(As the weather turned a little cold, and my oldest stopped napping, my opportunities to share my activities dwindled. My friend, Irene Gouge, is a home day-care provider, former elementary teacher and is a sleep coach, helping parents and children learn the tools to better napping and night-time sleeping! She's a genius and is one of my mommy role models. She's calm, thoughtful and creative! She agreed to share her expertise with you while I muddle through my busy schedule.)
By: Irene Gouge
When the temperatures drop or the weather outside is less than desirable, parents get nervous because outside time can be limited. We know it’s important to get our kids outside every day, but what do you do to get that energy out so our kids are not driving us crazy? In my time doing a home daycare, I’ve had time to work and perfect this since the key is to have stimulating activities so children are learning, growing and developing, using their bodies to get energy out so that everyone will nap well, and sleep well at night while having fun during the day! In the course of the next few days, I will share a few of my daycare tricks I do to help us get through braving the weather elements.
Get outside anyways
Materials needed: outside winter or rain gear
Even on the cold days, get outside and walk, even if it is for 10 minutes. Make the bundle up process fun while you are dressing up your snowman or snowwomen in the layers. Children don’t always love the bundling process, but making a human snowman can be fun when you are describing and talking about what you are doing.
When you get outside, it can be fun to watch our breath or find icicles if it is cold enough. Once you’ve reached the limit of being outside, even if it’s 10 minutes, it’s always a nice treat to get back inside and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate with some marshmallows together. Caution: some children can get super hyper off the marshmallow so use your discretion. The process of bundling, being outside, and unbundling will most likely take 30-40 minutes.
And even on rainy days, get outside and play in your rain coats. Children can even get to use that cute umbrella they might have otherwise kept unused. My kids love to go and find puddles to jump and splash in. My kids also like to catch the rain drops in their mouth to see who can get the biggest drink while they are outside. A warning with this activity: put on grungy play clothes that you are ok with getting wet and maybe a little muddy.
Learning and playing is messy… so plan for it!
To learn more about Irene Gouge and her "Sleep Coaching" visit loving-lessons.com.