Life as the Third KidDecember 15, 2014
Pittsburgh Area Ideas for Winter Family Fun!December 19, 2014
As far as Moms go, I’m pretty open-minded about what can be fun and beneficial for the kids. I don’t mind crazy things like washing your hair in the yard under a hose in the middle of the summer (I seriously did this with my brother as a kid…and we had a blast), or turning the entire house into a “hotel” for your stuffed animals, assigning roles to everyone in the family – somehow I always end up the housekeeper! If it involves NOT sitting in front of the screen, I’m all ears. Along with the neighbor kids, my kids have taken the video camera and created their own newscasts, and will put up signs for free pedicures in the front yard, complete with a hot water “spa” bin (don’t worry, we know all of our neighbors).
But one of the MOST fun things they like to do is play in the SNOW! Who wouldn’t love that?? That’s right…ME! I am not a cold weather Mommy. I am the Mom that sips hot cocoa while waving to you out the window and watching you enjoy yourself. If I had a fireplace, I’d be sitting at it! I am ABLE to do lots of cold weather outdoor fun activities, but I just don’t like the cold.
So, here’s how we got creative while the kids were toddlers. In a matter of a minute or two, I could empty an under the bed box and take it out to the back porch. Using buckets (or cups or anything handy), together we LOAD up the giant bin and bring it back in the house. Lay beach towels on the kitchen floor, and pass out mittens. Then go to town! They are SAFE, relatively warm, minus some chilly fingers, and they can dig, build and … hopefully not eat… the snow! Your pets will even get involved. And all of their little character toys and plastic dolls can get in the snow, too. My toddlers spent hours this way, and as a preschool teacher, we spent hours in the classroom in the snow bin ANY time it snowed! Toss in some food coloring to see what happens…or a few ice cubes to see if they stick together! This is sensory, fine motor, and science all in one!
So, don’t think you have to go out and spend money on snow gear, sleds and “snowman kits” for your toddlers (we never had a snowman kit as kids! – here’s your carrot)…enjoy the snow with your little ones right at home. Easy clean up, too! And some warm water will toast up those fingers in a snap!