1. Buy multiple pairs of cheap gloves and hats and stash them everywhere — car, foyer, school, purse! I prefer to get everything in the same color or patterns so that they can be interchanged when one inevitably gets lost. This trick will keep you from losing your mind when you are hunting down a lost mitten while wearing 5 layers of clothing and dragging 2 children.
2. Head to your local art supply store and collect a smorgasbord of pom-poms, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, modeling clay, and googly eyes. When your kids start to look bored, lay down some wax paper, give them an old box, and let their imaginations go wild.
3. Always keep baking materials on hand. Nothing gets kids more excited than the promise of dessert, but make them work for it and kill an hour having them measure, pour, and mix.
4. Maintain at least one museum membership where you can take your kids to run around and have a change of scenery when you all get cabin fever.
5. Teach them about hand hygiene and germs! They will still get sick, but hopefully you will minimize the number to illnesses and how quickly it spreads through your household.
6. Designate a corner of your living room as the “stage” and have your children create plays, puppet shows, or karaoke parties. You can also use this space for freeze dance, to get some of the silly energy out.
7. Find a coffee shop that is kid-friendly and walk there. As long as it is above freezing, bundle them up and get them outside. Then everyone gets a hot chocolate before making the trek home.
8. Visit your local library for story time. While you are there, have them pick out a new book so that you don’t have to read their recent favorite for the thousandth time.
9. Camp out indoors! Pop a tent in your living room, tell ghost stories, and make indoor s’mores in your stove.
10. Get your flu shot!