The air has a hint of warmth, rainy days are common, and our daffodils are shooting up which means Spring is on its way. The official first day of Spring is next week, March 20th so we've been transitioning our home for the change of season: Spring Flower Fairies on the nature table, Spring books in the basket, and new window decorations. We are also celebrating the change of seasons with a new playlist for the children. We have been listening to this playlist for the last week and the new Spring music has been such a treat. This gentle playlist is filled with some of my little one's favorite musicians.
We adored our Christmas books during the holiday season but once they have been put away, we pull out several Winter books that remind us of all the joy that truly can be found during these cold months.We find ourselves cuddled close together more in Winter, reading the day away. It often seemsthese books spark imaginations and we will change our nature table to suit the theme of them, often pulling in characters from the books.What were once peg people are now snow children, the wooden pond is flipped to show it has iced over, and some of our wooden animals go to hibernate in makeshift caves and burrows.
The switch from naps to rest can look different for every child.Some children decide to stop napping on their own, while others seem to need parental guidance to move away from naps and towards a rest-time.When Fox turned 4, he began having a hard time falling asleep at night.The nightly struggle between parent and child for rest and sleep lasted for hours, beginning around 8pm and with him finally sleeping somewhere between 9:30 and 10:30pm.As you can imagine, this left my husband and I with very little evening of our own, one using the time to work and the other trying to get him to sleep.It also seemed to leave Fox in a chronic sour mood.He was not getting enough solid sleep at night, which meant he would crash hard for nap and be wired at night.We first tried shortening his nap but it seemed any amount of day sleep would keep him up at night.So, we made the decision to halt naps completely and move to a time of rest.The transition was difficult in the beginning, Fox would beg to sleep so it really took quite a bit of guidance on my part to keep him awake.But, once his body fell into the routine, magic happened.
It's the time of year when many of us hop into cars or onto planes to be with those we love the most. Little ones looking forward to running around with cousins, baking cookies with grandparents and too-late nights giggling, snuggled into pallets on the floor. We adults finding warmth in the late night conversations with siblings, parents and the aunt we don't see enough, card games full of laughter and jovial competition. But, one thing I know many parents begin to dread as the Autumn leaves turn is the actual travel-time to get to the places that bring joy to our hearts. Would you believe that the last few times we have traveled as a family we did not give the kids iPads or phones to play games or watch movies and they didn't cry or whine? Would you believe we laughed and giggled and listened to stories and I remember it with fondness? We have laid out a few tips below we hope will ease travel and maybe, possibly, turn that dread into joy as you begin to see these long drives and flights as special connection points for your family.