It's snowing in Georgia! The rare sight of snow evokes a mix of excitement and terror since most Southerners aren't really prepared to handle the radical change in weather. If your family is like ours, we spend an hour getting bundled up to play outside for a few minutes. Then we come inside, because we're freezing! If you are getting cabin fever or are tired of picking up your toddler's trail of messes (junk is EVERYWHERE), keep reading for some GREAT activities that will keep your child happy and busy. The latest research emphasizes the importance of providing activities that allow your little one to engage in free, creative play with toys rather than merely being entertained by lights and gadgets. These activities leave plenty of room for creative license:
- Bean scoop- This one is really complicated. Buy some dry beans from the store. Or better yet, use the dry beans in your pantry that you bought but never used again after your soaked beans still tasted crunchy. Dump said beans into a large box and provide varying scooping materials. All of my measuring cups and spoons have disappeared but my daughter is having a blast! Once you are finished, have your little one vacuum up the beans!
- Water beads- These beads are a great tactile material and are novel enough to keep adults and kids entertained. *The beads expand significantly with water, so use a small amount at first and add more as needed. I have heard they can expand in your pipes, so be careful to dispose of in the trash.*
- Sink or swim- Most toddlers love bath time, so bring some water fun into daytime play. Fill up one side of the kitchen sink and gather toys and objects that can be placed in the water. Discuss objects that sink or float if your child is at the predicting age. Make sure to provide cups or bottles to allow your child to scoop and dump the water.
- Cooking with old jars- I like to keep my old herb and spice jars for my daughter to do her "cooking." She loves to smell the jars for a faint memory of thyme or basil. The thyme jar can become chicken, almond butter, or a smoothie on any given day.
- Shopping in the pantry- My toddler loves to push her grocery cart around the house and is often raiding the pantry to "shop". Make sure to keep kid-friendly items like cans and cartons within reach and breakable items away from curious hands. Be prepared to find pumpkin and tomato cans stowed away in the far corners of your house. If you want to make things extra fun, have a cash register to check items out.
Have fun and stay warm!