Cold Weather Survival Tip: Kids and Cold

Single-digit weather is not the perkiest extended forecast.  I get chronic cabin fever and my usual winter fun activities are less fun – and at a certain point unsafe – when the temperatures plummet.  Most children share that afflication with me, but there’s a point at which I suspect staying inside with the kids becomes more dangerous than streaking in -80F temps would be.  Thankfully, my extended forecast isn’t that miserable, but the next few days are more than cold enough.  Thankfully #2, I’m not working this weekend, so only have one day of ubercold to strategize.  Here are ten tips to beat the cold and the crazies from/with the kids

1.) Baking.  Not only does the oven produce heat, you also end up with treats.  If you are into healthy living, you could end up with a loaf of spelt bread or something.

2.) Blowing bubbles.  Yes, the little kid kind.  Now, you can blow them inside (I recommend in the bathroom, as the popped bubbles leave marks and also make non-carpet floors slippery) or for added novelty, you can blow them outside (quickly, then shut the door) and WATCH THEM EXPLODE.  Seriously, they freeze and can’t expand properly.  They explode quietly, which really just means “sound effects contest.”

3.) Extended bath time.  Repurpose or craft some things to make it more exciting.

4.) Invite friends over.  They will probably be desperate to get out and if they come to you, you don’t have to leave your warm house.

5.) Call Snowbird Grandma and Grandpa; let them tell you all about how warm they are. 

6.) Watch some tv or a movie.  A little screen time is okay, particularly if the benefit is a lot of sanity.  Pop some popcorn, make tickets from paper, dim the lights, and call it an experience.

7.) If you have  a basement or long hallway – even if it’s in a multi-unit building – pull out the trikes or a ball and make some goals. 

8.) If your snow isn’t just ice, put some into a 9″ x 13″ baking pan (other sizes work too, I just like this size best, mostly for the depth).  Read Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Burton and employ some toy cars to reenact the story or tell your own.

9.) Bundle up for a brief journey outside – probably front stoop.  Throw hot/boiling water in the air, up and slightly away from you, shouting a MAGIC WORD.  Watch the water return to eye level already frozen.

10.) Turn the heat up a notch.  Wear out-of-season clothes.  Make a picnic-y lunch to be eaten on a blanket.  Possibly in front a table covered with a blanket (aka fort or tent).  If you are feeling particularly brave, both due to sugar exposure and fire risk, roast marshmallows for the kids over the stove.  Note: I specify FOR the kids above, not WITH the kids.  Stoves are not for the wee ones.


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