Keeping Kids Busy Indoors

It has been breathtakingly cold outside this year. This year we have hit record low temperatures here in Utah, in fact, we had our first experience with freezing rain this week. These below freezing temperatures have got the kids cooped up inside all day, every day, and if they’re anything like mine, they’re starting to get a bad case of cabin fever! But don’t worry, we’re here to save the day, because we have lots of ideas to keep kids happy indoors and out! Something Logan and I have decided to do this year is to make a list of … Continue reading

Indoor Fun For Toddlers

It has just occurred to me that the other day, I had written a post which alluded to writing a future post about indoor activities for toddlers. Before I forget to write that post (again), here it is. Cooler weather is here, so get ready to get cozy and have some fun. Keep a box full of interesting pieces of clothing that the kids can use to dress themselves up as whatever characters they wish to create. Encourage them to give their characters unique voices, and listen as they entertain you with their stories. Dylan has not done any in … Continue reading

Diary of a Cat Care B&B: Three Cases for Keeping Cats Indoors

We currently have three guests at the cats-only boarding facility who make a very good case for keeping cats indoors. One is easily one of my favorite all-time guests. He’s a big tabby fellow and a total sweetheart — that’s probably why his family called him Pooky. These days, Pooky is a lover, not a fighter. But in his past? He was probably a fighter. He’s got a few good-sized scars running down his nose that speak of old fights. Pooky is an indoor cat now, and I wonder if that’s what gave his lovebug side the opportunity to show. … Continue reading

Build an Indoor Fort

Yes, you can buy indoor tents, castles and forts. These mass-produced nylon edifices can rise up from a crib or bed, often featuring television cartoon characters, or they are simply erected on the floor. They are usually available in the shape of castles, sun domes, etc. But where is the fun in that? Plus, they are often rather costly and frankly there is just no need to throw your money away on such a toy. I guarantee that you have enough materials laying about your home right now to make a stellar fortress/castle/cave/tunnel/igloo/whatever your child wants to pretend it is. … Continue reading

How to Build A Play Group

You know, you read a lot of advice about getting your toddler involved in a playgroup. It’s good for the toddler and it’s good for you as a parent, but what few of these ‘advice’ pieces forget to mention is how to get a playgroup set up so your toddler can enjoy it. Well, first and foremost, you’re going to look for parents or family members with children about the same age as your toddler. You can look at your Church, at a community message board or at a local school or place of business like a gymnastics, dance or … Continue reading

Holiday-Themed Sanity Savers

Whether you are hosting a Christmas party, a Hanukkah get-together or you simply need ways to keep your kids busy while they are home from school during the holiday break, the following ideas will go a long way to preserving your sanity: Games:  Get into the holiday spirit by modifying traditional kids’ games, such as “Duck, Duck, Goose.”  A holiday version could be “Reindeer, Reindeer Rudolph” or “Elf, Elf, Buddy” (Will Ferrell’s name in the movie “Elf”). Another option is to turn “Simon Says” into “Santa Says.”  These types of interactive games are great ways for kids to burn off … Continue reading

Praise And Your Toddler

It’s tough work, being a parent. It seems like every other day, I read something that lets me know that I am doing something incorrectly as far as how I have been parenting my little boy. That’s okay, though, I am open to new ideas and to learning which things make sense for me and my family and which ideas are best left to other people and their own families. Today, I read some interesting information about how praising children can do them more harm than good. Until about an hour ago, I was generously doling out praise to Dylan … Continue reading

The Temptation of Target

Why is it so easy to spend money at Target? It seems that whenever I go in there for one thing, I wind up coming out with several. This week alone, I have found myself visiting Target three times! I am getting way too comfortable in that store. I’m branching out to the point where I make a stop first at the Starbucks in the store for a small coffee. Yesterday, I ordered a medium one and actually contemplated feeding the kids at the in-store Pizza Hut Express. What is happening to me? I think I miss malls. I was … Continue reading

Have Fun with Old Man Winter

Old Man Winter is alive and well in Wisconsin. After sleeping in for a few weeks, the season has reared its bitterly cold head and dumped nearly a half–foot of snow in less than 24 hours. Fortunately, there are ways to heat things up while keeping the kids entertained. While you may be tempted to let your little ones warm up by the glow of the TV, you’ll find that you can a lot more fun if you get out of the house and experience the following winter boredom busters: Park It: Head out to a local park to take … Continue reading

Gardening Tips for a Cold Spring

Oh, spring around here has been cold. Some of you who live in cooler climates than I do might laugh at the fact that we’ve hit winter clothing temperatures repeatedly into May, but I’m not. My garden isn’t laughing too hard either. What can you do to salvage a cold spring in your garden? Take your cues from the weather. If it’s really, really cold, you don’t need to plant, even if it is officially spring. It’s better to plant when the garden is ready instead of by the clock. Get a head start, but hedge your bets. I’ve learned … Continue reading