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.

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Eight Months

My Sweet Baby Bear,

I feel guilty for not posting or really writing anything about you over the last few months. I have to remember though, not writing doesn’t mean not paying attention.The last week or so, when people have asked your age, I’ve had a hard time answering. Eight months!  Six was a huge milestone, seven flew by in a blissful haze of tricks, giggles and babbles. Now we’re on eight? I’m amazed every day by your growth, little Bear.   IMAG1102

Last night we were looking at your newborn pictures on Grandma’s ipad. You were thrilled to look at your two month old self and laughed. I had to remind myself to laugh with you, I was so in awe of the difference between the girl on the screen and the one crawling in my lap.  You’re almost as tall as your fourteen month old cousin these days and your face has morphed into an expressive mix of my own features, your dad’s expressions and glimpses of your uncles.

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And old videos? They put a lump in my throat. The tiny, wiggly, squishy summer baby in the romper just lays there as we coo at her to smile for us. Now we’re recording you crawling for a pink plastic Easter egg. Heavy little hands and feet padding and tush wiggling clear across the living room. Still, you’re more interested in standing up- beaming with pride as you grasp our fingers and wobble on your tiptoes.

Your eyes are a mix of ambition and mischief. Bright an morphing, they range from grey to blue to green like your Daddy’s. The right iris has a small freckle just underneath the pupil. You have two perfect, white little teeth. On the bottom, they do nothing for you aside from give you a bulldog grin. You like to play with Puffs but hate to eat them. You prefer drinking water from your green sippy cup than eating your mushy fruits and veggies.

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Your hands are one of your best features. With long fingers and nail beds, they are a piano teacher’s dream. You love clapping them, raising them over your head for “so big!” or extending themout to share your toys. Your heart is as big as your gummy smile.

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Happy eight months, my little Bear.  Remember that Mommy and Daddy are your biggest cheerleaders. We love you very, very much.

Merry Christmas to all!

565463_461047377291554_348367518_n702809_460861217310170_1538216957_nAnd to all a good night!