Happy holidays everyone and best wishes for a happy, healthy and safe 2010!
Last winter, Tiny and Buba were still under a year old (9-11 months) and not yet walking. Being the germaphobe that I am, combined with the hassle of bundling my infants in the proper winter weather attire and then getting them into the car, out of the car, into the stroller, into our destination, and then all of that in reverse, most days I simply just chose to stay home. Now I know to some that may sound like a cardinal sin. After all, how many times have we heard that the key to staying sane as a stay-at-home mom is to get out of the house? But really, at that point staying at home didn’t bother me. We’d rotate around the house in between naps- playing with toys in the nursery, then jumping in the exersaucer and jumperoo in the kitchen, then out to the living room to play with other toys. The kids were happy (for the most part), so I was too.
Then the spring came. My kids turned one, they were walking fairly well, and I suddenly had a burning desire to get out and go places. Playdates, playground, library, shopping plaza- it didn’t really matter where. I just wanted to get out. So we did. And soon it became part of our routine to go somewhere between the end of morning nap and lunchtime. The kids got used to it, and I did too.
But a two weeks ago we had a day where I just couldn’t do it. We were experiencing a wet, wintery mix that just made our daily field trip suddenly not at all worth it. Now Buba didn’t really seem to care that we weren’t going out, but Tiny knows our routines by heart and it didn’t take her long to figure out what was going on, and subsequently, to begin melting down. The standard toys for everyday play just weren’t cutting it, so I had to get creative. Luckily, I had some things stashed away that totally saved the day…
1: Sunglasses from last summer
Tiny’s glasses no longer had lenses (in fact, I’m pretty sure the lenses popped out the very first time she wore the glasses last June), but she didn’t seem to care. Even as I gave them both their sunglasses, I expected that they would rip them off immediately and then cry for me to put them on again. While that did happen a time or two, I was quite impressed that, for the most part, they enjoyed playing while wearing the glasses for a good 20 minutes. Somehow the glasses made those everyday toys more fun again.
2: Connect Four
This is not something I every would have thought of on my own. But Buba’s occupational therapist has one of these games and uses it to help him improve his fine motor skills. So T brought this one home from his classroom. Tiny loves hearing the plink when the game pieces fall to the bottom, so this was another 20 minutes or so of indoor fun.
3: The Tunnel
We picked this tunnel up at a yard sale over the summer. It’s suppose to connect to a playhut, but the kids have more fun just crawling through the tunnel by itself. It’s only 4 or 5 feet long, so completely doable in our living room. This was also tons of fun for 10 to 15 minutes.
And last, but not least…
We may be the only homeowners on our street who do not own a snowblower. The noise combined with the spraying snow, made it completely fascinating to watch the neighbors snowblow their driveways. And this allowed me just enough time to make lunch.
I certainly hope we don’t have too many inside-all-day days this winter, but it’s nice to know that we can survive (and even have fun!) without getting out of the house.
So what do you do to keep the kiddos happy when you have to stay inside all day?
reanbean is a stay at home mom to 21 month old boy/girl twins. You can now read more about reanbean, Tiny, and Buba at reanbean.com.