Somerville, Mass – So, apparently we’re about to experience a “potentially historic blizzard” in the Northeast. That seems like an appropriate time to post some strategies for surviving winter with small children with an excess of energy.
One winter, we happened to buy a new mattress, but then we kept the old mattress in our living room for two months for the twins’ jumping pleasure. Twin S cried when I finally put it out in the trash.
For those years that you don’t have an old mattress hanging around your living room, here are some strategies for surviving (and even enjoying) winter:
Get the gear. I always balk at the idea of spending money on boots and snow pants and other winter gear. It seems such as waste, as the twins will probably only wear it for one season, and occasionally at that. It’s not a waste. It’s worth it, because the kids are so much more comfortable, and therefore happier. Happier kids = happier mom & dad. As it turns out, money can buy happiness. (Also, winter gear is one of the best things to buy second hand, because the previous owners also probably wore it for only one season, and occasionally at that.)
Get active outside. Now that your kids have the kit, take them out to play! I’m not much of a skier, but I sort of wish that I was: skiers love their sport and they love snow and somehow they are not bothered by the cold. Such a great winter attitude! Alas, we don’t really ski in our family, but this winter, the twins are learning to ice skate. This gives us something to do every weekend and it uses up some of their energy. Sledding and playing in the snow is also good. (Incidentally, getting the gear is sort of crucial to kids enjoying any outside activities. We even use hand warmers and toe warmers, which equates to an extra hour or two outside.)
Get active inside. The twins also take swimming lessons in the winter. This gives us something to do twice a week after school and it uses up some of their energy. (Are you noticing a theme here? Give them something to do and use up their energy!) And, the pool is so warm and lovely. But there are lots of ways to get active inside. Earlier this month, we spent an afternoon at Jump On In, one of those places with giant inflatable slides and jump houses. We were there for two hours, and not once did I have to tell them to calm down or take it easy. And nobody got cold.
Go south. I know this is not always feasible. But it makes the winter so much more tolerable when you can escape for a bit of sunny weather. On that note… only three weeks until February vacation!