Monday, January 31, 2011

Surviving the winter, the eco-mami way

For those of us in the DC area, we dodged quite a few storms while the Southeast and Northeast got slammed with snow for the past few months.  Unfortunately, our luck ended this week and I've had kids with cabin-fever.  No, it's nothing like "snowpocalypse" from last year, where we had about 2 weeks of cancelled school, (at least that's what it felt like).  However, it's been bad nonetheless.  A teacher workday and 3 snow days and the week's to-do list went out the window before I even got started.

But like a good boy scout, you must be prepared.  I've managed to occupy them with things like building forts, doing schoolwork (sometimes computer games so they don't realize they're doing homework), playing out in the snow, or making crafts.  As hard as it may seem, it IS possible to keep them busy without just turning on the TV.  Don't get me wrong, I still turned it on between some of these activities, but not for hours on end.

Some more ideas for staying busy while you're snowed in or if it's too cold to play outside:

  • Cooking together: My kids love to help me bake goodies or make dinner.  (And you can teach them math without them realizing it).
  • Scrapbooking: Maybe it's not a gender neutral thing, but my daughter loves it. 
  • Board games: The kids just got a bunch of games over the holidays so that kept us quite busy.
  • Stock up: not just on groceries.  Head to the library before the storm hits and get a bunch of books and movies for both you and the kids.  

Obviously, I haven't had much time to do things that I need to be doing, such as continuing my purging mission, but I figure that crap isn't going anywhere.  So I'm taking this time to enjoy my kids, let them have fun on their own or with me, and the rest of the stuff on my list will be there when they go back to school.

How is any of this eco-friendly?
Less TV wastes less energy.  Making crafts with recycled materials is less wasteful.  Making our own snacks is better since it requires no packaging (which means less waste).  And hopefully these activities will be passed on to my children's children when they look back on how we survived yet another snowstorm.

Stay warm, everyone!

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