Summer has gone, the Easter Bunny has been, we’ve commiserated with the ANZACs and the excitement of a new year of school has long passed. Our friends in the northern hemisphere are celebrating the first signs of spring and the approach of summer* while we’re well into Term 2 – when even the kids most excited by school start refusing to go. You wonder if you’ll ever see a day when your toddler’s nose is not dripping with snot. And you drag yourself out of bed in the dark each morning and soldier on because your kids are between viruses but you’ve succumbed to one.
Ah term two. But it’s not all doom and gloom. I have picked up a few tips along the way that might help you through until the winter holidays, when at least you have the happy thoughts of an upswing towards spring (or you can go on that skiing holiday).
- Embrace the autumn: gather different coloured leaves on the way to school; go for a walk before dinner and point out the different trees; collect chestnut shells; make art with natural objects such as leaves and seeds, or just with autumn colours; enjoy autumn foods – make apple crumble, rice pudding or pumpkin pie; cuddle up with cinammon tea or warm milk and honey before bed time.
- Stay well: Make sure you and your children are getting plenty of sleep; teach them good hygiene habits such as blowing their nose, coughing into their arm and washing their hands; make sure you ventilate your house now and again; try not to hang washing inside the house as the humidity encourages the growth of bacteria and viruses; ensure there is plenty of downtime.
- Get outside: the Scandivanians believe there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. If my boys are getting a bit cooped up inside, I just put gumboots and raincoats on them and send them outside. If they come back covered in mud, all the better! It’s important to keep getting exercise, fresh air and vitamin D throughout the cooler months.
- Snuggle up: Plan a few fun activities to get through the cooler evenings – family movie night, family game night, wrap up in blankets and head outside for some stargazing.
If you’re looking for a great book to cuddle up and read with your child, I recommend All Through The Year by Jane Godwin and Anna Walker, Melbourne-based authors and illustrators, so this book is written perfectly for the temperate climate in our part of the world.
If you want some more inspiration for enjoying the cooler months, this little book is best read with a fur blanket, cup of hot chocolate and a few candles burning (pronounced Hoo-ga):
* The Dutch have a term for the first warm day of the year: “rokjesdag”, which means “skirt day”.