The holidays are over and it’s time to celebrate a New Year! Even though some things haven’t changed (here’s looking at you, pandemic), we’re all looking forward to the promise of 2021. Although it appears there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, it’s the beginning of February and parents are still tasked with the job of trying to figure out how to keep their kids –and themselves – safely occupied when spending long days outside may not be a part of the plan. So, in the spirit of keeping the fun alive, we’ve come up with a few practical ways to survive with your little ones until the snow thaws.

Story Time

You know your local library that you’ve passed a million times and said “oh, there’s the library!” (Or is that just me?) Go online and check out their events! Like many businesses, libraries have had to adapt to a new way of operating in the past year, so they’ve come up with fun, free, and creative ways to keep your kids entertained virtually. My local library has virtual storytime for babies and toddlers, which is great for when you’ve read Goodnight Moon 100 times and want to hand over the reins for a night. They also do virtual craft nights, which you can complete with your own materials, or pick-up curbside before the event.

Arts & Crafts

Since Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, it’s the perfect excuse to do some crafts! A good friend once taught me that you can do pretty much anything with some paint and a baby foot, so this year we made Valentine cards for the grandmas and grandpas featuring the kids’ footprints in heart shapes. It was the perfect post-nap time activity, and the result was super cute! Another great Valentine activity to send to the grandparents? Check out our I Love You Grandmother and I Love You Grandfather journals!

Local Events

Right after we moved to Wisconsin, I googled “Free things to do with kids in Milwaukee,” and stumbled upon mkewithkids.com. Because of this site, I’ve learned about Family Free Day at our public museum, where to find the best hills for sledding and snow tubing, fun drive-through events that are coming to town, and every activity in between! You can also check out your town’s website – many of them will update their calendar of events with free and low-cost activities because they want you to get out and be a part of the community! Who knew?

Dance Parties

The post-nap grumpies. It’ll get the best of us. If your kids aren’t in the mood to have their feet painted, turn off the TV and turn on some music! Maybe you’re the mom that has a strict screen-time schedule, but if you’re like me, you often have the TV on in the background and find yourself mindlessly zoning out to Daniel Tiger along with your kids. In the spirit of trying to cut out the mind-melting, I’ve been turning off the TV and putting on records or Spotify every morning and afternoon after snack time. My toddlers love dancing, and it’s almost impossible to stay grumpy when you’re being picked up and swung around to some music. I dare you to keep a straight face after hearing your kids laugh – it’s just about impossible! Plus, it’s a great way to get your blood flowing and your body producing endorphins, which we all need when there’s a lack of sunshine.

So, there you have it! Here’s to hoping the sun comes out soon and thaws all this snow. In the meantime, we’d love to hear how you are surviving the wintertime with your little ones in the comments below!