Five ways to keep your kids happily occupied and yourself sane during this brutal winter

So it’s no secret that this has been a brutal winter no matter where you live. I mean, it’s all relative, right? But I do have to say that since this is the coldest winter on record in the good ol’ state of Minnesota since before I was even born, we’re all starting to get a little bit of cabin fever around these parts. And keeping my little guy entertained for three whole days on the weekend can present a bit of a challenge. And if you’re in the same boat that we’re in – where it’s so cold (or snowy) that you literally can’t spend any time outside – then I have a treat for you: five ways to keep your little one(s) entertained (and keep yourself sane) until spring officially arrives.

minnesota winter

1. Go to the library. It might sound a little out there – aren’t you supposed to be quiet at libraries? But it’s not. Because most local libraries have a kids section. And most of the time, kids just aren’t quiet – so you don’t have to worry about keeping your child overly contained. Our library actually has fun interactive toys and story time during the week, which can certainly help to break up a gloomy indoor day!

2. Find an indoor park. Lucky for us, our local indoor park is actually in the same building as our library. It’s a great place to let Ricky explore and run off some excess energy with slides, climbers and new friends. There’s also a botanical garden in the building, complete with waterfalls, so we can make an outing to the library a several hour adventure.

3. Stock up on art supplies. If there’s one thing that will keep my child occupied, it’s art projects. But if I give him a pack of color crayons and and piece of paper, he’s only going to be distracted for 2.5 minutes before he’s feeding crayons to the dog. So to keep things interesting, you have to think outside the box. Get some finger paint, some glitter glue, some stickers. Find some of those fun foam kits at the craft store. Do whatever you have to do to keep some interest in something that doesn’t involve destroying your newly organized kitchen cabinets. Pinterest is a great resource for this – use it to your advantage!

17 months old

4. Invest in new bath toys. I don’t know about your babes, but Ricky lurves the bath. Water time is the best time, as far as he’s concerned. So to keep him extra entertained, I’ve found that investing in some inexpensive bath toys (or even finding some toys from the toy box that will work in water) are a great place to start. There are fun letters and numbers that will stick to the sides of the tub, even crayons that work in the bath. Sensory balls, blocks and buckets from his toy bin make great alternatives when the boats and other bath toys are getting old.

5. Join a gym. Back when Rick and I first moved in together, I dropped my gym membership, bought and elliptical and called it even. It was hard to find time to get my patootie to the gym on a regular basis because we had so much going on. But one thing that this winter has taught me is that exercising when you can’t go outside and have a little one to entertain is really, really hard. So we’ve re-joined a gym that offers a great childcare program (and discounts on swimming lessons, tumbling classes, you name it) to keep us all fit and happy.

So tell me in the comments: what are your winter busting activities to keep the kiddos entertained?

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