photos by christina judd
We spend most of our time in the living room and the playroom. I think we all prefer the living room because we crave that natural light. Having wood floor throughout the main floor can make it seem a little cold and not so cozy. Seeing as we spend lots of time here we needed to add cozy which means we needed a rug. Most of you know my kids are allergic to dust mites and other allergens so we have to be super careful with rugs. I could only get synthetic rugs due to the fact that they do not retain allergens like wool does. I searched on and partnered with PlushRugs.com.I found that I could search materials and could select the specific material I wanted. Having eliminated a huge load of rugs, this narrowed my search significantly and less overwhelming. We found the perfect black and cream plaid nylon rug (courtesy of PlushRugs) from Safavieh that cleans pretty well and has resisted the normal wear and tear of a household of 6. It added that coziness and warmth that we needed in the living room as well as the padding needed when we stay indoors away from another day of rain.
We lived in the desert for 8 years- hardly any rain. And then we moved to the rainiest city where sunny days in the fall and winter are scarce yearned for. Our first summer here we stayed indoors for a couple of days before we got cabin fever. This cannot be my life! Then I soon learned that life goes on here- rain or no rain. We even play and cheer on soccer games in the rain. It is what it is. But day after day of rain can get a little depressing so once in a while we will stay in and have lots of fun indoors. Staying indoors doesn’t have to be confining.
- Exercise. Have your kids tried kids yoga? My kids love it. LOVE it. We do it at lease once a week and not just on rainy days. It is great for everyone. We love Cosmic Kids Yoga because she tells a story while they do coordinating poses. The kids are very eager to find out what happens next!
- Look at photo albums. We always joke that our kids are vain because they love looking at themselves on the phone and in our photos. I have been pretty terrible about making scrapbooks for my kids but a couple of years ago we started using Chatbooks. They print all of our instagram pictures into an album. It’s perfect because it’s a subscription- one less thing I have to keep track of. I get one automatically after every 60 pictures posted. If you haven’t tried them you can use this Chatbooks promo code: 4T2YPUYK for your first book free: The kids love seeing themselves as babies and love hearing stories about themselves even more!
- Play games: Some games can be complicated for little kids. We like tic tac toe. It’s simple. And my kids don’t even care if they lose- they just like putting the pieces down. I have a DIY of our last tic tac toe board– I got a new one because our old one is out of commission. It was loved a little too much. Once it is fixed (I know, I’m a procrastinator) we will have two and kids won’t fight so much over taking turns. This one I got at Ballard Consignment. It’s virtually unbreakable and the pieces aren’t that small for baby to choke on.
- Puzzle time! We did lots of puzzles a couple of years ago but they always took up the whole floor and it started to bug me so we cooled off on the puzzles. Then I saw this wood coffee table puzzle. This & That Etc. was kind enough to send this to us to play with. It is compact, a beautiful design and educational. My 4 year old can put it together. Granted she can’t read the states names but she knows where they all belong! My 5 year old and 8 year old put this together at least once a day. Proud mama moment.
- Build a fort. My kids love building forts and castles. We used to build them out of blankets and books and pillows. They’d fall apart and the kids wrath was heard loud and clear. We got this fort building kit (two actually) for the kids last Christmas and it has been very well received. It’s pretty sturdy and holds blankets without it slipping off.
- Get crafty. You know me. I like anything crafty. And thankfully my kids also love creating. One of our favorite things to do is to create artwork inspired by famous artists. The more abstract the better- kids don’t have inhibitions so they create from their heart.
- Play and learn with play-doh. I have a love-hate with this. The meshing of the colors gives my OCD heart a mild heart attack while my creative side says “just go with it and see what happens!” Taking a little bit of control of the activity can save the headache like printing out letters and having them make a copy with play-doh. Dried beans also work well with tracing letters. Can get messy but it’s ok for the sake of education, right?
- Build masterpieces. My son is super into building with the mega bloks. We have a couple of sets so he can build pretty complex edifices and I love his attention to detail and his creative uses of ordinary items to add on to the building blocks. Castles, forts, super hero homes, silly forests, etc. are no strangers to the playroom floor. Our new favorite toy are the magnet building and constructing sets given to us by GeoSmart. These magnetic shapes are perfect for creative imaginations. My son likes to build what he sees on the cover of the game but then also likes to experiment with the strength of the magnets to see how high they can go. Being able to build sideways and almost defy gravity is what keeps him interested. We have the Lunar Rover which has 30 pieces including 2 sets of wheels. I’d recommend buying a larger set like this one so you can create larger things as well as let brother or sister play.
- Bake or cook yummy treats. Entertain the kids while making something delicious. Win win in my book. We love making pizzas and chocolate chip cookies. Those are pretty simple and not super messy with kids. Plus I think they appreciate the hard work put into that single cookie!
- Have a puppet show. Don’t you just love the crazy and incoherent stories kids come up with? They are so funny. Give them a few key objects and they come up with quality material. Just go with it I say. Let their creativity roll. If you want to have your own show I’ve included these Free Christmas puppet printables. All you have to do is print, cut and tape on a Popsicle stick. Fun doesn’t have to be complicated.
- Go outside anyway. Put on some rain pants, coats and boots and explore. Jump in puddles. Get a little muddy. And then come back home for some hot chocolate. A little rain never hurt anyone.