Currently I'm a work-at-home mom and since my three-year-old son goes to preschool only three days a week, that means there are two days where I have to entertain him and try to get work done at the same time.
Simply put, it's a hard balance.
My problem is compounded now that the weather is getting colder. We've had about six straight days of temperatures in the upper 30s and since we're in November, I don't anticipate it getting much warmer. We need to find stuff to do indoors and quick! I've done a little research and here's what I have on our agenda this winter:
1) Fun time at the library: I fooled around and missed the deadline for signing up for storytime (shoot!) but our local library has enough things to do that hopefully it won't be a problem. They have puzzles, trains, coloring books, a couple aquariums and yes, tons of books. We usually head there at least once a week and leave with an armful of books. My son is in love with the fact that the books are free (one of the first words he learned how to spell) and that there are no restrictions on how many we can take home.
2) Bounce the day away: Are your kids like mine and simply adore inflatables? We go to the local "bouncy house" place around the corner for their drop-in sessions and for $5 my son gets to jump to his heart's content. As an extra bonus, he's usually pretty tired afterward, which guarantees me at least an hour of quiet time while he's knocked out.
3) Baking with love: My son is probably going to be a chef when he gets older. He loves cooking and has made dinner in the crock pot before (with my assistance, of course). So when we have an hour or so to kill, we roll up our sleeves and get to bakin'! So far we've made two-ingredient pumpkin muffins (his favorite - just mix a can of pumpkin puree and cake mix), chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon bread, cinnamon rolls and brownies!
4) Find your child's inner Picasso. Need a fun art activity with babies or toddlers? Grab a sheet and lay it on the kitchen floor. Mix some vanilla pudding with food coloring and voila! You have safe-to-eat finger paint. Hand over some paper and let your little one have fun playing with their food.
5) Get some fresh air. As much as I hate the cold, it doesn't seem to bother my son a bit. We go on quick walks and he collect leaves, pinecones, rocks and whatever else catches his eye. It forces me to get a little sun on my face and it lets him get out of the house and alleviate a bit of the cabin fever we get from being cooped up in the house too long.
What are your favorite activities to do when it's cold outside? Any other suggestions?
Tara is the founder of TheYoungMommyLife.com and the author of Make It Happen: The Young Mommy Guide To Creating The Career You Crave. Follow her on Twitter or check out her blog for her insights on what it means to be a mom, wife, student, writer, and about three other labels she’s too tired to remember.