Chances are, your household is experiencing some pretty cold weather. Although this is common for many areas in the winter months, some areas are getting a lot colder than they normally would. If you have kids, then this weather can really make life hard, especially during transport times to school and activities. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to help keep your kids a little warmer while the weather is unbearable. You won’t have to spend a pretty penny in order to do this either, which will help make your winter budget stretch a lot further. So, get ready to make bundling up and heading to and from school, as well as weekend play times, a little easier to deal with thanks to these simple tips.
1. Warm Breakfast
One of the key elements to keeping children warmer is to provide them with a warm breakfast before they have to go out in the cold. One of your best options here is to whip up some simple oatmeal. This amazing food can be spiced up with peanut butter, fruits or anything else that strikes your fancy. Plus, the warmth from the cereal with resonate with your child for some time. Best of all, oatmeal provides lots of energy, so your child will feel like moving around to stay even warmer. Of course, if you feel like it you might consider making other warm dishes like bacon, eggs, pancakes and more. Giving your child a warm beverage can help with the cold they will have to endure too. If they have to wait outside for the bus then consider putting warm milk, low sugar hot cocoa or a caffeine free tea in a flask to help them stay warmer during their wait.
2. Workout In Place
Another simple way to get the kids warm is to teach them a few workouts that they can do in place. One simple thing is to have them jog in place. This can be great to do just before they have to head out into the cold, but you should also help them continue with these movements while they wait on the bus. Jumping jacks are another great option, but you may want to keep this as an indoor activity if the ground is slippery. When the kids get home from school, you may have them do a few sit ups to warm their bodies faster from the walk home. These activities will not just warm your child up, but will help create good habits that can carry on into adulthood.
3. Tea Party
One great way to handle afternoon snack time while bringing even more warmth to the kids is to host a tea party after school. Before the kids come home, you can easily warm up the home by making scones and cookies, which shouldn’t add a lot to your food budget. When the kids get home from school then put on the kettle or boil some water to make them tea. The party will add a fun touch to the day, while the warm snacks and drinks will help the kids forget about the cold for a little while. This is also a great way to enjoy family bonding time and will help your children learn how to share the details of their day with you.
4. Reading Tent
You might want to consider giving the kids a cozy place to cuddle up before and after school. A reading tent is a great option and may even encourage kids to spend more time reading opposed to watching TV. A reading tent is simple to make. If you’re not sure where to begin, there are lots of tutorials and ideas online that will help you make a tent that will suit your children’s needs. When the tent is finished, fill it with pillows and blankets. Kids can hop in the tent before and after school to warm up and work on homework or read a book. The enclosed area will help lock in the warmth that the kids naturally produce, while the pillows and blankets add even more comfort and warmth to the area.
5. Hot Hands
If you’ve ever met anyone that spends a lot of time outdoors in the winter, then you have probably heard about hot hands. These pouches help to bring warmth to the hands while spending time outdoors. Some people will even place them in their shoes to help keep the body even warmer. You can buy these packs in most stores, but there are also a few ways to make them at home. The DIY hot hands will not only save you money, but will present your children with safer ingredients. These pockets should be used by older kids only, as younger children may still be tempted to place them in their mouth. To add more fun to the cold weather, you might have your children help you make the pockets, which will teach them a bit about science. If you’re concerned about ingredients, then you can always heat up rice in a sock for a similar effect that won’t leave you worrying about your child consuming the item.
6. Reheat Clothing
Getting out of bed in the morning when it’s cold can be tough, especially when you know you have to go out into the freezing weather. One way to remedy this problem is to offer your children clothes fresh out of the dryer. You might start by heating up their base layers so they can start their morning out with warm clothing. Then, before it is time to leave for school toss sweaters, jackets, hats and socks into the dryer. This will help give them an extra jolt of heat, so they won’t feel like they’re too cold before they arrive at school. If you don’t want to heat up everything, then you might just stick to warming up the children’s sweaters. These items usually hold heat longer and will warm up your child’s core which will make the whole body feel warmer.
7. Keep Kids Moving
Of course, outdoor play can be a huge problem when it comes to the cold weather. It might be harder to get children to want to go out play due to this. There are some ways you can help children keep warm so they will be inspired to get out and exercise. The best way to do this is to keep kids moving as much as possible. You should organize relay races, scavenger hunts that involve running or jogging and any other game you can think of that will keep kids on their toes while they’re outside. Playing tag is always a great option during these periods of cold, as are sports and games that your child already loves.
8. Have Fun With Layers
When an unexpected cold snap arrives, one of the best things you can do is dress in layers to remedy the discomfort. This can be a pain for kids that hate getting dressed anyway, so you might want to make it a bit fun. For instance, you can have a competition to see who can get all of their layers on the fastest. Another option is to do a fashion show to see who can up with the most creative layers. No matter how you inspire your children to layer up, it will help keep them warm when the weather isn’t cooperative.
9. Spend Time in the Kitchen
The winter months are the perfect time to bring your children into the kitchen with you. As you cook dinner or bake, have them work on their homework, play board games, draw or work on other crafts. The heat from the room will warm them up, especially when they walk in the door from school. You can also have your children begin to help you in the kitchen. They can mix up items, knead dough or work on other simple kitchen chores. This will help teach the kids an important skill while allowing them to absorb the heat from the kitchen. It will also give you extra time to bond, so you can get even more joy out of the winter months.
10. Bring Outdoor Toys In
Often, children begin to miss their outdoor toys when it is too cold to spend very long outdoors. You might want to consider bringing in some of the toys to make the cold snap even more bearable. Items like toddler climb toys, playhouses and more can be brought inside and placed in most rooms. It might be cramped for a little while, but the kids will enjoy having fun on their favorite toys. Of course, you might also want to check out the toys before you place them in the home, just in case they have become the home of bugs that you might not want inside with you. You can also have a day for skating in the house. Make sure everyone wears their safety equipment though as there are more hazards inside than out.
Keeping kids warm and happy when the weather is extremely cold can be a real challenge, especially when school hasn’t been cancelled. These simple tips should help you keep your kids from feeling too much discomfort while waiting for the bus or trying to stay busy after school. You shouldn’t have to spend a lot of money on any of these tips, which will help keep your budget from going over the edge.