Having a 4 year old and being consistently stuck inside has been quite a ride this winter. How do you turn the endless snow days into fun, happy and productive days? We have been beating the winter blues by (attempting) to break up the days with a multitude of activities for inside and outdoor play. Here are some quick tips for staying sane.
- Get outside. Bundle up, stop making “its cold out” excuses. It takes 15 minutes to bundle up, 30 minutes of outside time before you freeze and 15 minutes to get back inside, un-bundle and make hot cocoa. Before you know it, an hour has passed and everyone has exerted some energy. Get outside, build a snowman, a snow fort, or just go for a walk.
- Put on a workout DVD. I don’t know about you, but I am crazy when I don’t work out. Similarly to my son, I have a TON of energy and need to exert energy on the daily so I am not cranky. We tried the Shaun T “Rockin’ Body” DVD the other day and it was fun to jump around inside, although both my son and husband were giggling at my attempt to hip hop my way around the basement.
- Set up an obstacle course inside. I know it sounds like a complete nightmare, but get a crawl tube, and make a game of it. Again, another 15-20 minute activity to shake things up.
- If you have the time/money, invest in swim lessons. It’s a fun way for the family to bond and get some exercise during the winter.
- It’s easy to panic when you have yet another snow day, no coverage at work and everything seems to be piling up on you. Having patience is key. Personally, this is something that I am working on in 2015.
- No yelling. No yelling. No yelling.
- Try to break up the day into activities/schedule so everyone is on the same page.
- Build a fort. Need I say more?
- Pick an art project. We recently have been using a white board to work on writing, telling stories and to have interactive dialog. It is a creative way to play together.
- Play music. We have a piano and we try to sit one time each day to just explore the keys. Our favorite game is playing thunder and rain.
- Screen time. It’s OK to put on a movie, snuggle up and relax.
- Read books together.
- Writing exercises, we practice writing in our leapfrog books and play with the writing tools on the tablet as well.
- Play with stations. Recently I have organized our toys into stations; Legos, safari animals, toy food/kitchen, dramatic play, etc. When we work with one station at time, playtime is more engaging and thoughtful.
- Cook together. My son loves to help me with cooking projects.
- Board games; I know it sounds cheesy but our favorite is Sneaky Snacky Squirrel.
- Ice skating; go to your local pond/lake (be safe and have another adult w/you) or inside arena.
- Sledding; find your local hill, get outside and have some fun!
- Skiing/snowboarding –we are going to try and hit up Bradford Ski area next weekend to enjoy all this snow.
- Go downtown (if you have one). Sometimes its good to venture out, if the roads are safe, to break the cabin fever.
- Do you want to build a snowman?