My children are outdoor children, no doubt about it. They love to be outdoors, in the water, in the dirt, and in the sun.
So winter is always hard on them. I try to keep their toys as organized as possible. Organized toys means they can spend more time using their imagination and less time trying to find all the billion pieces that go to their toys.
We build forts inside as much as possible, and whenever it snows outside, we head out to play in it assuming the weather isn’t too harsh.
(Not pictured: me freezing my ass off)
But some days it’s rainy and cold, or just bitter cold, and the kids are bouncing off the walls going crazy. On those days, I have a secret tool up my sleeve. Ready?
Ok, I know what you are thinking, this sounds like insane cleanup and you think I’m crazy for doing this. Yes. Both of those thoughts are true. Which is why I contain the play to a sheet in the living room. You take a fitted sheet, turn it upside down, and put books stacked in the four corners of it to hold it up, and you have a rice boundary.
Then, you take your water table (that I assume you stored for the winter because you’re clearly a nice organized mother, right? Yeah. Me neither. Ahem.) and you use rice in it instead of water. All those little cups and animals and everything that comes with a water table can be used as rice, and it can become a sensory table.
(Look at those little mess monsters!)
Also, if you want Instagram-perfect dyed rice, you take a bag of rice, add 1/4 cup of water with food dye in it, and stir it into the rice. Then you spread that rice out in a sheet, and bake it for half an hour at 200 degrees (F). The kids get colored rice, you get five minutes alone to read your library book while drinking your cold coffee.