If you’re family is like mine, you meet yourself coming and going. There may be days that you and your spouse meet in the garage for a quick kiss as you run from activity to activity.
It’s easy to get used to that pace of life.
Then something happens.
Maybe it’s that cold, hard, snowy winter. Indiana has been locked in cold with snows a couple times a week for most of this month. Now you find yourself staring at your family, fighting cabin fever because the cold has you trapped inside. How can you manage attitudes that are creeping into your normally well-behaved kids? What can you do to keep your kids from hibernating on technology all day, every day?
Here are a few suggestions:
1) Step back and take a deep breath. Maybe God is building a pause into your hectic days. Look at this as an opportunity to slow down and find time to rediscover your kids and spouse. It’s also a chance to remind them how to entertain themselves.
2) Dig through your closets for toys, puzzles and games you haven’t played for awhile. Those may become rediscovered treasures that your kids will enjoy during the long hours. If you’ve found puzzles, set a timer and see how quickly your kids can do a 25 piece puzzle. Try different puzzles. Add to the number of pieces. Dig out that 500 piece puzzle that you normally don’t have time to work on. Even the younger kids can find the edge pieces or group the pieces by color or design.
3) When was the last time you read a book out loud? Pick a book and take turns reading sections. Encourage the readers to create voices and make it a dramatic reading. Have multiple copies of the book? Turn it into reader’s theater. Is there a movie based on the book? Then tell the kids you’ll read the book and then watch the movie and compare the two. What did the movie leave out? What did it add? Which did they like better?
4) Do you have a shelf filled with craft supplies? A drawer you haven’t touched because you’ve been too busy? Then open the drawer, empty the shelf, and invite the kids to have fun. Put an old tablecloth on the table and let them work. You’ll be amazed what they create.
5) Playdough. If you’re like us, you have a tub filled with playdough and supplies. Here’s another great opportunity to pull them out and let the kids have fun. Again, pull out an old tablecloth so you don’t have to worry about scraping dried playdough out of fabric. Another trick is to buy a dollar shower curtain at a dollar store and keep it on hand for those times the kids want to create. Cheap and easy to clean. And if you don’t have playdough, there are dozens of easy recipes on pinterest and the internet for making your own from readily available items in your home. Add glitter and food coloring to make fun varieties.
I hope these tips help you through the cold months. And you may just find you’ve created some great family memories while you stayed close to home. What do you do with your kids?