I’ve never been a fan of winter and this cold and snow makes me want to snuggle up on the couch and take in a marathon on the USA network. As a mother of a 3 year old boy and 6 year old girl……this is not an option! So, I need to muster up some excitement and creative ideas to break out of this funk! The go to plan at our house for getting rid of the cold weather blues is a living room dance party. As soon as we turn up the music and dance like crazy I am instantly revived and ready to defeat these blues. More importantly, this once drab house is now full of energy with ear to ear smiles on the most important people in my life. I am reminded how much I love playing with my children and how critical these moments are in their development and our relationship. The adrenaline rush is not only from the music, but the flood of emotion I experience seeing the impact this quick change in momentum has on my kids. Our living room dance party now has us ready to think creatively about other activities and excited to spend quality time together. Although I am sure no one would call me “organized” behind my back, I have great results when we schedule our activities and my kids love when they get to help with the planning. Try one of these ideas next time you need to beat those cold weather blues!
Create an activity schedule. Keep it simple. By “schedule” I mean pick games, toys, or activities you can do with your kids and write down the order you will do everything. Get your kids involved in the planning.
- Let your kids help pick some of the activities or games.
- Have them write down the activities or draw pictures.
- Be creative in determining your schedule. My kids love to put all the ideas in a cup and draw out the order!
- Make using the schedule part of the fun. My kids take turns crossing off an activity or turning over the picture of what we finish.
- Build in routines, chores, or other daily activities. The excitement of checking the schedule and crossing off the finished items somehow makes teeth brushing and putting away clothes less painful on these days.
I imagine some of you make lists and get great satisfaction checking off items as they are completed. Planning your play is the same concept and results in the same satisfaction. You can try this even for little ones that can’t participate in making the schedule. Simply planning your play time or activities makes you mindful about how and what you play and means lots of quality time with the ones we love!
So turn up the music, grab your air guitar, and rock out that living room dance party! It’s just what you need to beat those winter blues!
*Rene Jamison, PhD is a Clinical Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, read more about Dr. Jamison here