Posts Tagged winter

Pizza Play: delicious, fun and did I say delicious?

When I’m not blogging or busy running after Jack all day, I’ve been brainstorming ideas for articles to write and pitch.  One topic that’s of interest is, kids and healthier eating habits.  Food has always been a focal point in regards to my interests in parenting, particularly because I have the worst eating habits.  THE worst.

This year (like every other new year) Jeff and I have vowed to eat healthier.  And hey, if we lose weight in the process, score!  But ideally, we’re hoping to refine our eating habits so that they’ll influence Jack to make healthier choices on his own.

Now that Jack’s old enough to “pretend,” he’s been loving to play-cook.  Clearly, we don’t have the room for a play kitchen, but I had the grand idea to let him help me make pizza, or as he calls it, “Patzi.”  I know pizza isn’t the healthiest food, but a smaller portion with healthy sides is decent compromise.

And since we’ve been cooped up for the most part because of the cold and rain, “playing pizza” was a fun activity and fun way to prepare lunch.

Jack loved putting on an apron, though I should totally make him one in his own size.  One day…
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6 more weeks of winter, 6 ideas to combat cabin fever

So, it looks like Punxsutawney Phil is forecasting 6 more weeks of winter. Oh, joy! We’ve had a severe case of cabin fever from being cooped up as a result of the cold and the various illnesses between the two of us over the past month.

At almost a year and a half, the boy is beyond the baby days, but not quite at the big kid phase.  Keeping him entertained all day while remaining productive is a daily challenge, especially when it feels like there are more things we can’t do, than can. Playdates aren’t really of interest yet (soon, though) and too much tv is never a good thing; he’s getting bigger, but not quite big enough to completely enjoy everything. So, with that in mind, these are Jack-tested and approved!  Like many of you, we’re doing as much as we can to curb our spending, which ultimately includes recreational activities. I’m all about finding fun, but budget conscious activities. If it’s free, even better! So, here’s a quick run down of activities that have helped us to combat cabin fever.

Museum of Natural History

1.  Be a tourist–Most towns have museums or places of interest. Bundle up and check out your local museum or tChildren's Museum of Manhattanourist attraction. Just the other week, we were fortunate to be able to visit the Children’s Museum of Manhattan and the Museum of Natural History. Both were very cool activities and most certainly occupied us for an entire snowy, frigid day.
2.  Get crafty- Break out the crayons, pipe cleaners, foam pieces, fabric and other kid-friendly crafts. With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, making handmade (or scribbled) Valentines would be a great way to occupy you for at least an hour or two. For the ambitious ones, homemade play doh would be a fun way to bide the time. We’re not quite there yet…

3. Library-story hour or visiting the library. For us, the library is usually a big part of our week. The story hour is such a high demand activity in our neighborhood (because it’s one of the only free activities) that we unfortunately haven’t had a chance to participate yet. Nevertheless, we have a fun time browsing all the books, or in Jack’s case, pulling all the books off the shelves, looking at one page and moving on to the next one. Walking to the library and hanging out to read and explore, for us, is a great way to spend an entire morning before lunch.

4.  Have a Dance Party- Dancing is such a big part of our day. Dancing occupies a good part of the afternoon. Often, we’ll watch Yo Gabba Gabba that showcases a lot of kid dancing with plenty of cameos and pretty cool mainstream musicians as well. But aside from dancing with DJ Lance, Muno and the gang, I like to hook up my iPod or tune into the radio online and find music (besides kid music) to introduce him genres he’s never heard before. Break out the plastic instruments and sing along. Jimi Hendrix, old school Michael Jackson, Devo, The Ramones and Beyonce are among our recent favorites. Oh, and how could I forget— Jack was extremely enamored by NJ’s own, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s performance on the Superbowl. Dancing keeps things pretty vivid around here.

5.  Build forts–As a kid, building forts with my brothers were some of my fondest memories. Even though we had a pretty cool playhouse out back, we’d bring the fun times indoors with our forts. By implementing resourcefulness with mundane objects, fort building encourages creativity and problem solving. So, let loose with the couch cushions, the gazillion decoration-only pillows, old sheets and boxes and make a little town indoors.

at the park in the snow
6.  Go to the park/take a walk–Every now and then, if you’re lucky, the weather will dip ABOVE freezing temperatures and the rain or ice will let up. If everyone is healthy and the weather cooperates, bundle up, and get outside. Nothing combats cabin fever like the great outdoors. After being indoors, there’s nothing like going outside and getting some sunshine, whether at the park, on the patio or backyard. After the fun in the (cold) sun, as you un-bundle, a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows is a great way to unwind and defrost!

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