I am a stay at home mother and because my husband is active duty military I find myself often being a “single mother”. I love my son, but boy are there days I’m ready to pull my hair out. For a while we lived in Arizona where it was often times too hot to go outside so we would be trapped in the house day in, day out. And quite the opposite, we lived in Michigan where times during the winter months it was too cold to go outside. Staying inside all day with a hyper toddler is enough to make any sane person crazy.
When you are trapped inside a lot with kids one good thing to try are Pinterest activities. I can get lost on Pinterest for hours looking up recipes, crafts, and activities. Some of my favorites are: DIY matchbox car racetracks and cardboard box tunnels, Kid friendly Christmas tree, homemade car wash, and pompom games.
I’m not the most creative mom but I do think of fun things that my son would be interested in. My son is a huge snow bunny; he loves playing in the snow until his fingers are frozen; but sometimes its too cold for him to play outside. The solution? I bring the snow inside! I fill a big roasting pan full of snow and fill small squirt bottles full of water/food coloring and let Eli paint snow. Most mothers know the struggle of trying to cook dinner in peace. When I am cooking with 3 different pans on the stove and something in the oven my son is all over the kitchen in my way. I started filling a bowl with whatever I have in the cupboards (flour, sugar, brown sugar, etc) and giving him measuring spoons/cups and an extra empty bowl and letting him measure and pour while I have an open workspace to cook. There are also the classic go-to’s: painting, coloring, play-doh, etc.
All of those are nice but when you can, GET OUT! I am so glad we moved to San Diego because there are a MILLION things to do for Eli here. If you’re like me, you’re on a budget. Being a one income family means we need to budget! Budget! Budget! I look for anything that’s free, has cheap memberships, or offer military discounts. Here in SD all the museums have a “resident free admission” day of the month. The children’s museum also allows for free admission to military families Memorial Day through Labor Day. Make sure to find every opportunity in your area. I am always looking for new activities to do or new parks to visit. Plus being out gets them up and active in fresh air, and gets them playing and socializing with other kids.