It’s been fun, winter, but my kids and I are SO ready for spring

In winter, I am the finder of perpetually lost mittens and hats. But in the spring, everything changes.

It’s been fun, winter, but my kids and I are SO ready for spring

I was never prone to the winter blues until I became a mother. Like any other born and bred Northeasterner, I would get the itch for spring sometime around late February, but I mostly took the cold, dark days in stride. I could never imagine life in a locale without four true seasons, and if subzero temps and high utility bills were the price to be paid for a crisp, glorious fall—then I'd happily make do.

And then I had kids.

Sure, at the start of December it's all sugar plum dreamy—the enchantment of the first glistening snowfall, afternoons spent cutting out paper snowflakes and cozy nights snuggled up with hot cocoa and books. But by mid-January the first signs of cabin fever creep in, and winter feels like one long, hard slog until the ground thaws and the heavy coats can be packed back in the attic.


In winter, I am the finder of perpetually lost mittens and hats, the coraller of wildlings who want no part in putting on the snow pants and boots necessary for any outdoor play—which typically only lasts about as long as it took to get suited and booted. Snow in the socks has a real way of bringing sledding to a screeching halt.

In winter, I am the crazy craft lady, frantically pinning any and all baking soda experiments and make-your-own play doh recipes in a valiant but inevitably futile effort to limit screen time.

In winter, I am the hapless drainer of bank accounts, shelling out buckets of cash for museum visits, aquarium passes, indoor gym time and countless coffee dates. Will your place of business entertain my child and get me out of the house for an hour? Here, take all my money.

And I think worst of all, in winter I am a slightly unhinged and criminally underslept ball of worry—caught in a vicious cycle of nursing sick kids, trying to protect my healthy kid from your sick kid, or trying to protect your healthy kid from my sick kid, all of which can only be accomplished by a state of self-imposed quarantine, ad infinitum. This last one is my true winter Achilles heel. (I should really invest in Kleenex stock and try to make some lemonade there…)

But in the spring, everything changes.

Like the proverbial butterfly emerging from the cocoon, I come out of hibernation to greet spring as a lighter, freer creature. Everything is easier in temperate weather, myself included.I am made buoyant by the increase in vitamin D and delighted by the decrease in doctor visits. The longer days are filled with the fresh air and exercise that makes for soundly sleeping children and well-rested parents. My rambunctious boys are busy getting reacquainted with Mother Nature and her splendor, and that magic is the kind of contagious I can get behind.

In spring, the windows are thrown open and the house stays cleaner. More time spent outdoors means less time inside trashing the just-vacuumed playroom.

In spring, gone are the parentally-coordinated playdates, set up over email or text and planned around when the house will be most fit for company. My boys take part in impromptu neighborhood games of driveway hockey, soccer and “catch the toad". It's like a beautiful sight from a bygone era, the way a suburban spring brings kids of all ages out to play together.

In spring, we plant our carefully tended seedlings into our raised-bed vegetable garden and watch each sprouting plant with fascination and awe. I never thought I'd see the day my 7-year-old would pluck raw pieces of kale right from the stem and declare it delicious. But such is the wonder of our backyard experiment.

And in spring, after the dinner dishes are cleared and my husband has taken up his post on tubby duty, I slip on my sneakers and headphones and go for long walks in my neighborhood, an activity that benefits my mental health as much as my physical.

Sometimes I listen to podcasts, sometimes I listen to music, and sometimes I listen only to the sounds of life around me—the birds chirping, the dogs barking, and the cheerful hellos of my fellow recently emerged parents-in-arms.

We have big smiles for one another as we blink our way back into the bright, welcome light of the world outside.

We made it, mamas. It's spring! ??☀️

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    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

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    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

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    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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