All parents know that trying to get a stroller past a nasty pile of icy untended sidewalk, with precious cargo on board, can be a major hassle. And we all have cabin fever, young and old alike. So how do you get through the times when the snow is falling and there’s no hope at all for getting out this morning, or even this afternoon? Well, here are a few ideas that we have to share, for babies, toddlers and young kids:
A fun thing that babies like to do is move their bodies, even though they may not have the coordination to accomplish their wishes. Try turning on some music, holding your baby and dancing. Pandora has a lot of great children’s stations. Sample a few, and find out what kind of music your baby really likes. We’ve found that Raffi and most reggae are good choices. And there’s always the classic rock that we can sing the words to. Even older kids will enjoy this; dancing is great for the whole family.
Toddlers, with better movement skills, love to build forts and climb on whatever’s available. Set up safe areas to climb, and build structures with tables and blankets. A little ‘house’ could even become a store for pretend shopping, among a million other possibilities.
Go outside anyway, except instead of bringing a stroller, put them in a sled and pull them to the nearest safe hill. Somehow, kids enjoy seeing their grownups behave like pack animals, and you can play it up, becoming a Clydesdale pulling the royal sledge. Deering Oaks Park has a nice gentle hill sloping down into the little ravine that spouts water in the summertime. If you have a partner, one person can catch the sled and kid at the bottom. Save some energy for the long pull home!
If all else fails, put your kid in front of a big pad of paper and a bunch of markers or colored pencils. Try to have their favorite medium on hand, whether it be the pencils, clay, scissors and magazines for collaging, watercolors, the sky’s the limit. And when the sun finally comes out, hop on the bus and go to the Public Library. There’s always something fun happening there.