Fall is just about over and winter is on it’s way. This means holiday shopping, holiday lights, skiing and . . . cold weather. Brrrr. What do you do when the weather isn’t cooperating and a park day just won’t cut it? Breezy Mama sent the question out to friends who had either grown up in the cold weather, or who now live in cold winter places with their own kiddos. Read on for some ideas on how to entertain the young ‘uns when it’s coooooooold outside.
Painting, Working Out, and Rescuing Worms:
Erica, who grew up in Maine and now lives in Colorado with her two wee-ones, knows how to entertain in the cold. She says:
- Painting on snow…use 4 different clear squirt bottles (the kind ketchup comes in at a hot dog stand) and fill them with a few drops of food coloring–each bottle has a different color. Next, fill the bottles with cold water. You can write your name, draw, etc. when you squirt it on the snow.
- Sledding on the bunny hill or mountain as soon as the resort is closed.
- The kids love it when there is enough snow to pull them in the snow on the road; we go to the grocery store, coffee shop, anywhere–the rule is we can only go to places we can make it by sled. When we’re done, we normally end up at home with hot cocoa.
- Elle, my bug girl, likes to rescue the worms before they get waterlogged.
My mom, who is a true Southern California girl, spent time in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania when yours truly was a toddler. Her favorite way to keep me busy? “Inside, building a “tent” was always fun. Push chairs together, drape king size blankets or sheets over them. Anchor them down against cave-ins by tucking the edges under chair legs. Drape the tent down to the floor on 3 sides, 1/2 way down on the “door” side. Go inside with sleeping bags, pillows, games and books. Have popcorn and hot chocolate in there. Best when done in the living room with a fire in the fireplace.” Note from me–she did this when we were vacationing in Canada (in December) and the kids spent all afternoon in there!
Shelley from South Carolina says, “This is what we do in SC on the farm in the rain–we call it Turf Surfing. Pull a boogie board behind a vehicle. Ideally in a trench of water, but really wet, short grass works too. The toddlers can ride on their tummies; older kids stand up. If it’s cold wear a wetsuit.”
Stephanie, who spent her childhood in Connecticut says, “Cross country ski to a friend’s house. Snowball fight! Snow angels” while her husband Ryan, a Canadian, liked to build snow forts.
Writing on the Walls
Artist Kate Neckel, from New York City writes, “On a cold/rainy/blah day we like to get big rolls of white paper from the art store…tape the paper to the wall…and draw on the walls! I had always put big rolls of paper on the floor but ever since I drew on the walls at the Ace Hotel, my kids want to draw on the walls! For the Ace gig, I drew things that I saw/experienced around/in the hotel…so if you’re doing this type of thing with the kids you could create a theme (if you want) and draw things that you see on a snowy day…or things in the kitchen…or your fave toys etc…and then before you know it you have your own customized wallpaper!”
Hay Rides and More
Alison who hails from Chicago says her best memories growing up in the cold were of, “. . . making apple pies in the fall, going to the pumpkin patch and on hay rides, jumping in leaf piles, sledding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, making snow angels and forts, making gingerbread houses, drinking hot chocolate, roasting marshmallows in the fireplace, setting up all of the Christmas decorations. . .”
Let Them Dig
Danica, a Colorado transplant got her two-year-old son into digging: “Last year we bought him a mini snow shovel and that causes endless entertainment and is great because he will go out there and “help” us shovel the drive and sidewalk when we have to do it in the morning (required by law) and he loves to be part of it. They sell them [shovels] at hardware stores and probably Amazon.” She also said to not be afraid of the park–that “making first tracks down the slide that is covered in snow is fun….” Garant Snow Shovel for Kids, $9.99. Click here to purchase.
An Oldie but a Goodie
My dear old (sorry David!) dad, who spent his youth in Buffalo, NY reminds us to not forget the classics, “When there was snow on the ground it was always fun building a snowman. If the snow was the right consistency, a small snowball could be rolled around in the snow on the ground and become a great big ball. Do this three times, stack them on top of each other and decorate.” Dress a Snowman Kit, $9.95. Click here to purchase.
Did someone say snowball?
And lastly, Jason, who grew up, as he put it, “in the arctic winters of New Jersey” says:
- Throw snowballs at cars.
- Throw snowballs at each other.
- Throw snowballs at houses.
- Throw snowballs at everything.
Flexible Flyer Snowball Maker, $6.00. Click here to order.
Whatever you do, have fun!
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