After a summer of pretty much living outside, the season's first major cold snap caught my kids off guard. Suddenly their beloved outdoors was an inhospitable, freezing cold land they no longer wished to explore. For many of their friends, this means retreating to the couch and watching hours of mind-numbing TV or playing video games. Because we are mean parents, my kids only get this privilege for a couple of hours on the weekend.
The boys needed a jumpstart to remind them how they usually occupy themselves in winter. I quickly set up a card table in the living room and spread the pieces to a 1,000 piece puzzle over the surface. This table becomes a mainstay of our winter living space. Sometimes we all gather around and put the pieces together, other times a child fits in a couple of pieces as he walks by on his way to something else.
I also restocked the book baskets we keep out with some fresh finds from summer book and garage sales. I placed books I knew would suck my kids in – fiction, nonfiction, graphic novels and a few how-to books filled with projects to spark the imagination.
I spent an hour reorganizing the craft closet and making a list of supplies that need restocked. My kids will be digging into it soon in search of wood, paint, fabric and a variety of odds and ends to build their newest inventions.
Even more important, I made sure the cabinet was stocked with plenty of hot cocoa and cider. I moved winter wear, snow suits and gloves from the top shelf of the hall closet to an area they could reach them more easily. For this first cold snap they have retreated indoors, but in no time the white stuff will beckon them out to build snowmen, construct forts and stage snowball wars.
We are ready for winter!