No matter how much we promise ourselves to have a "quiet Christmas", the holidays are always filled with insanity. There are parties to attend, extended family to see and annual visits to neighbours homes to wish a happy new year.
Oh! And don't forget the play dates, sledding, fort building and other outdoor traditions that you just don't want your child to miss. In fact, the holidays are so much about spending time with everybody that you may find yourself missing that quality one on one time you used to have all alone with your little one. You remember? That time of just hanging out arm in arm?
Don't feel blue! One on one time isn't hard to get back on track.
All this might have you feeling a bit blue. In fact, it's highly likely since today is blue Monday. Turns out that's a real thing. The third Monday of January is known as blue Monday. Why? Well, it's that first Monday after the holiday when you have finally let go of the holiday spirit and all the warm tinglyness that it brings. The tree is down but the pine needles are still finding their way into cracks and crevices all over the house.
You may also be taking stock of that new year's resolution. You know the one where you planned to spend all sorts of quality time with your little one. Chances are some things have already fallen by the wayside. That could make you feel a bit blue too.
And then there's the credit card statement that came in the mail - maybe now is not the best time to sign up for those skating lessons together either is it? Hmmm....
So - how are you going to get one on one time back on track now that the holidays are over without blowing the budget?
3 Inexpensive Ways to Get One on One Time with Your Little One
1. Take a Hike!
Nothing could be simpler. Go outside and breathe the cold air. I used to whine that it was "tooooo cooooold" but recently I've embraced the idea that "there is no bad weather just bad clothes." Have specific goals set for your walk. Look for squirrel nests, animal tracks, and even signs of melting. Gather items that you see and bring them home to display. Once home, crack out your nature journal and record your findings by drawing what you have seen. Of course, a sip a hot cocoa by the fire always helps to get things cuddly and cozy too.
2. Borrow a New Book Series from the Library
We have started one called "My Father's Dragon." This one is especially enjoyable for us because it is one my father read to me as a child (although - apparently he has no recollection of it.. sigh...). My little one has been asking me many questions lately about what things were like when I was a little girl and - short of bringing out a rotary phone for her to stare at in wonderment - I thought this would be kind of fun!
3. Make Ice Decorations
We eat a lot of yogurt in this house. The kids eat it like it's going out of style with a little fruit and cereal and I love to use it for baking coffee cakes to freeze for when friends come to call. The only one who won't touch the stuff is my hubby - which is weird cuz he grew up on a dairy farm - but anyway - all this yogurt consumption means that I have a ton of yogurt containers hanging around just waiting to serve this beautiful afternoon endeavour! Nothing could be simpler. Drop some cranberries, orange slices and greenery (you know the stuff you keep finding all over the floor) into the bottom of the container and fill with a little bit of water. Insert a piece of twine to make a little handle with which to hang your ice decoration on a tree later. Set outside to freeze. Once frozen, run yogurt container under a little warm water until the decoration slides free. Hang from a branch outdoors. Ideally, somewhere you can see them when you look out a window.
For more fun activities to create more intentional one on one time with your preschooler check out the Winter Semester!