Keeping your “cool” in the winter time
(Seven ideas for beating Cabin Fever)
by Kay Mishkin
For those of you who don’t particularly enjoy the winter sports and activities, here are some things you might do to help you get through the season in a reasonably sane state of mind.
- Look at your yearly calendar and pick out the week (or two) to be your vacation. Make up a notice to post right now in your childcare announcing these dates, also note whether or not these are expected to be paid. Make other copies of the notice and hand it out to everyone. No one will complain since the vacation is months away, but as it gets closer, everyone has had ample notice of their obligations, and You have time set aside for R & R.
- Air out your daycare space once a day. I know its hard to let in cold air, but it will invigorate you, eliminate some germs, raise your spirits. Breathe deep!
- Our senses are under-stimulated in the winter, mainly because we wear so many clothes! This goes for the children as well. An activity to combat this could be to take off everyone’s’ shoes and socks, (Yours too!) Massage feet with talcum powder or lotion, play “This little piggy” , dance around on various textures (a rough towel, smooth vinyl, soft blanket, furry fabric, gritty sandpaper, crinkly paper), finish up by sorting out the pile of shoes and socks, matching, using descriptive language, pretending to smell, PU!, always good for a laugh.
- When you are out in the snow and it’s a good packing snow, make a herd of snow horses! Create piles of snow to straddle and sit on, perhaps a lump for the horse’s head, maybe ears, and then everyone can ride out in the snow. Yee Haw!
- Another sensory activity – Fill the sink or dishpans with warm water and wash the toys. Plan for spills with towels on the floor and remove outer clothing… splash away. If appropriate, add a bit of bleach to the water and disinfect at the same time. Great for a mix of ages.
- Take some of your quiet time to read over any of your paperwork… contracts, policies, fees, enrollment forms, flyers, business card, and do some reflective thinking about making any changes that occur to you. We all change gradually, and what was perfect a year or two ago, may now feel outmoded.
- Lastly, if you have forsythia bushes, clip some of the dead-looking branches, and bring the bouquet of sticks into the house, put into water and watch for the yellow blooms in about 2 –3 weeks.
Before you know it, spring will be on the way.