Let it snow… Let it snow… Let it snow?

If you’re like most Minnesotans, you knew this stretch of unseasonably beautiful February weather wasn’t going to last. What we didn’t know is it would come to a crashing halt, in the form of multiple inches of snow within 24 hours.

If there’s one thing I know about snow, it’s that while it’s frustrating for adults, it’s magical for kids. Instead of grumbling about all the shoveling and the slow commutes, kiddos see snow as an adventure and an opportunity to play!

Of course, the traditional snow fun never goes out of style: snowmen, snow angels, sledding, skating, slipping and sliding. But kids also love the unexpected. Nothing makes them giggle and get excited like breaking the rules and doing something new! So, consider some new ways to get outside and play:snow-fun

Bulk Up Supplies

Here’s the benefit of a snowstorm in late February: stores have already moved on from winter and started filling shelves with clothes and toys for spring and summer. Check the clearance section and you’ll probably find some good deals on snow supplies. Try some snow fort builders, snow paint or even a snow scooter!

Think Spring

There’s no reason you need to pack up the hoola hoops and t-ball gear. Playing with summer equipment in the snow can be a blast! Try pulling out the bubbles, too! You’ll find a new way to play with them by getting them to freeze to the wand.

Take the Inside Out

While there are countless toys intended to go outside, there’s nothing sillier than taking inside toys outside. Your kids will feel like they’re on an adventure if they get to take a toy from their bedroom to the back yard! Superheros, princesses, arctic animals would all be great for romping in the snow.

Bring the Outside In

If you don’t feel like strapping on snow pants and zipping up coats, bring some of the snow inside! Kids can bury rocks, small toys and other objects in a bucket of snow and have fun shoveling it out. You can also give a lesson on freezing and melting by putting some snow on the counter, in the fridge and freezer and seeing which lasts the longest.
The morale of the story: winter is back. And there’s snow time like the present to embrace it!

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I Love You… You Love You

Valentine’s Day is more than paper cards and candy hearts. It’s an opportunity to show our love to our friends and family. While we’re spreading that love, it’s also a good time to teach our kids how to point Cupid’s arrow at their own hearts!

Helping kids learn to love and accept themselves is our responsibility as parents. It’s an important lesson that will help build their self esteem and set them up for success in many social settings, including school and sports.

What are some ways we can teach our kids to love themselves?

Lead by Example

We as parents can model what it means to love ourselves. Do not put yourself down in front of your kids, but rather keep your comments about yourself positive. And make sure you take time for yourself. This can be hard when you feel like you only have time to take care of your family, but it will send an important message about self-fulfillment.

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Take an Interest

Show your kids what they do is important to you by talking with them about their interests and activities. I understand how busy parents are, but try to attend their games, parents’ day at school, plays and award ceremonies. If you can’t make it, be sure to explain why. By showing interest in your kids, you’ll help build their sense of pride.

Give Them Responsibility

In my house, the kids help with setting up lunch time, cleaning up our toys, etc. Kids like to feel useful and valued. When children do a good job- tell them! You can also reward a job well done by letting your kids do something special or giving them more responsibility. This helps build their self-confidence.

Celebrate Differences

By helping children develop acceptance for those with different cultures, backgrounds and physical and mental abilities, you’re also helping them accept themselves. It can be as simple as watching movies, reading books or spending time with a variety of people. Be sure to point out other people’s strengths and not just their differences.