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Winter Survival Tips

unnamed-1How many times have you heard “I’m bored” this winter? 65,000? I have too. Ol’ Man Winter has been a miserable beast in 2014 for those of us in the North. If we’re not getting a foot of snow, its 30 below.  Now that the NFL season is over, I am dealing with some extremely stir-crazy children.

It goes without saying that if we get a break from the bitter cold, we are outside making snowmen, building snow forts, having snowball fights and anything else that is loud, fun and exhausting. However, windchill warnings have been part of our daily life for two months now, and since frostbite is a real thing, we’ve been stuck trying to find fun indoor things to keep the kids (from performing UFC matches in the living room) entertained.

These are three inexpensive things that we’ve been doing each week to survive while we wait for Spring to arrive:

Movie Night

unnamedMovie night is my favorite day of the week. Every Friday night, I buy theater snacks, grab a new movie from Amazon, and we spend two hours (mostly) electronic-free.  Here are some of our favorite movies:

  • The Sandlot – The Sandlot is a classic and is our go-to movie when we can’t find anything else interesting to watch.
  • Despicable Me and Despicable Me 2 – These movies were so cute and even my teenager liked both. Plus, the Minions rock!
  • Captain Phillips – We saw this one for the first time a few weeks ago and my kids still talk about how great of a movie it was. A side note: It’s not for the younger crowd as it has some strong language and some (a lot of) violence.

Game Night

unnamed-2Saturday is Game Night in my home. We’re a pretty competitive family so we love to beat each other in board, card and even some video games. We love playing these games:

  • Kinect/Wii Games – The Kinect and Wii are a great way to get your kids up and moving during the winter. We love to play Wii Bowling, have Track and Field contests (I lose every time. As it turns out, youth is a pretty good advantage), and play other move-around games.
  • Skip-Bo – This card game is so much fun. Its super family-friendly and we laugh (and trash talk) through the whole thing.
  • Darts – Yes, I did teach my kids how to play a bar game, but winter hangs around for a long time in Wisconsin. We got desperate and who doesn’t love a good game of Cricket and small holes in their living room wall?

Reading Night

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Sundays nights are spent getting in some reading time. The new digital world of reading has made it so much easier to get your children into books. Kids love iPads/Tablets and I love that can download books right to them from my Amazon account to their Kindle App.

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid/Big Nate – The Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Big Nate series are some of the most-requested books from my younger guy.
  • Six Good Innings: How One Small Town Became a Little League Giant by Mark Kreidler – My boys are really into sports so anytime I can find a sport-related book that falls in their reading level, and age range, I’m all over it.
  • The Last Shot: City Streets, Basketball Dreams by Darcy Frey – What can I say, sports rule this house. If it’s about basketball, baseball or football, my kids like to read it.

How are you getting through the winter (Do you live in a warm state? Can I move in with you? I’ll leave the kids at home, I promise)?  Share any family time tips or indoor activities for those of us with children suffering from cabin fever and the dreaded polar vortex of 2014!

Michelle Ramage
Project Manager

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Talk Back

Sheri Lavelle
Posted on March 11, 2014

I feel for you. I grew up in the south so didn’t have many long stretches of snow days but remember even those few felt like forever. My sons were into Legos so we spent many days building entire cities out of Legos, only to have the dog walk through and mess it up or something to that effect. They are grown now and I live in sunny Mexico so I haven’t had to deal with that kind of weather this year. I am glad too as I have heard and seen pictures this has been the harshest winter my town in Northern Arkansas has had in years.

Posted on March 10, 2014

I’d gotten some of my best cooking lessons from my Mom and step Dad hanging around the kitchen during the winters. The kitchen helped stay warm when I lived in Pennsylvania too!

Mario Party was my Mom’s go to video game for the family when those board games just wouldn’t do during family game nights. I also spent a lot of time in the local indoor batting cages getting ready for baseball season during the winters.

Now I live in Florida and only have to get phone calls about the cold. Winter was the reason I moved! Now I get spring training baseball and sun all year around. I don’t have an extra room though Michelle… Sorry! (haha)

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