Monday, March 11, 2013 • 10:07 AM Post a Comment

It's Indoor Picnic Time!

posted by Amy Pybus

A day care friend of mine always used to say that February is the "make or break" month for providers. I've decided that if February is make or break, March is just mother nature screwing with you.

It was sunny, then snowy, then an absolutely gorgeous, sunny, warm spring day to give us that tantalizing glimpse of warmer weather. After a long, cold winter, we were finally able to start getting outside.

The older kids put on snow boots and clambered around the last of the snowbanks while I pushed the babies up and down the driveway in the stroller. We were all just so happy to be out of the house.

Fresh air...sun on your skin... And then, the rain comes. Back inside. Damn you, March.

People think that child care workers are magicians with a constant stream of macaroni-necklace-activities up our sleeves, but even we run out of ideas. By 4:00 on a Thursday in the second week of March, after four months of wracking your brain for ways to keep kids entertained, things can look pretty bleak.

So I gave up trying and just sat down. On the floor, in the middle of the room. I'm practicing some kind of meditation while impatiently waiting for spring to come. But when you do this, the kids swarm you, and soon you're all just playing on the floor. I'm actually able to read a whole book to the older girls, and the babies are happy to have a lap to climb in (or fight over).

In the middle of this floortime one of my girls said, "Let's have a picnic!" and I realized it was one of my great winter ideas that had slipped my mind this year. So out came the blankets, and a relatively carpet-friendly snack, and suddenly the boring afternoon was looking much more fun.

After the snack was over the girls kept up the picnic while I cleaned and put cribs away. They left me at the end of the day with this montage:



I love it when I find crazy stuff like this. A frying pan on the second floor of the house. A fire truck, a block, a piano, cupcakes in the leftover toy baskets, and a giant baby lying in the middle of it. I particularly like the tea pots all lined up at left. But they had a reason for every item placed here, and why it's there, and why it's in the perfect spot.

AND it kept them busy for twenty minutes.

Still. Come on, spring. The indoor picnics are only gonna get me so far. We need some outdoor ones and fast!

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