We are smack-dab in the middle of winter here in Northern California. Which for us means a LOT of rain, the type of rain where your streets become flooded and your walls of your house get more cracks due to the shifting soil.
I know, I know--I'm seriously lucky that I don't have to deal with the snow! I will say though, that the humid-cold here is very different than the dry-cold I grew up with in Utah. When it's in the low 40s here, it seriously feels like the low teens in Utah and I visibly shake like the dickens as soon as I go outside in my light-weight down coat.
So, when it's "cold" (don't make fun of me!) and VERY, very wet and we don't feel like going to a museum or a library, here are some of our favorite things to do at home to prevent our kids from going crazy. Or me, which is also important . . .
1) Tent/Fort time! We gave our kids this teepee (but in gray) last Christmas and it's a favorite, but any little fort will do. My daughter, in particular, likes to bring in lots of pillows into our fort and toys and play in quiet solitude for hours. It makes being inside, playing, and reading books feel a little special instead of the same-old, same-old.
2) Puzzles! We love puzzles, but I go in phases of remembering our love of them, ha! When the weather's cold though, these are life savers. We have big puzzles like this one (a favorite!) that are great for the older two, but we also have smaller wood block ones that my 18 month old is a huge fan of.
3) Bake! When in doubt, we bake. It's just who I am, and my kids love to "help." (It's always a lesson in patience for me, though.)
4) Write Notes! My kids love to draw, but giving them a purpose makes them more excited about it. They can color or paint away, but then they dictate what they want me to write on their project and we send them off in the mail to an unsuspecting friend or family member. It's a win-win for everyone involved!
5) Furniture-Gym! Yep. I let them play on our furniture. We live in a 1,200 sq ft house. When we've done all of the above activities, I am more than happy to let my kids go back and forth, back and forth between the sofa and the sturdy arm chairs. It wears them out and makes them happy, and our furniture is going to fall apart at some point anyway. (I, however, am not nice enough to let them eat on the furniture though, and I draw the line at jumping up and down like trampolines . . . )
What do you do with your kids to help during those dreary winter months? Please share in the comments!
Other moms are sharing some of their tips today as well. You can see those below! And if you'd like to sign up to participate in a series like this one, do so at Madeline and Kiana's blogs.