Sunday, January 18, 2015

Winter Survival Guide for Life with Littles



I don't know about your household, but this time of year, my life with littles can get a little wild. Winter seems to be closing in and everyone is desperate and climbing the walls (literally in our case) to get outside and roam free.




Trying to combat the crazy, I've taken to lots of planned crafts and organized activities. I've tried to compile a list for you, just in case things were getting a little hairy at your home too.




Scavenger Hunts- these are great, you can make them as simple or as difficult as you would like. Bundle them up and take it outdoors or just hunt around the house. It can be as simple as  finding something green, or a specific book, to something as difficult as finding the bark of an aged willow tree or your great grandmothers silver dentures- you get the idea.

Send them out to pick their favorite rocks or acorns and then paint them. So easy, but trust me, the kiddos will love it. I have jars littered all over the house filled with brightly colored, glitter doused gems.

Play Thimble, Thimble. This is a favorite in our home. We use a little chest piece and take turns hiding it. If it gets too hard, we will add hot and cold clues, entertainment for at least twenty minutes right here:)

Glue decorative glass beads on jars to make pretty flower vases for spring, or they could use them to hold their treasures. I don't know about you, but my littles always have tiny treasures that need a home.




Paint- I have so loved doing painting lessons together. I'm no artist, but it doesn't really matter, they love to be taught something and to work on it as a family is especially fun. Here are a couple tutorials we have used and enjoyed- herehere, and here

Make Snow Slime or Cornstarch goo. Yes, it can be messy, but it's worth it. Recipes here and here 

Skits. This is actually so fun! Just use a simple fairy tale, you can read one aloud or tell the story and have them act it out. It's also fun to write a few lines for them to say also. You can get as in depth as you want with costumes and sets, tickets and showtimes, but I would highly suggest having someone video on your phone. There is not much my kids love more than watching themselves on film.

Egg Carton Crafts. Seriously, its slightly annoying to have egg cartons stacked up everywhere, but they are a god send come craft time. A couple ideas here




Toilet paper roll toboggan hats. A bit random, but pretty easy for little fingers. My Dad use to make them with me growing up and I have such a soft spot for these little hats. Directions can be found here

Pine Cone Trees- gather or buy some pinecones and go to town decorating those bad boys. Paint them, dip the edges in glitter(a mothers nightmare I know, but desperate times and all that) and use string or yarn to make tinsel, you can also add some of your painted acorns for an extra bit of zazz.

Make Glue and Yarn Ornaments. Pretty easy and they turn out super cute, simple instructions here 

Magazine Mosaics. No real directions here, just let them cut away and glue their pieces on paper. Surprisingly, it keeps them quite entertained, although give mine a pair of scissors and they are happy campers.




Of course, building a fort is always a great time. Add in some popcorn and a few books and you're set for the day!

Hope this helps thru this cold spell, maybe offer a bit of sanity for those days when you're really questioning your lifes decisions:) I would love to hear your suggestions, leave them in the comments and I will add them in for a comprehensive survival guide.


20 comments :

  1. This was such a great post. I do not have little ones yet but I did teach english to children for a long time so I know what a handful they can be. I have to say though, that I love arts and crafts and fort building as much as kids do!

    Rae | love from berlin

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  2. My parents used to do a lot of crafting when we are small and I have the best memories of those winter evenings. Really the only way to occupy the kids somehow :)

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  3. First let me tell I didn't know your blog up until now, and I absolutely love it!

    I used to spend hours in a row painting with watercolour during rainy days, I still remember these moments vividly. I don't have kids yet, so I can only speak from my own childhood experiences. One of the things my mum did to keep me entertained was to give me white flour with a pinch of salt and water in little buckets and I'd do my own bread-playdough, that I got to eat while playing. So much fun.

    Rita
    heyrita.co.uk

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    1. Thank you- and that sounds so fun, I will have to try that, I have a feeling they will LOVE it!

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  4. Great post! My son loves to draw, my daughter loves to paint and we're big crafters in our home so they always manage to entertain themselves with those activities for a good while each day. Then I usually do some more structured craft/art activity with them: they've been wanting to paint stones for a while so, spurred on by your suggestion, I think we might do that this afternoon! Lovely post! Have you heard of DrawSpace? My son is completely taken by it: it's been his favourite afternoon activity for a while now!

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    1. I have never heard of DrawSpace so will have to check it out- thanks for the recommendation!

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  5. oh goodness, i've heard tales of entertaining littles in the winter - esp. difficult when the winter lasts 4-5 months (like up here!) i think we're pretty much on the same page about creative projects being a good way to entertain the kids :) and, bonus, gorgeous pictures :)

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  6. So many wonderful ideas for keeping entertained, I love the idea of Thimble, Thimble. Is it weird to want to play it as an adult? I was always good at keeping myself entertained as a kid but I do remember whenever my Aunt and Uncle would watch us, they'd sit us down at the kitchen table and have us write little stories, then they'd help us type them up. We still have them and they're so fun to look back on now.

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    1. Love that idea, thanks for sharing! Btw- I love thimble, thimble, I always push for it!

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  7. I have such fond memories of building forts with my sister when I was a kid. Love these ideas Chelsea. They are really great alternatives to TV or iPad. As my Little Guy gets bigger I'm realizing that anything indoors that keeps his attention longer than 20 minutes is rare!

    Thank goodness we have some great, warmer weather coming up this week!

    V
    Life+1

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  8. we're starting to get a bit stir-crazy and the winter's only just begun! there are some really great ideas here. august loves any kind of hiding games, so simplified versions of thimble thimble and scavenger hunt will be fun to try. thanks for the ideas. i hope you get a couple of warm days scattered throughout the weather to get those wiggles out! ;)

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  9. Omg you are so creative! I don't have kiddies (yet) but I hope I will be able to think of all these things when I do! xo
    Sarah-Jane // www.vmgirl.me

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  10. looks like a lot of awesomely messy fun! :) I will keep this in mind for the future

    http://heyprettything.com

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  11. It all sounds like so much fun at your house! I had just come up with a bunch of crafts that I plan to do with Logan this week as we aren't getting out as much this time of year either. I will definitely be adding some of these to our list. I can see a lot of painting happening in our near future. The scavenger hunt sounds like a must do!

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  12. Great ideas! Arts and crafts was always my favourite thing to do as a kid, would love to be a kid again haha! these pictures are so beautiful and colourful too :) x

    Sinead | Dreaming Again

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  13. Egg carton craft was my absolute favourite as a kid... there are so many things to create! I don't have kids, but I look forward to bringing back my own memories and recreating the things I loved as a wee one.

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  14. You are such a creative, fun mom! Love all those ideas.

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  15. such good ideas! And THIMBLE THIMBLE yesssss! I used to play that all the time with my cousins, totally forgot about it. Thanks for the reminder :)

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  16. This is a great list! I love the photos too they are beautiful!!! When I worked at a Headstart preschool, my favorite day of the week was the one where we walked to an arts center near by and did art projects for an hour. It was short but so fun. :) They did the most creative painting activities there!! I tried to take notes, write things down for the future. Thanks for sharing this, I am pinning it for someday. :) XO -Alexandra

    Simply Alexandra: My Favorite Things

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