February has the fewest days, but can feel like the longest month for even the most experienced parents. Throw in bad weather or illness to make parenting even more challenging. Those of us who have lived through many Februarys have learned a few toddler tips:
1: Go Outside
Yes, it’s cold and snowy, but one (or three) short play sessions outside can do wonders for everyone’s moods. If there’s snow, all the better. If not, it can be fun to visit a favorite playground or go on a dog walk in the winter. Just remember to keep little heads, hands and feet well-covered. Hot cocoa is a bonus when you get home.
Sometimes the weather is truly awful, think sleet. Your little one will still benefit from letting off some steam. This is where you can introduce him to your favorite music from back in the day. Dance with your toddler and take advantage of an age where they still think you’re cool.
3: Arts and Crafts
Give your toddler a roll of aluminum foil (take it out of the package with the sharp edge) and a roll of tape and see what she comes up with. Maybe a helmet, a badge or a ship for a doll.
4: Enlist Your Helper
Sometimes it’s easier to just do it yourself, but sometimes it’s more fun to have “help.” Your toddler can help you: fold laundry, dust, pick up his room and, best of all, make cookies. Music helps.
If toddler or parent is feeling under the weather let yourself enjoy your little one with a blanket and a book. Maybe followed by a nap.
And remember, this too shall pass, leaving you with memories of playing in the snow, dancing, crafting and cuddling with your child, rather than remembering how long February can be.