When it’s this cold outside, it’s hard not to turn on the cartoons. All I want to do is curl up in my sweater and my slippers with a warm knitted blanket on the couch and watch TV or read a book.
But then again, my four year old won’t let me do that for too long, unless I turn on TV for her and if I let her, she would watch it all day long.
The lazy person in me says: "Yes, do it — lie on the couch all day — you deserve it." But the mother in me says "No, get up and do something."
Well, when the windchill feels like 41 C, outside is just not an option. And cabin fever starts creeping in for everybody.
I find cabin fever gets worse too, if all you do is watch TV. Our bodies need to be active, especially my monkey’s.
So here’s what my little family does to beat the winter blues. And it’s not that we don’t watch any TV, we do; but I do my best to make sure we’re doing other things too.
• We do yoga. We’re not devotees and it doesn’t happen every day, but my sister-in-law gave my daughter a Yoga Kids DVD and its great fun for her and we get a nice stretch in when we do it with her. It does remarkable things for her mood and energy level. If she’s feeling a little sluggish, I’ll pop it in.
•We have a game night instead of a movie night. The better half and I loved games before the monkey was born so now that’s she’s playing them too, it’s lots of fun. And it’s a great way to sneak in some learning about counting, numbers, sharing and taking turns and memory. If you don’t have any games, get some. Our favourites are the classic Hungry, Hungry Hippos, What did I step in (a hilarious memory game), Candy Land (essential for any girl out there!), Shoots and Ladders and Perfection. I hope to grow our collection more as she gets older. I love game night!
• We run around. Literally. We play hide and seek. We have a dance party. We play tag in the basement.
•We turn on the Wii. I’m haven’t been a super big fan of video games, but I like the couple that we recently got for her. We love the Disney Dance game, where all you do is dance to Disney songs and she loves the classic bowling and tennis. Any game that gets us moving gets my thumbs up.
• We let her creative juices flow. I have tons and tons of craft stuff in the house. Crayons, paint, markers, construction paper, ribbon, googly eyes, glitter — you name it. Sometimes we just make whatever comes to mind or sometimes I will Google "preschool crafts," and we’ll do one of those. Sometimes we do the crafts with her; I forget how fun it is to be a kid!
So while we still will have our movie night once a week and she does get to watch some cartoons, we make sure that when it’s too cold we don’t get too lazy.
Kyla Henderson is a local freelance journalist, business owner and mommy. Her column runs every week in the Community News.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 31, 2013