Guest Blog by Jo-Ann Spence, Executive Director, Lowell Day Nursery
There have been hints of Spring, but there are still cold days to come. And this has been such a long, long winter for children. They haven’t been able to go outside and use all that energy they have, leaving them cranky and noisy and asking:
“Mom, what can I do now?”
When they’ve had enough TV and even their electronic toys are losing their luster, there are many things you can suggest.
1. Let them help you with chores. Children love to play in water, so washing dishes can often be a soothing activity. Just be sure to take out knives or your Grandmother’s bowl that she left you. Children love to cook as well. They can chop things such as tomatoes with a plastic knife, tear lettuce, stir the cake mix or any age appropriate activity. You’ll be surprised how they’ll talk to you when you’re working together in the kitchen. Even teenagers often feel more relaxed and talkative working side by side in the kitchen!
2. Buy some inexpensive craft supplies. My own children loved glitter. I still have a jar of red glitter from when they were young that my grandson uses. Construction paper, markers, glue, scissors, glitter, etc. are inexpensive and can be brought out while you’re busy doing something else. If you give each child a cookie sheet to use for their work, the mess is contained.
3. Make a fort with cushions and sheets. They’ll enjoy playing in the fort, maybe having snack in there or reading in the fort.
4. Scavenger hunts. Make a list of things in the house for them to find (you can even put toys they haven’t picked up on the list), and give them a time limit to find all the things on the list. You can give them a bag or box to put the things in, and the child who has the most things on the list wins. The prize can be to choose the next TV show or some other child-friendly prize.
And when they’re really bouncy and loud, put on dance music! My husband used to do this, and he and the kids would clean the house until the music was over. But, for winter blues, you can just let them dance and twirl and jump in the joyous way that kids do. It might even put a smile on your face.
Longing for Spring,
Jo-Ann Spence, Executive Director, Lowell Day Nursery