It's the season of useless holidays and snow days (if we ever get a real winter). This used to mean relaxation and down time for me. Since the birth of my son, it means preschool closure and ramped up responsibility. Fortunately, it's not an upsetting time. I've figured out how to make these little gifts of time fun.
My new solution is to pretend I'm the babysitter. House rules still apply, but I try to inject as many off-beat events into the day as possible. If you ever read The Babysitters' Club YA books as a child, you're on to my suggestion.
The characters in the series carried boxes packed with activities for their babysitting charges. We can do something similar as parents.
Fun stuff to do
Finger paint. Yeah, I'm with you, I hate creating giant messes and thus more work in my house. There's a way to make this activity stress-free, though. Purchase water-soluble, washable, children's finger paint and a notepad of white paper, put the kids in pajamas or other clothes that can handle a stain or two, and jump into the biggest tub in your home. Once their masterpieces are complete, you can hose down the play area.
Build a fort. One of my 3-year-old's favorite activities is to crawl through the fort my husband made. It only took a few large cardboard boxes and some duct tape to build this cheap haven. Couch cushions or a table with sheets will also work if you get creative.
Have a dance party. Turn on the radio or tune the television to the music stations and boogie. Nothing is required except the energy to move your butt. Young kids especially appreciate your willingness to bounce around with them.
Go swimming. Though the weather outside is decidedly not frightful, water play still isn't on many minds. Surprise the kids with a trip to Leesburg Ida Lee Recreation Center. The indoor pool will brighten everyone's spirits. My son hugged and kissed me when I took him one Saturday morning.
Pizza. Go ahead and call for delivery. It's not the healthiest option, but it sure is the easiest and most fun. We can all get back to organic tofu when schedules are normal again.
Kids' movies. If all else fails, plop your kids in front of the boob tube and veg out. You're making sure little junior has the best education on normal days. His toys teach math, reading, and quantum physics. You both could probably use the break. If it'll make you feel better, try one of the PBS shows. Dinosaur Train, for example, is ridiculously informative.
Whatever you do, remember to loosen up and have fun. By the end of the day, you and your kids will love life and look forward to the next silly day off.