Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Goodbye Winter . . . Hello Spring!

Happy April 1st, everyone! Now that it's April, I *think* it may be safe to say that spring is on its way, and we are SO happy about that! Don't get me wrong, I love winter for its own reasons (really, I love every season . . . I'm so glad I live in a place that has four distinct seasons!), but this winter has been particularly looooooong and COLD. We do generally get a few (like maybe three) rounds of winter precip each year that are generally accompanied by some cold days. But this year? The cold and winter precip has seemed to go on and on and on. 

Back in December, we had a pretty good ice storm. It was beautiful!

Then, we had a really great snowfall not too long before Christmas. This snowfall was accompanied by single digit temps, so our outside playtime was short and sweet.

I do adore these photos I captured, though!

The new year brought with it more frigid temps and even more snow.

On this particular day, we had ice, snow, and a high temperature of 17 degrees! Brenson was unimpressed.

And, even more winter weather and snow came in February.

Finally, March came in like a Lion dumping about 8 inches of snow on us.

While we certainly enjoyed playing in the snow (and I loved watching my children discover the joys of snow), all the cold, wintery weather made for some very long days for this stay-at-home Momma and her kiddos. While most weeks we were still able to attend Library story time and our Friday preschool class, there were several weeks that I had to really get creative to keep cabin fever at bay. Our usual inside activities just didn't always cut it!

One day - after a particularly long stint of it being too cold to leave the house -  I decided to have a Frozen themed day in honor of the single digit temps. My kids LOVE the movie Frozen, so they were pumped!

To prepare for our Frozen day, I got online and found some great printable Frozen games and activities. One was a matching/memory game that I printed, folded, and glued together. My kids love to play memory, so they were especially excited about this!

Brianna has a thing for Kristoff :-).

Even though Bren wasn't quite two years old, he held his own with the memory game.

Proud of his match!

I also printed an Elsa and Anna coloring sheet. Not too exciting, but both of my kids enjoy coloring.

Brianna actually asked me to print her more.

I love how Bren holds his crayon correctly! He's such a particular boy.

I also printed and cut out Olaf! Both of the kids are big Olaf fans, so they thought this was GREAT. I gave them the pieces and let them glue them onto cardstock. Gluing is another favorite activity around here!

Brianna tends to put her pieces on kind of willy-nilly, but Bren wants his to be just right.

After getting our pieces glued on, I helped the kids put glue dots on their paper to glitter. It made it look like snow . . . and yes, glitter is a HUGE mess so I was obviously losing my mind!

We even glued chocolate chips on Olaf's buttons for some added fun. I'm pretty sure Bren ate a whole lot more than he glued :-).

And finally, we added marshmallows to Olaf's feet. This was all stuff I just had on hand and pulled out to make the activity a little more fun!

We hung the finished product up in their bedrooms.

I had to be sure to hang Brenson's up high so he couldn't reach it to eat the chocolate chips and marshmallows off of it, ha!

Another day, we busted out the play dough and practiced some fine motor skills (I got this idea from Pinterest). I took a lump of play dough, put two uncooked spaghetti noodles in it, and let the kids thread cheerios on them.

This actually kept them entertained for a surprisingly long time.

I made Brianna do hers only using one hand. As you can see, she was successful!

Bren spent more time eating the cheerios than actually threading them, but he was also able to thread quite a few. We actually did this activity several more times throughout the winter.

We also spent quite a few afternoons in the kitchen baking. The Bs LOVE helping me in the kitchen, and though I don't love baking too much, it's fun to do it together.

This was one of the first times that Brianna helped me run the mixer. As you can see, Bren is bothered by the noise it makes so he certainly doesn't want to touch it. I'm hoping he'll outgrow this.

 They both enjoy pouring the ingredients in the bowl.

And of course, the BEST part is getting to lick the beaters!


We really like eating the dough the best, but we do bake a few as well :-).

Like I said above, we had below average temps most of the winter. This meant that several times when it snowed, we weren't able to go out and play in it (we honestly don't own the proper winter gear to be out the temps we were experiencing). This really disappointed the kids, so one day I took a big bowl outside, filled it with snow, and brought it inside! I gave them spoons, water I colored with food coloring, and paintbrushes and let them go to town!

Brenson enjoyed the snow as long as he didn't touch it. He's very sensitive to hot and cold, so he DID NOT want his hands in the cold snow.

Brianna painted and painted and painted her snow until it was a slushy mess. I'd say this activity was a hit!

She said to me, "Mom, you're a funny girl to bring the snow inside our HOUSE!" Haha!

I think I've said this before, but I am SO thankful for sites like Pinterest that help me be creative with activities to do with my littles. We had a fun winter, but we are sure happy to see that spring it on its way!

What do you do to help those long winter days pass by?

No comments: