With a new little one in our house who cannot get sick (RSV is a very serious sickness for premature babies), our time outside has been limited this winter. Needless to say, our two older children quickly get cabin fever! To combat this, we have had to be creative with our days at home. Here are some of our favorite things to do:
- Water Play - Washing dishes, playing with small toys, a tea set, and other little water safe items in a bathroom sink, kitchen sink, or the bathtub is a terrific way to play and learn. It is not unusual for our children to play in the tub every evening for half-an-hour to an hour after dinner... they have so much fun!
- Arts and Crafts - Our daughter loves using art and craft supplies to draw and create. HERE is a list I created of some of our favorite supplies to use.
- Music and Movement - The little ones love to sing and dance to any type of music I put on. A few months ago, a parishioner gave us a Casio keyboard that cannot only be played manually, but also came with a ton of instrumental music. We set it up upstairs and the sunny bedroom it is in is a favorite spot for the children in the mornings. They play lots of 80's instrumental music and dance and run around for as long as I can stand the noise!
- Dress Up: We have a small trunk with lots of different dress up clothes. Sugar Plum nearly always dresses as a ballerina, while Little Man opts for his fireman costume.
- Setting the Scene - Some evenings, I set up a little scene with a few toys to invite play. Laying out a basket of blocks or setting out the play dough things sparks the children's interest as soon as they wake up.
- Reading - Library trips are a fun part of our week. We often go for story hour to a local children's bookstore for great books, activities, and playtime. It is great to have something to look forward to every week. I also try to read to the children frequently during the day.
- Puzzles - Both Sugar Plum and Little Man love doing puzzles. I try to rotate them frequently so that they don't loose their appeal.
- Cooking and Baking - Though it can get a little hairy to cook with little ones, it is worth the effort. The children really enjoy mixing, pouring, and creating their food. Remember, it doesn't have to be elaborate... making a sandwich, pouring milk, and cutting up fruit is a huge thrill for little ones.
What are some things you do with your little ones on days you have stay inside?