Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow Days Can Provide Great Learning and Bonding Experiences

Snow days can put a real crimp in any household. Never mind you were supposed to go to work, the gym, the grocery store – you can fill in the blank. But now your toddler needs to be occupied all day long. What is a parent to do?!

Take advantage of the situation! Your job or errands can survive without you (believe it or not.) Here’s a great opportunity to do things with your kids that weren’t in the schedule. These unscripted moments make lifelong memories and can provide really special bonding times.

Here are a few suggestions:
1. Exercise together – So, you missed the gym. You and your toddler can work out together. You must have something around the house that he can use as weights….maybe bean bags or water bottles. Let him exercise with you – it will be lots of fun, tire him out a bit, and you will demonstrate the importance, and fun, of exercise.

2. Crafts – Find things in the kitchen and office, such as pasta, cereal, paper scraps, and bits of yarn. Together you can make a great mosaic or collage. You won’t believe how fun and relaxing it is to do arts and crafts. Just spend some time coloring and you’ll feel great!

3. Watch a movie together – Pull out a classic that you and your child can enjoy together. Make popcorn, snuggle in a blanket and enjoy an hour or so of cuddling. When the movie is over, talk about what your child liked best, and use this as a jumping board for other conversation.

4. Play a game – There are so many educational ways to enjoy time together. Play a memory game, Go Fish, match the number on dice to pennies, etc. You can have fun while helping your child develop her skills.

5. Build a snowman – Before you know it, your child will want to play in the snow with his friends, not with you. While they are little, build a snowman, make snow angels, throw snowballs, and have fun. Give your child a small shovel and let him help you shovel the driveway. The fresh air will do him good, and you are teaching him that it’s every family member’s responsibility to help clear the driveway.

6. Make hot chocolate – Warm up with some hot chocolate. Let your child help put in marshmallows (she can count them out.)

7. Take a nap together – Snow days are meant to be lazy. Fall asleep together and appreciate how sweet your child is while she’s napping.

Snow days can be wonderful with a little planning. Enjoy!!

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