Winter has come in Utah which means Yay! Christmas!!...but boo to cold and flu season. At least one person in my family has been sick at any given time since Halloween. Something has got to give soon because we're going a bit stir crazy over here! Do you feel like once you get a cold in your house it stays until winter packs its bags and leaves? Needless to say, we have gotten pretty good at entertaining ourselves at home all day while we quarantine and attempt to keep our germs to ourselves!
My three-year-old is a wild one. It isn't just a newly developed "she turned three and now she's crazy" trait either, she's been running like the energizer bunny since the second she exited the womb. I am truly not exaggerating either. So, we usually try to get out of the house even just for a small outing once a day but that is surely not happening when we've got noses running like faucets in the joint. She is so busy that she doesn't even slow down when she is sick; she just keeps powering right on through even if it makes her cough so bad that she throws up. So, whenever we have been sick (especially when I have been sick too), I know that mama has to be on her entertaining A-game to get us through the day without an explosion of unwanted feelings from the both of us. Here is what has been helping us survive!
Strategic Screen Time
I currently have a head cold, am also nursing my baby, and have a finicky milk supply, so I can't take any of the good stuff to really kick my congestion to the curb. Thanks to that factor, I feel pretty crumby right when I wake up and it takes me a good while to feel like I don't want to snarl at everything approaching me. So, we have been using most of our screen time up first thing in the morning. I drag my booty out of bed and onto the couch where we cuddle as I continue to slowly wake-up and become more of the mom my girls need me to be.
It is easier for me to entertain and be up to playing in the afternoons and evenings, so I don't mind getting screen time out of the way earlier. Maybe you would rather do screen time in the afternoon and evenings, but mornings work best for me! And you know what? The first two days I was sick I didn't even care what was going on as long as everyone was safe and alive, so we definitely watched way more television that I would normally permit in the house. Do what you've got to do mamas!
Calm, but Busy, Activities
As I said earlier, if we don't find ways to keep the little lady still while she has a cold, she will run laps in the kitchen until she pukes. My parents didn't heed my caution one time and she threw up all over my dad...sorry papa! So we have had to become well equipped around here with things that will occupy her constantly moving mind without her body moving too much.
We, of course, love the classic option of coloring and stickers. If she can get the stickers off by herself, she will sit still until the entire sheet has been transferred from sheet to blank paper. She also loves her Alphabet Magnatab from Kid-o and doing puzzles! We can lay on the floor and do the letters over and over again without her getting bored. Truth be told, I really enjoy playing with them too! My other go-to has been play-doh! I have been acquiring little tools and playsets for the last couple of years, and it is completely saving us.
Books, books, and more books! Reading allows her mind to be filled to the brim with situations and characters that keep her sitting still even better than watching a movie does. If I will keep reading to her, she will sit for book after book. The And Then book is such a fun way to promote creativity and add a fun twist to story time too! We have also recently started playing games with her! Simple things like go-fish or math games, or this Llamanoes game are such a good way to engage them and also teach them while playing!