Tag Archives: winter

Sunday Morning Shout Out


Source: Ken Lauer, Nov. 2014

Source: Ken Lauer, Nov. 2014

Winter is coming to an end but is it too cold to go outside and play?  Are the roads super bad, preventing you from going anywhere?  Are you stuck home?  Is everyone sick with the sinus junk that’s been going around?  Has pure, pervasive cabin fever struck? Recently, “The Washington Post’s, On Parenting section, reposted a popular article, “10 Indoor Activities to Get You Through Winter,” by Lauren Knight, that might just be the solution.

1)  Cardboard playhouses, rockets, jets, cabins, etc: Build a cardboard playhouse or cardboard anything for your child. It is truly amazing to see how children imagine things when they are given a big box to play in for a day. If your house is anything like mine, a big box like this is not just a day, but multi-day piece of fun.

2 )  Make homemade play dough: There are a gazillion online recipes for making this kid favorite. While playing with it is good fun, making it is too. It is also a whole lot cheaper and less toxic than the stuff in the store.

3)  Sumo wrestle: Let me just say, I read this idea and laughed. The premise is to size up that perfect moment where your children need to blow off steam. Give them each a large overstuffed t-shirt, in which they can stuff pillows in the back and front. Let them wrestle and do their thing, while you laugh.

4)  Make marshmallow structures: With marshmallows and pasta, design possibilities and great geometry lessons are limitless.

5)  Cardboard monster feet: Make cardboard monster feet, with cardboard you have left over from the playhouse, rocket ship, fort, etc. Reduce, reuse, and roar!

6)  “Mad scientist bath”: Let your child take a “Mad Scientist” bath. With the aid of a plastic stool to set experiments on, measuring cups, soap and water, and containers, let your child play away in the water and see what she can “create.”

7)  Pool noodle racetracks: Make a marble race track (or one for cars) by cutting a pool noodle in half lengthwise. The idea is to have two of them. Children can race their marbles or racecars, and see which ones are the fastest.

8)Indoor scavenger hunt: Create an indoor scavenger hunt for your children. Hide clues, have them work as teams, and have a great find at the end.

9)  Build a tapestry table: I am not feeling this one, but the author says you can pick up an old coffee table at a secondhand store and staple a large piece of burlap material around the edges. With this, some scraps of yarn, string, large plastic children sewing needles, and some desperation, children can learn how to sew.

10)  Make a reading nook: Either collect a bunch of books from the library or around the house and create a special, most comfy corner, pile of pillows, or room, replete with even more pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals to read-away for an afternoon or snowstorm. (Now that sounds downright awesome to me!)

With these great ideas, cabin fever will be cured in no time and a greater appreciation for the season may just be.  Plus, Spring is just around the corner!

 

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Sunday Morning Shout Out


To quote our three and a half year-old, quoting a “Thomas the Tank Engine” movie, I think my head is going to become a Popsicle. In fact, I think collectively Western New Yorkers everywhere are officially becoming Popsicles. With no annual January thaw and over 60 steady days of frigid, sub freezing weather and snow, we are getting freezer burnt! Before we all start going “mad” with collective brain freeze, perhaps it is best to round up some great winter activities to embrace the cold or beat it.  Remember these day lovingly since soon enough you’ll have the Air Conditioning on in July and August (that is if Lake Erie thaws) and begin dreaming of our winter wonderland!

The “Buffalo Event Calendar” allows you to search for WNY events and showcases top notch activities in our area.  From skating at Canal Side and Rotary Rink to annual events like the “Farm Show and the “Auto Show,” this is a great online source for individuals and families seeking fun and unique activities to do this season.  Check out your town or village’s website for winter festivals and special events. From inside music to outside skating, to vendors, chicken barbeques, lectures, and more, our area municipalities offer many fun things to do in the cold. –Which brings me to our local libraries.  Outside the great books and periodicals, many libraries offer in house movie nights; loan DVDS and video games; and host lectures, book clubs, and other special events to squelch the toughest case of cabin fever.  Pick up a book and start an adventure! Go to the library and have a great new experience!

Speaking of ending cabin fever, what do you and your family like to do to beat this “bug”? –Beat it before it beats you!  Sometimes ordinary activities just need a nice spin to become a special event in the home.  Make movie night, the home drive in, minus the exhaust fumes and mosquitoes!  Better yet, perhaps you can go camping after the movies in the great wilds of your living room.  Or maybe a game night, turns into a camp-out replete with storytelling (read or spoken) and a big bowl of popcorn and a side of laughter and good memories.  Which outdoor activity do you enjoy with your family this time of year, sledding, skiing , or riding snow mobiles?  Do you want to build a snowman? Snicker, snicker… Maybe going outside has little to no appeal? But perhaps just stepping outside on a beautiful starlit night, or bundling up and taking a walk is just what the doctor ordered. Look at the beautiful sparkle of the snow.  Winter will be over soon enough and time just keeps passing….’do you wanna build a snowman?’

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Filed under Education, Health, My Experiences, Parenting

Sunday Morning Shout Out


To quote our three and a half year-old, quoting a “Thomas the Tank Engine” movie, ‘I think my head is going to become a Popsicle‘.  In fact, I think collectively Western New Yorkers (and New Englanders) everywhere are officially becoming Popsicles.  With perhaps a day of January thaw and steady days of cold weather and snow, we are getting freezer burnt!  Now February is here and there is little sign of any break in the snow or chill.  Before we all start going “mad” with collective brain freeze, perhaps it is best to round-up some great winter activities to embrace the cold or beat it.

The “Buffalo Event Calendar” showcases top-notch winter activities in our area. From skating at Canal Side and Rotary Rink to annual events like the “Farm Show and the “Auto Show,” this is a great online source for individuals and families seeking fun and unique activities to do this season.  Check out your town or village’s website for winter festivals and special events.  From inside music to outside skating, to vendors, chicken barbeques, lectures, and more, our area municipalities offer many fun things to do in the cold. –Which brings me to our local libraries.  Outside the great books and periodicals, many libraries offer in-house movie nights; loan DVDS and video games; and host lectures, book clubs, and other special events to squelch the toughest case of cabin fever.  Pick up a book and start an adventure! Go to the library and have a great new experience!

Speaking of ending cabin fever, what do you and your family like to do to beat this “bug”? –Beat it before it beats you!  Sometimes ordinary activities just need a nice spin to become a special event in the home.  Make movie night, the home drive in, minus the exhaust fumes and mosquitoes!  Better yet, perhaps you can go camping after the movies in the great wilds of your living room.  Or maybe a game night, turns into a campout replete with storytelling (read or spoken) and a big bowl of popcorn and a side of laughter and good memories.

Which outdoor activity do you enjoy with your family this time of year, sledding, skiing , or riding snow mobiles?  Do you want to build a snowman? Snicker, snicker… Maybe going outside has little to no appeal?  But perhaps just stepping outside on a beautiful starlit night, or bundling up and taking a walk is just what the doctor ordered.  Winter will be over soon enough and time just keeps passing….

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Filed under Education, Health, My Experiences, Parenting

Sunday Morning Shout Out


Source: Ken Lauer, Nov. 2014

Source: Ken Lauer, Nov. 2014

This year’s November storm is still fresh in our minds.  There is nothing like six feet of snow; visions of stranded motorists on our local thruways and state highways; and haunted thoughts of being stuck in the vehicle with our loved ones or by ourselves to remind us of having our automobiles in “winter shape” and packed with the proper winter essentials.  These very things can save our lives.

The AAA website lists different points of consideration for winter car care in a short piece titled ‘Tis The Season To Prepare For Winter Driving‘.  From checking your vehicle’s battery and coolant levels to tire treads and breaks, there are several vehicle care points to consider to have your vehicle in good running order for winter.  They also provide a list of emergency essentials to be carried in your vehicle, in the event you do breakdown or simply cannot drive because of road conditions.  From extra blankets and energy bars (even candy) to flares, flashlights, emergency kits, and car chargers there is a comprehensive check list for motorists to quip their vehicles.  Lastly, the website describes their smartphone app that is available for Android and smartphone users that allows a motorist to request help, without needing to make a phone call.  Simply, motorist information is input to the screen.  While you do not have to be a AAA member to download it and use it, it is a requirement for their roadside assistance.

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‘Tis the Season(?)


In the immortal words of The Byrds, “to everything there is a season”. Sometimes, this time of year makes me wonder exactly WHAT season we’re in, however. The temperatures have been all over the board, there hasn’t been any significant snow, and yet if you turn on many of the local radio stations or head out to the shopping centers, you might expect to see snow on the ground and scarves wrapped around chilly necks.

The curious time in between Halloween and Thanksgiving seems to have been filled by Christmas cheer. What happened to living in the moment? This early introduction of the holiday spirit seems to overextend the pleasures of the Yuletide. So how can you help your family out? Avoid playing festive music or putting up decorations until a date you decide is reasonable. Just because every other house on the street has an inflatable Frosty the Snowman in the front yard by November 1st doesn’t mean you have to. Do things that involve enjoying the season at hand. Rather than looking ahead to the winter season, drink apple cider and bake apple pies or head out to a body of water to observe the migration patterns of the many waterfowl that pass through this area. Your kids will thank you for teaching them to live in the moment.

What do you think about the earlier introduction of the winter holidays?

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