we would wear orange clothes, and eat oranges and carrots and other orange-colored foods, artificial or otherwise. We would drink orange juice and color with orange crayons, and challenge each other to find the color orange around the house. Bonus points if you can do all of these things without having to get out of your jammies first. A Theme Day can take a little bit of pre-planning, but it’s inexpensive and you can make it into whatever you enjoy the most.
3. Check Out Your Local Library.
Gwinnett County has special events for toddlers in nearly every library on a weekly basis. There are pajama parties, story hours, and holiday-themed events designed to keep your little ones entertained. And I know you’re thinking, “Oh, you dear little lamb. My two-year-old won’t sit still for a story time.” But that’s okay none of them do. The library staff is very understanding and only asks that you keep your child from devouring any of the classics and/or the chairs.
4. Find An Indoor Playground, And Move In Until Spring Arrives.
Okay, maybe you can’t set up a bed there, but an indoor playground is a wonderful place for little ones to get out some energy. Many of them have activities for kids in all stages of life crawling, walking, running around like a tiny little maniac; everyone can find something to do. And, most importantly, they are self-contained rooms, meaning little Johnny is free to run from area to area while you sip your coffee and dream about warmer times.
Kristen Eleveld is the owner of two strange but adorable children. Her son, Josh, was born at 26 weeks, and his story has inspired Kristen to connect with other moms of premature babies to encourage and support them. Kristen hails from Gwinnett County and spends her time with her kids, husband, and writing on her blog thepluckyprocasonator.wordpress.com.