The Fox Valley area of Chicago is the best – on the edge of suburbia with farms and horse country to the west, the beautiful Fox River flowing peacefully through downtowns, the culture of revived historic theatres such as the Arcada and the Paramount and the many festivals such as Festival of the Vine and Swedish days.  As a transplanted Texan via North Dakota, Mississippi and California, I feel it does not get much better than this.

The purpose of this website is to help mamas find interesting ‘going-on’s’ and events of the area and provide a venue to connect with like minded people in what otherwise can be a rather lonely vocation (stay at home moms).

You can visit our meet-up group here to sign up for playdates and meetings in the area.

But here we are in January, and with the cold outside and all of the colds inside, and it appears to be a ‘hunkering-down’ time.

So rolling with the times, below are a couple of suggestions for those moms at home with small kiddos.

1. GET OUTSIDE IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD – Have you ever noticed just how agonizingly slow children are when you say it’s time to go?  Use this to your advantage.  Take that frustration of ‘an hour to get children ready for the cold for fifteen minutes outside’ and flip it.

Tell your children ‘let’s go sledding (small hills are fine for small children) and/or play in the snow outside’ and then take advantage of the time it takes them to get ready as your time.   Does it really matter if it takes an hour and a half to get them ready if during that hour and a half, you are enjoying yourself?

And small children never do last long outside anyhow, but my four year old loves the tradition of ‘hot cocoa’ time when it is over.  I text my neighbors to see if any other children would like to go.  A few 7-10 year old’s will double the time that your small ones enjoy being outside, and this is ‘playing with others’ time without having to worry about exposing them to even more colds this time of the year.

2. KIDS YOGA – I love Cosmic Kids yoga on Youtube .  This will get them moving and active but without the destruction and danger of their other favorite indoor exercise – running around the house like madmen and women.  Plus it’s great for them to learn stretches and yoga through these cute stories.

3. DIGITAL SCAVENGER HUNTS – Kids love taking pictures, and it is so easy nowadays with digital cameras.  My four year old got a pink camera from Santa this year that she loves.  For kids 3-12, you can come up with some Digital Scavenger Hunts that can keep them busy and exploring either at home, at malls or any other locale such as nature centers, etc.

Just make a list of things to find and then take a picture of.  For my 4 year old, I write down the item such as ‘seashell’ and then I draw a picture which helps her learn to read as well.

Do you have any other ideas?  Please share below.