So this past weekend, the east coast was hit with a major winter storm, Jonas. With over 2 feet of snow, and snowfall all day Saturday, the whole family was trapped at home. That is mom, dad, Tyler, and 2 dogs were home together for a full 48 hours. The best part is we survived and successfully made it through the weekend without any major breakdowns, both on the parent side and the toddler side. Here are my tips for surviving a blizzard with a toddler based on our very real experience.
1. Purchase lots of snacks.
Toddlers like snack sized finger foods. To avoid mealtime drama, buy a variety of snacks that when combined become a meal. For example, bite sized veggies, pita chips, dip, chicken strips, applesauce, etc. Also, have a few treats, when you're in cramped quarters for an extended period of time. Having a special treat is always nice in these situations. For this occasion, I brought home a box of bakery cookies which I generally only get for holidays.
2. Have a new toy hidden away.
When stuck in the house for days, the same old toys can become boring to your toddler. We like to have 1-2 unopened cheap toys on hand for such occasions. Pulling out a new toy can make your toddler feel like they had a trip to the toy store without leaving the house. These toys should not be more than $5-10. Just a little something new to change things up.
3. Have craft time.
Remember my post on the craft supplies you should always have on hand? (Craft Supplies) Well, whip out your craft box and make something! It can be as simple as just finger painting. You don't need some elaborate project, just something fun to create.
4. Take turns.
Hanging out with a toddler for 48 hours without leaving the house can be harrowing. So, parents can give each other a break. One parent can wrestle with their toddler while the other enjoys a nice bath. Then the other parent can organize craft time while the first parent catches up on a little social media. Even a short break can recharge your battery and get you ready for the next game your toddler creates.
5. Nap/quiet time.
If your child is still napping, definitely take advantage. If not, have at least 30 minutes of quiet time. Your child can color, or read a book, or draw, or do puzzles, or any number of quiet, contained activities. This serves to recharge their batteries and reduces crankiness later in the day. It also frees you up to have some quiet time as well.
6. Play in the snow.
This is fun and exciting for your toddler especially if its the first snowfall of the season. They may not even remember the last time they saw snow. Follow their lead and allow them to explore. This is a great activity before quiet time as it will definitely tucker them out. Bring them back in for a snack and quiet time after they've had their fill of snowy fun.
7. Make a video call.
Make a video call to grandma or Aunt Katie via Skype or Facetime. Just seeing someone else's face and interacting with them can help you and your little one feel less stranded. You can show off the craft you created and the giant Lego tower you built and they can show you what they did with their time at home. A few minutes with the outside word can be an incredible mood booster!
Having a whole weekend together was actually a lot of fun. Since I work a 9-5 and my husband works nights and weekends, we rarely ever have a whole weekend together. Coming back to reality on Monday, is a different story... Unplowed roads and no parking spots is no fun. But that only makes me cherish the weekend in our little cocoon even more. Hope you were able to make the most of your weekend!! Here are some shots of T in the snow!