The winter months can feel endless, especially when you’re wrangling kids through them — but they don’t have to. With the season well into it’s when-will-it-end phase, I’ve got five go-to hacks for making the winter days more meaningful at home with your little ones.
As a mom of five living in New York City, the cold days are long…and inevitable. In my experience, all you have to do is be prepared for when a storm or cold front hits, and you’ll be able to use it as an opportunity to create meaningful and special moments for you and your kids in the comfort of your home.
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1. Start your morning routine the night before.
During the dark winter months, I’ve found it’s helpful to complete as many morning to-do tasks as I can once the kids go down to sleep. Prepping breakfast items, any of my own personal tasks and household chores before my little ones wake the following morning gives me more extra minutes to tend to them with my undivided attention, and means we get to spend some uninterrupted quality time together before the day begins.
2. Make a game of mundane everyday tasks together.
Especially when the weather keeps you stuck indoors, simple things we do multiple times a day like brushing teeth, washing hands, tying shoes, can begin to feel like a chore with our kiddos when they are spending too much time inside. Having a go-to silly song we sing every time we’re at the bathroom sink together and tying our shoelaces or playing “Simon says” while cleaning up can make the moment feel more meaningful and connect both you and your little one.
3. Make sick days short and fun.
As the weather gets colder the potential for sick days goes up! Helping your little ones feel better fast means getting back to spending more quality time together sooner and is a chance to actually make some special wintertime memories together! Instead of having to negotiate with them to take medicine that makes a mess and tastes yucky, try Children’s TYLENOL® Dissolve Packs – a new pain-relieving option for kids age 6-11 that comes in a powder form and dissolves on your kids tongue in seconds without water. After giving them medicine that actually tastes like wild berry, having a bundle of fun and comforting items to pass the time indoors together will transform a boring sick day into a fun stay-at-home-vacation day! For fun, try bath bombs, a new book, a favorite game or playing cards. For comfort, try lollipops for a sore throat, tissues, lip balm, cooling pads for their forehead or a cooling eye mask for when they are feeling warm, and of course a water bottle.
4. Eliminate your own tech if possible!
It’s incredible how we’re able to stay connected with technology in the palm of our hands. However, where you’re spending close and quality time indoors it’s important to remove the distractions to show our children that they are our top priority. Even just cuddling up together on the sofa and having a moment of quiet together goes a long way. And who knows, it might open the doors to a meaningful conversation, question or chat!
5. Inject music into your day together.
Winter days don’t have to be sad times, whether you’re taking medicine, finishing prepping for the day at home or walking to school, having a fun theme song you like to bust out and sing together is something we love. If they are little, having hand motions or actions you do together during the tune will make it a lot of fun! And stopping your day to have a small dance party in your living room can’t be beat (pun intended)!
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