I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little bit sick of all this snow. I like the snow when it comes, hangs around for maybe a day or so, and then GOES AWAY. But the weeks, on weeks of snow hanging around? Not so much. You say, just let your little one play in the snow! But she doesn’t like the snow. She gets her hands wet, she cries. She falls and face plants, she cries. She lasts maybe 5 minutes outside in the snow, and then she’s done. And she is a very active toddler! My girl needs the outdoors, and walks, and playdates! But what do we do when MOPS gets cancelled? And our zoo playdate? And we can’t go outside to the park, or for walks??
Well, there are a number of really good indoor places to take your kids in Colorado Springs, and I could use a few more ideas of other places from all of you! So I’ll tell you about my places, and you tell me about yours!
And, to be honest, I definitely need to make more of an effort to get out and about despite all the snow. Being from Alabama, I still tend to have a bit of a Southern mentality when it comes to snow. Snow = stay inside. Don’t go anywhere. Stay holed up in your house for warmth and safety. But in Colorado, its really not that big of a deal. We have a 4WD Jeep that can get me where I need to go. I just need to be the one to make it happen.
(About 5 seconds after this she face planted and then proceeded to scream for about 10 minutes! Ha!)
So, without further ado, a few of my snow sanity ideas (including a few indoor activities).
My girl loves playdough! Eden was given two packs of playdough for Christmas from our good friend Jena, and she absolutely loves it! It is such a fun, easy activity that keeps her busy and contained. I can stick her in her high chair, give her a few things to cut/manipulate the playdough with (like cookie cutters and a plastic knife) and she is good to go! It is also a great way to work on fine motor skills. We have some jingle bells of assorted sizes that I had laying around the house (but any small object would work). After flattening out the playdough, I press the bells into the dough making it slightly difficult to remove. Eden especially has a hard time with the smaller bells. She just loves this activity! Especially if I give her the playdough container to put the bells into. I love that it is such a mental activity and also great for fine motor develpment!
You may or may not have known that the guest center for Focus on the Family is right here in Colorado Springs, and it has two kids play areas, as well as a “Soda Shop”, bookstore, reading section, dress up areas,and other fun kids activities (which I admittedly don’t know as much about because they are for older kids, but I do know about the 3 story slide!!) And the best part, is that they have a toddler room. It is great because it is designed for kids 4 and under, so all of the play pieces are nice and soft. There are even a couple of benches in there for parents, and I typically find another mom to talk to while Eden gets to play with her kids. This is also a really nice place to have a playdate with friends. Moms get out of the house to visit and the littles get to burn off some energy. Win Win. My only complaint about this toddler room is that it feels pretty closed off. Its not a huge room and it doesn’t have any windows (its downstairs) so it doesn’t necessarily feel like you are really “getting out”. I’ve talked to a few friends who were concerned about the religious aspect and maybe having it shoved down your throats, but this really isn’t the case. So if that has been holding you back, you shouldn’t be too worried! It is just a family friendly play area to bring your kids. All they ask of you is you sign into their guestbook and wear a sticker.
3. Chapel Hills Mall Play Area
Not all moms are super huge fans of this particular area for a couple of reasons. While it is intended for just smaller kids (under 4 feet, I think) parents definitely let their older kids play there too, which can be a bit hazardous for the tiny ones. Eden has done fine when I have taken her, I just need to be somewhat paying attention. I also have several friends who are not crazy about the germ aspect, but honestly I’m not too fussed about it. Again, this play area features nice soft and squishy structures that are all designed around Colorado Springs (which is a nice added bit of interest). This area definitely has more of an open feel, as it is in a wing of the mall, but it is also a bit easier to escape from than the Focus room. There is an opening in the border at one end that your little could escape through, but if you are paying attention it isn’t a big deal (where as the Focus room has a half door to keep tiny ones contained). This area is also considerably larger than the one at Focus, and the entire thing is lined with benches for parents as well as a couple of shoe cubbies. This is another great place for indoor fun and playdates.
This is another really fun play area that we haven’t been to in a while. In fact, a friend just reminded me of its existence and I am wanting to go back! To be upfront, the downside to this is that it isn’t free. Admission prices can be found in the link above, but for walkers 2 and under the cost is $7. I don’t quite remember if this includes parents, or if we are separate? I can try to find out… This is clearly a downside to this outing, seeing as how most people prefer free, but it is still a great option. For older kids, there are a lot of great play structures including slide and bounce house, while the tiny ones have an entire upstairs play area to themselves. It is gated, so they can’t escape, but have their own soft and squishy structures to climb on. There is even a designated area for crawlers so they don’t get trampled. There is also an art room, but we haven’t actually checked that out yet (Eden was barely walking the last time we were there). They also host birthday parties if that is something you are interested in. The kids definitely love it, but the parents don’t always love the prices (myself included).
So these are the main things I can come up with at the moment. How sad is it that playdough is my main at-home activity? Although Fun At Home With Kids is a great blog that has amazing DIY sensory ideas… In reality, I just need to make it more of a priority to actually do these. Eden has loved the handful we have actually tried, like our discovery bottles, and cornstarch and water play. But some of her other stuff has seemed a bit too old for Eden. Also, while many of her activities are edible, they still aren’t intended for eating. And up until now, Eden has really enjoyed exploring things by eating them. It is still fairly challenging to keep her from eating the playdough, ha! But she is doing much better in that area, so maybe we will start trying out a few more of these! In fact, I think that sounds lovely. Maybe I’ll have something to report to you soon! Stay tuned!
What are some of your favorite indoor activities? Any suggestions for getting out of the house with your littles when the weather insists on being gross? I can use all the ideas I can get!