Preparing Your Family for a Long Winter

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Columns, Kids & Family

Preparing Your Family for a Long Winter

By Anne E. Mead, Ed. D.

Just before Thanksgiving we had a taste of cold snowy weather but it didn’t last long. Since that time, we have had multiple holidays and fairly good weather except for a few heavy rainy days. The snow, bitter cold and wind will be back but until then, let’s enjoy the warmer days. However, as the weather turns cold and snowy, we need to think about activities for our children when it is too cold to play outside for very long. In the meantime, begin to gather the warm coats, boots, gloves or mittens and hats with earflaps. In anticipation of spending more time indoors, start to gather extra books, board games, puzzles and other activities your children enjoy.

Other fun family activities include sharing family stories. I still remember those that my grandparents and parents told me when I was young. These stories have helped define who I am and how historical events have shaped the world around me. Many indoor activities are free or only charge low fees. The Danbury area has many organizations that offer family events, such as the Danbury Public Library. The City’s calendar at lists other family friendly activities or check

Prepare for emergencies while at home and on the road. Your older children can help prepare emergency kits for your home with items such as batteries for flashlights, extra gallons of water, nonperishable food, canned food that doesn’t need warming, a non-electric can opener and a fully charged cell phone. Prepare your home by making sure that all the windows are draft free, doors close tightly, faucets don’t drip and that your large home appliances are working effectively. For information on fuel assistance, contact Community Action of Western Connecticut, which has funds to help with fuel bills, at or at 203-744-4700.

When it is too cold for playing outside, try activities inside, such as playing cards and arts and crafts. Activities don’t have to be expensive. Fold paper and cut patterns to make snowflakes, make mini-books telling family stories or cuddle up and read together. Remember to wash hands well throughout the day and drink plenty of water as it helps keep the body healthy. A humidifier or plants with saucers of water help keep the humidity levels adequate in your home and cut down on illnesses.

For another free activity, attend the Play to Learn Playgroups at the Danbury Family Learning Center, Inc. (DFLC) in the FACE Center at 49 Osborne Street in Danbury. We host playgroups throughout the city, at Park Avenue School and the Danbury Library. For more information, call 203-797-4734 or visit for a schedule of events. On Friday Feb. 1, 2019 LitWorld, Inc. and the DFLC will celebrate the 10th annual World Read Aloud Day. Check the Danbury Public Schools website at or the above-mentioned calendar for citywide events.


Anne E. Mead, Ed. D., is the administrator for the Early Childhood Education and Extended Learning Programs of the Danbury Public Schools. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact her at 203-830-6508 or

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January 9, 2019

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