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January 22, 2021

Brighten the Year's Darkest Days With These Fun Winter Family Ideas

Even if you're naturally upbeat, you've got to admit that winter can be a bummer at times. Not only are the temps super chilly, but Mr. Sunshine doesn't appear as often. I can totally understand the temptation to just crawl under the covers and watch Netflix all day—but mommas should try to keep their kiddos active during the winter. There's no question a sedentary lifestyle is not good for our brains (or our bellies!). Now more than ever, you need to find ways to occupy your kiddos' time…besides letting them play Fortnite!

Even if you're naturally upbeat, you've got to admit that winter can be a bummer at times. Not only are the temps super chilly, but Mr. Sunshine doesn't appear as often. I can totally understand the temptation to just crawl under the covers and watch Netflix all day—but mommas should try to keep their kiddos active during the winter.

There's no question a sedentary lifestyle is not good for our brains (or our bellies!). Now more than ever, you need to find ways to occupy your kiddos' time…besides letting them play Fortnite!  

If you notice you or your kiddo getting the winter blues, try a few of these fun winter family ideas. Adding these activities to your roster could make the winter season fly by.    

Ways To Beat the Winter Blues – Five Fun Winter Activities for Kids

Send Your Kiddo To the Skating Rink

Yes, ice skating is a slippery sport, but that's what makes it such a great learning opportunity! I know you might feel scared watching your little one fall on the ice, but there's so much they could learn from skating lessons.  

Of course, constant practice on the ice will help improve your little one's balance and posture. But beyond the physical benefits, the effort it takes to learn how to skate teaches your little one resilience in the face of failure. Imagine how confident your little Gretzky will feel once they've mastered this skill.

But before your kiddos hit the rink, why not practice skating in your home! Play the famous "Skater's Waltz" in the background and pretend to fall over with the music. You could use this opportunity to teach your child how to fall and get back up properly. It's also essential to remind your little one it's 100 percent natural to fall on the ice. What matters is that they never give up!  

Be sure to watch this quick video for expert safety tips on the ice.  

Break Out Your Binoculars; We're Gonna Make Bird Feeders!  

Awaken your kiddo's inner ornithologist by making a DIY bird feeder!

There are so many different bird feeder projects online, but the most famous involves sticking peanut butter and birdseed on a pinecone. If there are pinecones in your area, I'd recommend going for a lovely nature walk to gather your ingredients.

If pinecones aren't going to work for you, another simple solution is to mix birdseed and gelatin in a cookie-cutter. You could find more info on this craft by watching this video.

Lastly, for those who want to get elaborate, there are many DIY bird feeders that use PVC pipes or plastic bottles. If your kiddos are super excited about these projects, why not research making a birdhouse?

Take a Sweet Trip To a Maple Syrup Farm

Nothing screams winter comfort food quite like pancakes and maple syrup. If your family has a hankering for this sweet breakfast treat, why not plan a fun trip to an authentic maple syrup farm?

Luckily, many farms in the Northern states and Canada host fun tours during the wintertime. Be sure to research online to see just what it takes to go from sap to syrup. Your kiddos will learn about the value of hard work and patience as they see what it takes to make maple syrup. And, of course, what could be better than sampling authentic maple syrup at the end of your tour?

If you can't visit a maple syrup farm in-person, then you can always make a few flapjacks with your little ones. You could also go Canadian and throw some hot maple syrup in the snow...and then eat it! Check out this video to find out how to make tasty maple syrup taffy.

Forget Play Dough, Make Faux Snow!

Who says you need to wait for the weather to bring in the snow? Even if there's no precipitation where you live, you can make play snow at home. The only things you need for this DIY project are ½ cup of white hair conditioner and three cups of baking soda. Mix these two ingredients in a bowl until they're a snowy consistency. If you find your snow is too wet, add more baking soda.

Once you've got the right texture, add your faux snow to a baking sheet and let your kiddos build a tiny snowman. You could color a toothpick orange for the nose and add a few black dots for the eyes and buttons. Feel free to add a few toys and decorations to make a charming winter wonderland!  

Play a "Cool" Game of "Ice Bowling"  

Who said water balloons were just for summertime? Did you know you could freeze your water balloons to make a DIY bowling ball? That's right, just clear a little space in your fridge and let the water balloon freeze over a couple of days. Once your frozen bowling balls are ready, line up a few empty plastic bottles filled with dry rice and let the rolling begin!

For extra fun, you could add a few drops of food coloring to your water before putting it in your balloon. This will give your ice a more authentic bowling ball look. Just be extra careful about staining! Many mommas recommend putting a waterproof tablecloth on the ground to avoid getting food coloring on your floor.

Bonus Tip: Fight the Winter Blues With aFish-Friendly Diet

I know salmon may not be the easiest food to sneak into your kiddo's meal. However, it's super important to bump up your omega-3s during the winter season.

Get this: scientists recently discovered Icelanders are way less depressed than Americans during the winter. Even though these people live through incredibly dark winters, they eat tons of healthy fish! Hey, if it works for them, I bet we'll notice a massive benefit with a few omega-3- rich meals per week.

So, what do you think of my wintertime tips? Are you planning to try any of these ideas at home? If so, I'd love to know how they worked out for you. Be sure to reach out to me via DMs @windycitynanny!

January 22, 2021



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