I’m grateful for … the glorious sunshine, the clear blue color of the sky, the lovely, intricate limbs of the bare trees, a lone squirrel braving the cold, “Jack Frost” on my upstairs windows, my warm house, my cup of gingerbread tea, and the very cozy throw that covers me now and has been shared in my family for years.
This is definitely the time of year when we need to focus on the things that bring us pleasure. It’s really up to us. Summertime is different; summertime is easy. But on one of the coldest days in decades, it’s our responsibility to make the best of our winter hours.
I think that people really are staying inside today. I’ve only seen a UPS truck, a fuel truck and a pick-up go by all morning – much to Tootsie’s dismay, as she sits watching and waiting on the chest by the window for some action.
I bet in your homes there are little ones also looking for some action, something different to do. Here are some things to consider.
- This is definitely indoor “fort” weather. Blankets, pillows, sheets – under the dining table, behind a chair, an excellent cooperative sibling project. Then let them play in it, add to it, bring things into it. Don’t focus on the clean up. Be happy for the involvement and imagination going on.
- How many “stuffies” do you have in your house? Are they up high on a shelf for decoration or in a box ready for recycling? Bring them all out, every last one of them; set them on the stairs, line them up on the couch. Your child will find “play” with them.
- A tea party mid afternoon – a definite. Invite the stuffies or just the two or three of you. Use your “best” cups, a sweet treat, enjoy the conversation, relax, and feel the connection.
- Books – in my life, they are always my go-to and toting out a pile on a cold winter’s day, to cuddle up close and read together, one after the other, will soothe restless spirits – both of yours.
- Do you have a shoe box handy? Take the top off and stick it back in vertically; add a small blanket, make a hole to tie a string on and a special bed/truck pull toy is born. Trust me – children love these.
- Can you just feel the wiggles growing in your child? Blow up a balloon or two. Batting a balloon around and keeping it up in the air is a sure action pleaser – fun for everyone.
- Here’s a good activity for preschoolers and older – alphabet high fives. Cut out 26 hand prints, one for each letter and stick them up all around the house. Put some of them up a bit higher that need a bit of a jump to reach. Let the kids high five them as they discover the letters in order – a great way to get them moving.
- Okay, you can just feel the antsiness in your kids. How about some “sumo wrestling”? Yes,” sumo wrestling”. I saw this activity recently and it seemed hilarious. Have the kids put on Dad’s t-shirt, stuff in some bed pillows front and back, and go at it for lots of squeals and laughter.
When we find ourselves tucked in our homes because of dangerous temperatures or bad weather, we need to remember to change our pace, relax our routine, perhaps even let the kids stay in pajamas for a day.
Just think of these days as gifts – time slows down; let it, and try to notice and appreciate the simple things around us. (even as we look forward to the January thaw)
If these long days of being inside are challenging you, please give us a warm line call at The Parenting Place – 784-81`25. Together, we can listen and figure out how to make things easier. (and I also have lots more activities up my sleeve.)