Beating Kiddie Cabin Fever

*I found this post in my drafts folder today. Though winter is officially over, this still applies to those rainy days sure to come this spring!*

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We got wind of a big secret over the last few months- toddlers have lots of energy! Duh, I know, but my girl has blossomed into a mini-tornado since last year…even since her birthday just a few months back. Hannah loves to run around and we depend on daily outings to the playground or beach down the street to expel her energy and cling on to those elusive midday naps. In her favorite show’s words, we’ve gotta get the sillies out.

Since Hannah is a summer baby, this time last year she was only 4 months old and pretty boring easy. We didn’t have to think  too much about how to keep her busy in the event of a snow storm ( or Hurricane Sandy!).

This year, though, we’ve already had our first snow and  the little bit of slush made me anxious. What are we going to do? Christmas presents will interest her for about as long as it takes to dismantle the boxes, and long walks in the umbrella stroller are pretty much out of the question in January.

I’ve been pulling together a few ideas to keep our Tiny Terroist occupied during the colder months.

An Art Arsenal

Start stashing new coloring books, butcher paper, crayons, finger paints and other supplies for a rainy day art arsenal. Bonus points if your child hasn’t used the “medium” yet. If your child is older, have him help you make some edible play dough and create together. Here is an awesome comprehensive list of toddler art projects from I am That Lady.

Sensory Play

Just like art, creating different sensory play activities is a “special treat” way for your child to learn and grow.  Older kids can paint with shaving cream and little ones will have fun feeling different types of dried pasta, beans and oats. Here are some great sensory play activities from Hands on as we Grow.

Make Chores Fun

At this age, kids love the idea of helping mom and dad. Have them assist in puting laundry away, putting toys and other small items in bins and wear socks on their hands to help “dust” low surfaces. Not only are they learning how to help tidy up, household activities introduce new vocabulary and fine motor skills while fostering independence.

Go Camping

Got a sun shade or kiddie tent taking up closet space? Set it up during nap time and when your little one wakes up she will have her very own fort. Fill it with pillow pets and favorite toys for a cozy hide away. Bonus points if your angel hasn’t napped yet they may just fall asleep in their super fun fortress. Total mommy win.

Turn this into a fun day with pancakes for breakfast ( or dinner! Or both!) , a fun movie and lots of snuggling together in the fort…if you can fit!

Make a Band

Hannah and her cousin had a ton of fun the other day with a play drum, piano and trumpet.   Round up toy instruments or make your own, then become a marching band and have a parade in the living room.

Go to the Library

Okay. You HAVE to get out of the house and you already went grocery shopping this week. The library wins because it’s close to home, kid friendly and free. Odds are you can get there with a couple inches of snow on the ground, right? Check out your local library’s website to see if they have any fun activities planned for the day or create your own. Do a mini science lesson at home about snowflakes and see how many books you can find about the subject in your children’s section. Follow it up with art projects and hot chocolate at home.

butter based icing, 5 ways

I posted this back in June on my recipe page dedicated to my grandmother. Enjoy!

Pickle's Blue Recipe Book

This post is going to be quick and dirty. Maybe I’m letting my freak flag fly a little bit here, but I believe there are few things more pleasurable than a simple buttercream. I’m too much of a prude to name those few things but you probably have a good imagination.Scan0001

The book, thankfully, has several variations on the classic frosting. On three pages in a row. Hallelujah! While I use my fancy colored post-its to flip through the book again and separate the wheat from the chaff ( like the Dutch apple pie and Rugelah from the peanut butter soup and “impossible’ bacon pie), I’m going to put these beauties up for you. If the phrase “homemade icing” makes you a bit jumpy, don’t fret. I promise, it’s simple! For some great tips on preparing yummy buttercream, I found this list from Polka Dot Socks.  From classic buttercream to a decadent…

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