As the chilly weather and even colder winter weather draws nearer, there are things we need to do both inside and outside to prepare ourselves and our families.

FOOD as the weather turns cold, stock up on winter foods full of nutrition and vitamins like homemade soups, stews and casseroles that are rich in vitamins and root veggies.

BODY Our bodies and skin can get easily chapped from the cold winds. A layer of Vaseline on the cheek bones (like an American football player!) helps to keep the chap away. Natural oils in the bath (like orange blossom or ginger) help make the skin supple. For those who have dryer skin, you can have a wash down rather than a bath to keep the skin from drying out.

CLOTHES When it comes to kids and winter clothes, it’s all about layers. Layer your kids’ clothes when they are outside and remove the extra layers when they come indoors or in the cars, so they don’t get overheated or sick. Rule of thumb: Layer up when out doors; layer down when indoors.

TOYS This is a good time to rummage through your indoor toys and say goodbye to your outdoor toys for a while. If you haven’t already done so, put that tricycle away in the box, so it doesn’t get wet and rusty . Paddle pools (kiddie pools) need to be dried out and put away as not to collect mildew. Toys need to be washed and boxed (like sand pits, for example). The water table can stay out indoors if you don’t want your kids at the sink. Once you’ve said goodbye to the outdoor toys, say hello to finger chubbies/puppets and finger paints!

Remember, come rain or shine it is good to get the kids out for at least 30 minutes and get fresh air and some vitamin C from the sun. And, because nobody wants cabin fever!

Other activities to consider this winter: weekly visits to the local libraries for story time or your own family book time. Also check out music classes at your local community center or churches. There might still be some One o’clock clubs at the park, till the weather gets bad. And, remember to continue your play dates.

Copywritten by Jo Frost

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