Who else is stuck inside from the frozen tundra outdoors?! It is the coldest temperatures in my generation...in fact, I was about a month old when these type of temps were last experienced here in the Chicago area but many experts are saying we will even break those records!
So you probably are wondering what you are going to do with the children that are home from school and without the option of sending them outdoors. I've created a list of activities that provide an opportunity for parents (caregivers) to be present and enjoy this time with those kiddos and have even included some that don't require internet or cable....which seems to be the current crisis I'm seeing for many parents on social media.
For the kiddos:
1. Write and illustrate a book about any topic. Take 5 sheets of printer paper and either staple along the left, long side or fold in half and staple on the fold. Children can choose any topic
2. Bake cookies together with your children. Pinterest is full of cookie recipes that have varying levels of difficulty and some with only 3 ingredients. Even break out the cookie cutters that you haven't dug out in years.
3. Make paper airplanes. Have everyone create a paper airplane then fly them and see how far you can go. Keep making different airplanes and see what modifications help them to fly farther.
4. Find 5 (or more) toys to donate. Have your children sort through their toys and decide if it is something they would like to pass on to someone else to enjoy!
5. Have a dance party! Turn on the music and have a dance party. Pandora has a stations called "50s Rock 'n' Roll" and it is filled with tons of fun music and it exposes younger generations to some classic tunes! Also have your elementary kiddos and older share some of their favorite upbeat songs.
May I offer a perspective that often seems lost on days like this? There are many people that wish they had quality time with their children including but not limited to: single parents working multiple jobs to keep food on the table, parents that have jobs requiring a significant amount of travel, and those struggling with fertility issues, including your favorite photographer. ;) In a society where we are always rushing here and there and complain about not having enough time to do what we need to do, this is like a gift from mother nature to allowing you to stay put since most activities are canceled. Once you have spent some intentional time without distractions (social media, text messages, etc) with the kiddos in your care, here are a few things for you to recharge and take time for self-care on a day like today.
For the adults:
1. Exercise from home. Use online resources such as The Balanced Life Online (YouTube channel), Fitness Blender, or Sarah Beth Yoga. Can't get online due to an internet outage? Try the body weight workout below that are simple exercises you used to do in elementary school. You can even include the kiddos here. It would be great for them!
2. Organize something in your home that bothers you each time you encounter it. Whether it is a drawer or cabinet in the pantry, clear out that bathroom linen closet, finally match that bin of single socks or whatever it is that would take about 30 min or less. Feeling inspired, continue on to the next one!
I hope this gave you some great ideas to start off with. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Instagram as I'll be back with another list for tomorrow for Day 2. I'd love to hear what you did with your kiddos!