I am pleased to kick off this Winter season with a piece written by Carrie Spencer. Carrie writes about her own family’s adventures on her site http://thespencersadventures.net. We are excited to roll out this collaboration to give your family some ideas for a fun Winter!
When you have young kids, being stuck at home can drive everyone bonkers. From burning off excess energy to having the freedom to be rough-and-tumble, getting outside for long stretches is the one thing so many parents miss in the fall and winter months.
Fortunately, even if a seasonal chill or rainstorm has you huddled indoors, there are ways you can entertain adventurous little ones and keep them from going stir crazy.
Focus on Mom First
Whether you’re prepping for a baby for recovering from welcoming your newest little one, prioritizing mom is essential. You might need to keep a toddler busy while you attend online birthing classes, or you may just need a few minutes to rest on the couch between chores, meal prep, and more.
Regardless, caring for your mental health at home is a must, especially if in-person support isn’t possible. Fortunately, there are plenty of at-home activities that address self-care, whether you have five minutes or an entire glorious hour.
Of course, if you’re going to do anything online, you’ll need a connection that’s fast as well as reliable. Although gaming packages are designed with gamers in mind, getting access to those speedy connections will ensure you never have to worry about streaming anything!
Get a Little Messy
Mess is inevitable (especially with toddlers at home), so sometimes, it pays to embrace it. For example, setting up interactive sensory bins for your little one can earn you a few moments of quiet while they explore. You may even place a trash bag or drop cloth down before beginning for simpler cleanup.
Make Something Tasty
Any baby who’s ready for table food can enjoy what you whip up in the kitchen. But for toddlers, smushing, mashing, stirring, and taste-testing is even more enjoyable. Pick a kid-friendly recipe that allows for haphazardly measured ingredients and invite your little chef to take part. Bonus: Cooking together also involves early math skills, notes Stanford’s Development and Research in Early Math Education (DREME), so there’s learning happening, too.
While spending time together is always great, capturing memories of your little one’s childhood is the focus here. Taking photos could be on the agenda, especially if your tot enjoys dressing up or posing for the camera with props. Sleeping baby photography is popular for a reason.
But consider activities like capturing handprints in salt dough ornaments, too; The Spruce Crafts highlights how forgiving the dough is if you don’t get it right the first time.
Host a Scavenger Hunt
Children preschool age and under may need help with this activity, but setting up a scavenger hunt is something a parent can do in mere minutes. Hide a favorite toy or special treat, or a collection of items, then give your little one clues about where to find the booty – treasure map optional.
Set Up an Obstacle Course
Parents of daredevil toddlers already know that any household object can be an obstacle. But intentionally creating a the-floor-is-lava setup for your tot can be tons of fun. Throw pillows, stuffed animals, and even the couch can feature in your obstacle course. Add a ball to kick, a chair tunnel to crawl through, and a finish line, and your child might want to repeat until their energy runs out.
Start a Dance Party
Music is soothing to babies and children of all ages, so start up your favorite playlist and get grooving. From age-appropriate soundtracks featuring Mickey Mouse to your throwback anthem from tweenhood, anything goes – especially if your baby isn’t verbal yet. Music is also excellent for brain development, notes What to Expect, so you can feel good about turning it up.
Staying inside through any season can be tough. But long days with the under-fives are especially challenging. Fortunately, with these ideas, parents can get creative with expending kids’ energy and keeping their brains active, too.
For more thoughtful, informative articles that can help moms from all walks of life, check out the blog posts from thespencersadventures.net!