Winter is such a beautiful time of year. Everything is covered in snow and the Seacoast is riddled with lots of fun, cold-weather activities.
But let’s be real here–there are parts of winter that totally suck!
It’s cold! Everything takes longer to do because you have to layer up. And the days are shorter but tend to feel so much longer. Cabin fever is usually at an all-time high this season, and with that comes its own sets of woes.
As someone who battles depression, this time of year is the hardest for me. The short, cold, dark days make me want to stay inside, curled in a blanket watching TV. Often this kind of day sounds amazing, but doing it too often tends to feed into depression. It’s isolating and not helpful as a parent. It takes a real effort for me not to be consumed by the winter. I think there are probably a lot of people who feel like this.
Finding what gets you out of that winter funk can feel like a job, but the effort is worth it.
I am not athletic in the slightest and have no interest in winter sports, despite being born in New England. This means I need to keep myself active in other ways. Working out would help me beat the winter blahs, but I still haven’t gotten myself back on that bandwagon quite yet. So instead, when the weather is nice enough, I grab my boys and we head out for a walk, no matter how short. We all get fresh air and move our bodies, and there is nothing better for my attitude then some fresh air and sunshine.
Being social is an even bigger deal during the winter months.
It takes much less effort to socialize during the warmer seasons, but getting out when it’s cold is important, too. Seeing friends, checking out some of the many local kid’s classes that are offered, or going out on a date with your significant other are all so uplifting for our spirits.
On the days when it’s too cold to go out and everyone is climbing the walls, it’s always good to have a few easy activities in your mom bag of tricks that will keep your littles entertained with little effort from you.
Here are some of my favorites:
Play-doh. I have heard a lot of moms say that Play-doh makes them anxious, due to the potential for a big mess. Don’t fear it, embrace it! This stuff keeps my boys entertained for quite a while. They always combine all the colors, and there is part of me that wants to tell them to stop. Instead, I try to teach them about the color they are creating, or walk away so I can’t see the brown mound.
Making snow. I just found this activity and we are in love!
- Take three cups of baking soda and half a cup of white conditioner.
- Mix together to a crumbly consistency.
- Place the snow in a pan with spoons, bowls, and cups.
I bury animals in the snow for them to find, too. My idea for next time will be to bury shapes for them to identify. The first time we did this activity, my boys played with the “snow” for an hour while I did other things in the kitchen.
Stickers. Stickers are a new obsession in our house. No lie, my boys could sit for hours with their stickers. This may be my bad mom coming out, but I got pretty bored of peeling off stickers for them. I found this awesome hack: if you peel off the background sticker, it’s easier for your toddler to peel off the actual sticker! Between puffy stickers and this mom hack, sticker time has become much more independent.
Peanut butter jar painting. This is my favorite no-mess way to paint.
- Take a clean peanut butter jar and squeeze a couple drops of paint in the bottom, along with a few marbles.
- Cut paper to fit inside the jar, so it lays against the sides.
- Place the cover on tight and start shaking.
We always have a dance party when we paint this way. That way, not only will they create something beautiful, but they will get some physical activity in, too.
Dance Parties. Can’t forget this one! It is amazing what a 30-second dance party does for your attitude. When the boys and I bust out some awesome toddler dance moves, we are always laughing by the end. I am usually more tired than they are, but I would like to think it also wears them out a little bit.
These activities won’t cure your cabin fever, but they can help. Some days you and your kids will want to spend the day curled up on the couch with a movie, and that’s totally alright. The trick is not to get in a rut of doing it every day.