Published 30 January, 2019
Surviving NYC Winter with Kids AT HOME
I gotta start off by letting you guys know we live in a 650sq ft 1 bedroom. it’s tight, but we make it work (look for a ‘how we make it work’ post soon). I’ve heard of families of 6 that live in a van and honestly i don’t know HOW they do it but space in manhattan in SACRED. If you have any tips on small living feel free to throw ‘em my way. Having said that, throughout my little over 2 years of mothering and now third winter in the city as a stay at home mom, its safe to say i’ve learned some stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I still occasionally go insane cuz CABIN FEVER IS REAL but that’s what the outdoor winter guide is for. Save these for a rainy or super cold day like today and I promise it’ll go a whole lot faster!
Here are some of my screen-free indoor play suggestions:
1. Manage your expectations
I actually came to realize this one not long ago but got to the conclusion that the lowest your expectations are for the day, the better time you’ll have. Its just that simple.
2. All the NON MESSY arts & crafts
As i just mentioned, we live in a 1 bedroom so I don’t have a lot of ‘craft space’ yet want to let G make a mess and have fun. Here enter all the no-mess to minimal mess art projects.
Some of our favorites are:
– Aqua doodles is a good one and so is WaterWow! and the other water based art projects.
– Taking a roll of paper or recycled gift wrap turned upside-down and taping it to the floor, then we take out water based markers or watercolors and trace our silhouette/ hands/ feet. Try it out and let them have fun coloring in body parts, clothing, etc. This would be a good opportunity to talk about colors, shapes and body parts. G loves this.
-Tape to the rescue. Stick it on your body, your clothes, let your imagination run wild! create roads for cars, parking garage, peel it off, stick it on a balloon, anything you can think of, go crazy.
– STICKERS! we decorate the closet, fridge, and anything else thats easy to peel and clean.
– Cereal necklaces! take pipe cleaners and have your toddler thread it through cheerios style cereal. Also a good way to get them eat something haha.
3. Sensory play
– I really love kinetic sand but only play with it in the bathtub cuz no one wants to clean it off the floor.
– Bubble bath – G loves to play with water and can legitimately play in the bath for a solid hour so bath time is always a good idea. take out all their favorite toys so they can wash them, sing and play. Bath bombs are awesome as well, they take it to the next level and make it special. We really enjoy these ones from LUSH. They have the best scents and G loves watching the different colors mix in the water. so do i to be honest. They do tend to get a bit expensive so for everyday play we like these. They’re small and come in a big package so you can use as many or as little as you want. Add shaving cream mixed in with food coloring for extra fun.
– Grain Bin! Take a large bin and place it in the bath for easy cleanup. Fill it up with dry grains like rice or oats and hide small toys and household items in there. Some examples are keys, dice, baby spoons, etc. (you get the idea). Let your toddler explore and find all the items! They can later cover them, dig them up again, practice pouring with small containers. Once you’re done, you can either save the grains for future play or my favorite tip is placing oats in a mesh bag and using for oat baths. It’s so good for your skin and smells amaaazing!
4. Active play
-Jump on the bed – yes, its a thing. Extra points if you sing while you do this.
-Build a fort or a mountain of pillows, proceed to jump on and destroy it.
– Got an old camera? let them practice taking pictures! so much fun to see the world through their eyes and especially fun if you have a polaroid.
– Box Games! right now we’re into connect4, let’s go fishing, brain quest.
– Cook together – G’s favorites to help me with are chopped salad (adding salt, lemon, olive oil and mixing) and cookies (shaping and decorating)! Over the holidays, we also found this gingerbread house from Trader Joe’s and it was so much fun to decorate. They also have a Thanksgiving edition or if you’re super crafty you could make it yourself.
– Tea party with dolls. Play pretend or fancy it up with actual tea and cookies.
5. Lots and lots of Reading
We read so many books every day, but especially on bad weather days. Here are some of G’s current favorites: Mix it Up, Press Here, The Book With No Pictures, Most People, The Color Monster, Pete the Cat and Gossie.