February is a rather unique month in that it’s not chock full of social obligations (other than the Big V-Day) or after-school activities — it can limit our lives to the indoors a bit more than any other month. Take advantage of the lull by committing to tackle these five tasks, designed to help you get organized and to enjoy your loved ones and your home.
5 Tasks You Should Tackle Every February
1. Celebrate being halfway through the school year by getting organized and planning ahead.
February marks the mid-way point of the school year for many kids. Use the milestone as a chance to get a handle on all the by-products of the first half of the year, including art projects, photos, school work, notes from the teachers, report cards and Parent Teacher Conference write-ups. Ruthlessly weed out anything that doesn’t make the “must keep” pile and commit to an organizational system, whether it’s a bin, binder or file folder for each year. Want to cut down on toy clutter? Refer to our handy post on Clever Ways to Organize Toys for ideas on making sense of the toy madness. Also, take the time to assess your kids’ closets and donate clothes that have been outgrown or move pieces to a younger sibling’s closet. You’ll get a good sense of what’s needed for spring so you can avoid unnecessary purchases and having to scramble for last minute needs.
2. Make homemade Valentines.
Christmas and Hanukah tend to create massive to-do lists for parents. There’s no need to feel guilty if you lightened the load a bit by sending store-bought gifts and cards to grandparents, rather than having your kids create hand-made offerings. Valentine’s Day is a chance to restore your creative juices by helping your kids create darling Valentines for those they love. It’s pretty simple to create a lovely love note, regardless of how crafty you are. First, stock up on craft supplies. These picks will cover most any Valentine:
- Red, white and pink construction paper
- Pretty card stock or scrapbook paper (prints, such as hearts or polka dots work well)
- Markers, crayons, chalk or paint
- Valentine’s Day themed stickers
- Extra, frilly pieces and embellishments such as doilies, ribbon, buttons, glitter, google eyes, pom-poms, or sequins
- Glue sticks
Little kids will be happy to simply decorate hearts you cut for them, plastering them with stickers and scribbles. To take it a step further and really impress the grandparents, spend a little time on Pinterest to find a Valentine’s Day craft that suits your child’s age and ability. Don’t forget to pick up a few shipping envelopes that are big enough to hold all that love.
3. Plan and register for summer camp.
As hard as it is to believe in the dead of winter, summer really is just around the corner. If you hope to send your kids to camp this summer, whether it’s a mini, morning camp, day camp or a longer, sleep-away camp for older kids, now is the time to start planning and registering. Many camps open their registration process in February (some even earlier) so if you have top picks in mind for this summer, call now and get your forms submitted. With other parents starting to plan for summer, it’s a good time to chat with your kids’ friends’ parents to compare ideas and synch plans before spots fill up. It’s always fun for kids to attend camp with a friend, and really nice for you or the sitter to have a carpool buddy to share the back and forth driving.
4. Sneak away for a breather.
After the whirlwind that is the holiday season and before spring activities take over your calendar, take advantage of the calm by stealing a quick getaway with someone special. It’s important to take time to unwind and reconnect with your significant other. Make it happen by asking a helpful family member to babysit the kids for the weekend, trade childcare duty with a friend, or find a fantastic sitter on UrbanSitter who’d be happy to handle overnight childcare while you’re away. Forget about wasting hours researching destinations and logistics. Keep it simple, budget-friendly and maybe even spontaneous by relying on a spot that is a short drive from home…even a nice hotel just down the road.
5. Get a little closer to spring by bringing the outdoors inside.
February is notoriously a rather drab, dreary month. We could all use a bit of cheering up, as could our homes. It’s a bit early to throw open the windows for some fresh air, but you can replace some of the holiday cheer that’s now long gone by bringing a bit of nature inside. Try bringing bare branches indoors and drop them in a vase of water to watch them bud, freshen the air with a jar of Paperwhites, and replace or repot indoor plants. Plants filter the air we breath and add vitality to our homes. You can also freshen your space with a bowl of lemons or limes, or a bouquet of cut flowers from your yard or local grocery store.
How will you spend your February? Share your tips!