When it’s cold and miserable and dank and dark, entertaining a toddler can be somewhat testing to say the least. The preference for hibernation can lead to feelings of stir craziness and cabin fever. For those of you reading this from sunnier climbs – yes you Australians, and Kiwis and the like – know that I am seethingly jealous of your eternal sunshine. Whilst I reside in our temperate climate however – I must embrace the seasonal, pull on my thermals and be prepared to need more thawing than the Christmas turkey. Winter is here but the little man needs activity!
As well as being climatically challenged during winter, when it comes to planning entertainment for the mini-boss, there’s also the stay-at-home-mum factor to consider. When you are on fun duty everyday, you can’t just continuously rock up at soft-play. Firstly, you’d be bankrupt with the amount of snacks that end up being used as blackmail to avoid tantrum or lure the little blighters out of there. Secondly, you’d be deafened from the wails and screams of 3,563 hyperactive under 10’s. Thirdly, you’re not likely to make it out alive – you’d be found trapped between two toddler sized rollers that you just couldn’t squeeze through after the very necessary slab of chocolate cake you were driven to inhale. So what is an Unyoung Mum to do in order to get through the winter season?
My answer to it: the winter bucket list. I love a list at the best of times. There’s something about the satisfaction of ticking things off that gives me that swell of achievement. I also love stationary – a hangover from my primary school days where I had the greatest collection of smelly pens known to man (they all smelled the same to be honest – flowery talc mixed with toxic rubber). Bucket lists give me a reason to use the winter shades from my Papermate Flair Fibre Tip set as well as crack open one of the multiple notepads that lurk in my bedside cupboard.
Unlike my spring and summer lists (didn’t bother with Autumn – he was going through a teething/growth spurt/development leap/ twosy tantrum – for the entirety. Delete as appropriate or if you can work out what the hell made him such a grump), I decided to issue myself a challenge. Instead of my usual trawl of the internet to see what’s going on and shamelessly nick ideas from Pinterest bucket lists, I gave myself an A-Z. I’ve still shamelessly nicked some ideas from other people’s buckets but I’m satisfied that this one reflects our family Christmas, our location and chucks a few wild cards in there too (thanks O, V and Y). Here you go:
Advent calendar opening
Build a snuggly den
Christmas book and object display
Decorate plates and mugs @ Potty place
Eat Brussel sprouts
FaceTime the family in Xmas jumper
Gingerbread house making (ambitious)
Head to a Christmas Grotto
Igloo making with empty milk containers
Jump on board a Christmas steam train
Kitchen role play with Granny Mo present
Listen and dance to Christmas songs
Make paper snowflakes
National Army Museum soft-play
Oxford Street lights
Postman Pat play with Christmas post box
Quilt day – snuggle up and stay in Christmas PJs
Read a new book, an old book and a favourite book
Snow angels (weather permitting!)
Theatre show (Slime on the Southbank)
Use old Christmas cards to practise cutting
V&A Museum of Childhood
Watch a Christmas movie or three
Xmas card making and sending
Yuletide log decorating (making might be a step too far!)
Zoo or animal park
So there you have it. Feel free to dip in and share with me your Bake Off standards Gingerbread Mansions to put me to to shame. I won’t lie, there’s some that make me nervous. Tackling Oxford Street with a toddler in Christmas season – possibly slightly insane (it’s bad enough on a normal day). Trying to get a currently fussy Wriggles to embrace the sprout. But others I have jumped upon with gusto. The theatre is booked, the glue gun is winging its way to us from Amazon to begin our igloo construction and the advent calendar doors are already hanging from their Cadbury hinges.
I will keep you updated with progress via the Unyoung Mum platforms, should you wish to see whether we can tick off the whole darned twenty-six over the winter period. Who reckons I can do it? Have the faith people! Follow me on Instagram @TheUnyoungMum or @TheUnyoungMum Facebook page.
(Images both sources from Some ee Cards)