January

January Shenanigans

JanuaryJanuary is one of those months where you could possibly end up spending way too much time inside. The walls may start to feel like they are closing in on you. Your kids are bouncing off the walls and you are one more tantrum away from throwing in the towel. What can you do to stop this madness? I really have no idea.

I am typically right there driving mom crazy along with the kids. I get into growling matches with Alex. I sneak up and scare Abby for no good reason and she’ll let out a shriek. I make sure I do my part in bringing in the madness. Hanging out at home to me is a good ol’ time. There’s usually plenty of things to do. You’re not spending any money other than the utilities you use. Sounds like my cup of tea. Don’t get me wrong. I like going out. It is just a hard thing to do for us. There’s just so much involved that when it comes down to it we would rather just either a) sit at home, or b) do something with the kids. Because of things like the weather, in January, your option is a) sit at home.

Well because I am here and you are reading this, I suppose I could give you a few suggestions on what you could do with all of that extra time shacked up inside with the kids.

1) Throw a dance party.

Bert LanceDance parties are the ultimate energy drainers when you’re inside. There are a few different ways you can have a dance party inside. The first thing I would recommend is to make sure you have a clear area for dancing. You don’t want to trip over toys, clothes, furniture, etc. So get yourself a dance floor ready. Hardwood works great, just remember to move any slippery rugs. Carpet works best for little feet. When we are in the basement I will turn on the stereo and play music either from my computer or something on terrestrial radio. I also have a DJ console that I let the kids use to “scratch” and “mix” records together. That usually requires a little more observation and isn’t necessary for a dance party. When we are upstairs I use my iPhone and cast YouTube videos to the T.V. The kids will usually pick songs to add to the queue and just go crazy.

What’s nice about a dance party is that you can establish rules about picking songs. Even mom and dad get to pick songs. This gives you a chance to share some of your favorite tunes with your kids and even learn some of the stuff they like. I would suggest keeping the songs upbeat until the very end of the dance party. If needed try searching for lyric videos instead of the real videos. The last 3 or 4 songs I will start playing slower songs to start calming these balls of energy down. You can even do a dance party with nursery rhymes and children’s music, but honestly that’s no fun. Elton John’s Crocodile Rock, now that’s fun. You know what’s best anyways, so play what you think is appropriate for your children.

2) Make a book, movie, video game, anything.

• TROPICAL •• TASTE •Kids like to make stuff. My daughter will sit and use her little imagination and come up with all kinds of different stuff. Sometimes she needs my help but it’s all her ideas. Setting up a maker space in your home is a great way to encourage all kinds of learning opportunities. We have a maker space in our house. We call it the craft room but it is definitely a maker space. Glue, scissors, paper, cardboard, egg cartons, toilet paper rolls, and many, many, other items. All there to just make things.

You can also make a book. It can be a comic book, or a short story. Help your kid’s write some hilarious nonsense and then illustrate it. It would be a great memory and if done right, scanned, and digitized and maybe even printed professionally using some online service. Now that’s an idea…

How about a movie! Come up with a ridiculous script and act it out!

And yes I even said a video game. If you are not a savvy with the Internet and not know about some of things you can do online these days, well I will learn ya that you now learn to make video games online. Even very young kids can code. Check out options like HourofCode.com, CodeAcademy.com, or Scratch. There are many more apps that can help you and your kids learn to code. Just get out there and find something!

That’s about all I got in regards to suggestions. Use your imagination and just make something happen. Get creative and don’t say you’re not a creative person because if you’re reading this then you probably have a kid somewhere in your house that has an imagination you can tap into if needed. Most importantly, have fun!

Richie

My name is Richie and I am a 33 year old father of two. My daughter is seven years old and my son is three. I am married to a beautiful woman named Destiny. She is the foundation of our family, and without her, none of this would be possible. During the day I work as a network administrator for a local school district. At night I can be found illustrating books, working on websites, or creating music, but more than likely though I am spending time with my kids.

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