Winter is so beautiful here in Spokane, WA. Between the snow and the ice, and absolutely wild icicles! (can we talk about how crazy these are please??)
The beginning of winter this year was consistently in the Seattle temperatures which made it absolutely lovely. Then, as most of the northern U.S., we got hit with the “polar vortex” which has made for an unusual and late winter.
This is only my second winter ever, in my experience, that has been so cold. It’s bone chilling. I find myself having these funny thought processes when I run around town, like this:
I should really just have gloves all the time. Why don’t I have gloves? Well, I’m from Seattle and I’m not used to it being so cold when I go outside, I just need to learn to keep gloves on all the time. But wait, no one else in Spokane wears gloves while doing simple things like errands? I obviously need to adapt more.
I’ve had this train of thought more than once.
Well this weekend, we really felt it. That slightly trapped feeling you get when you’ve been in your house too long and it feels like there’s no where to go. I wanted to write a blog for you guys tonight that was all about my weekend. All about the different things we did together as a family to get through another chilly week. Then realized, we should just compile a list of winter activities, for inside and outside.
Our Winter Activities
The chilly temperatures have forced us to get creative with our time. What have we done to entertain ourselves and our toddlers you ask? Well, I’ve broken it into 5 main activities that I hope will help inspire you as these last few days/weeks of winter hang on.
1.) Build Forts: one of the first things we did is turn our entire living room into a blanket empire. What did my kids do once inside? They Facetimed grandpa who played alphabet games and read them kid jokes. Did they nap in there that day? They most certainly did.
2.) Sledding: Of course, the days that the temperature was at least in the 30s, we did make sure to get our kids out in that snow and do as much family sledding as we could!
We had a day earlier this month where the kids were out in the cold with daddy. It was for such a short amount of time, but when Jacen came inside, his cheeks were white. Being from Seattle, where that is never a concern, I was certainly shocked and my mom alarms were going off. Outside was off limits after that if it wasn’t above 20 degrees outside, and even that was for a short amount of time.
So, the days we’ve gotten to sled have been few, but definitely full of fun.
3.) Baking: My kids love baking. They love the process as much as the outcome. We’ve baked quite a bit this winter. Cakes, cookies, pies, quiches… and of course… bread.
This weekend, we baked bread… and then we went completely out of season and baked Pumpkin Spice Cake Mix Cookies. Super simple, 3 ingredient cookies.
4.) Coffee Dates: I will forever be grateful for the number of kid-friendly cafes in Spokane. Who not only have a kid-friendly environment, but provide toys to help occupy the sweet babes.
Some of my favorite places if you are a Spokane local:
All of these cafes provide either a space for kids, toys and/or books for kids or both! They are definitely my go to’s when its hard to go outside.
If you’re not local to Spokane, find a local mom blog or website that might have info on kid-friendly cafes in your area!
5.) Crafts: There haven’t been as many crafts as I would have liked over this winter. There have been lots of play doh days, lego building days. Crafts are something we find a little more challenging because my kids are so high energy and finding crafts to hold their attention can be hard.
This weekend, I found and tried out a great one! What we loved about it was how sensory it was. Between the use of natural materials and the water, not to mention the scientific aspect to it. The craft was absolutely perfect.
You can find a link to where I originally found the craft here.
But here’s our process!
The process of making these were so fun. The kids got more into them than I expected! Sonya especially, trying to perfect hers by completely removing her pieces and rearranging them several times!
Well, I hope that inspires you! It’s definitely one step further from where we left ourselves last winter. Last year was our first winter experiencing harsher environments than we are used to. Not to mention, we were new to the neighborhood, didn’t know anyone or anywhere to go.
This year still required some creativity but I have to say, its been a full and wonderful winter.
You can also watch my live on this topic on my facebook page that I did this morning! I would love to connect with you on social media!
I would absolutely love to hear from you guys! How have you entertained your littles while the temperatures have fallen? What are some of your favorite crafts and indoor activities? Let me know in the comments!