long, cold days with kids

Depending on where you are working, the fall and winter can be brutal, especially if you hail from a warm weather climate. Coming from Georgia, the cooler German climate was a welcome change to me while I worked as an au pair. However, days do tend to drag during cold months, and keeping children occupied indoors on the extra yucky days can be challenging. You have to get creative, but there are things to do.

For starters, check out places you can take the children that are indoors. Is there an aquarium or other kid-friendly place, such as a children’s museum, near you? If so, you might be able to get an entire day’s worth of fun out of such a place. If not, a trip to a mall or shopping center could be fun, and will fill at least an afternoon or morning with some activity outside the house. Keep in mind that children may not be very thrilled to join you on a shopping spree for new clothes, however (and their parents probably wouldn’t be either). But do consider taking them to a special store, such as a pet shop, where they can see and maybe even pet some of the animals. Of course, while you’re there, there’s no reason you can’t make a couple quick stops for you!

You can also see if you can get any of your other “chores” taken care of while you’re in charge of the children. Getting the grocery shopping done while you’re on the clock will give you more free time, and will give you something to do with the kids besides sitting at home. Some stores, such as IKEA, which can be found almost anywhere, are great places to take kids. And as long as your host parents don’t mind, the kids can play in the kiddie area, while you get the shopping done.

What about you? What do you do (of did you do!) with your kids on crappy days?

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