Creating a nice atmosphere in my home was both easier and less of a priority before I had kids. But in the four+ years since we became parents, I’ve wanted to pass along the things I love to my kiddos, and for me, that means COZINESS.
The only problem with this goal is that it’s definitely a little more challenging with a one-year-old and a four-year-old who tend to undo the cleaning and some of the decor that I like to have around. They have a right to do that, at their age.
But these tips are great for families with little ones, even when there’s chaos afoot. (Especially then.) Your kids will absolutely love these touches and will participate in the process. If I can do it, you definitely can!
So here are some simple ways to keep your home cozy, even with little ones around!
1. Use Natural, Wonderful Scents
Idea #1: Homemade Potpourri
Ladies, grab your crock pot (a little one is perfect for this), and put some of the following things in it:
- a cinnamon stick
- apple slices
This is the most important ingredient in my book. Cooked apples smell SO wonderful.
- a little apple juice
- whole cloves
- orange peel
- poured-out bag of chai tea
- pumpkin pie spice
- essential oils: Theives, cinnamon, clove, orange, and/or nutmeg
- anything else you’d like
Let it simmer all day and HOLY COW, you will love how your home smells! It’s natural, it’s up on the counter top away from curious kiddos, and it’s awesome.
Idea #2: Candles and Oils
Other favorite ways to scent my home include diffusing essential oils and using natural candles. I’ve gone so far as to make my own wax cubes from some honeycomb that came from my parent’s farm. I’m just a little bit scent obsessed.
2. Use Flickering Flames and Dim Lighting
Coziness and soft lighting just go hand in hand.
You can’t beat the warmth of a fire, but if you don’t have a fireplace, I’ve got you covered. Just search Netflix for fireplace or grab a digital fire for yourself and voila!
I also love a flickering candle, but I tend to lean toward fake on this one too. They are safer to have around toddlers, and they can be used in places where normal candles would cause a fire hazard. 🙂 These flameless flickering candles were a gift from my mom-in-law, and they are so pretty and look very realistic!
Instead of overhead lighting, try turning on your lamps. And, of course, get some twinkle lights going during the holidays.
3. Have Throw Blankets at the Ready
A few great throws are a big part of what makes our home feel cozy in the fall and winter. Basically, anytime we are relaxing, we’re going to be under a warm blanket. They are a great way to decorate, and a good thing to offer to guests as well.
My kids LOVE blankets and get a lot of use out of these, both in the way they were intended, and for playing. We have a throw from Walmart, one from a nice boutique, and one that’s a gift. It doesn’t matter what your budget is, you just can’t go wrong with some soft throws!
4. Set Out Reading Material for All Ages
If you want to be cozy, you’re going to need some nice reading material. What that means to each person will be different, whether it’s a magazine, a novel, the Bible, or maybe even a book of poems.
I love having a little bit of everything on hand (check out my book reviews here!), but what I’ve found is really important is having some great books for my kids at the ready. There’s nothing better than snuggling up with my kids and reading!
5. Play Soft Music
I love having a little something playing in the background! My kids enjoy it too. Here are my top choices for “cozy” music:
- Christmas music (after November 1st in my house!)
- Worship music
- Piano solos
6. Make Hot Drinks
ALL THE HOT DRINKS, PLEASE! I’m a hot beverage addict, ladies.
Note: I’m always aware of keeping very hot drinks out of reach of my kids, or in an insulated and sealed mug.
Here are my favorites…many of them work for kids too!
- Spiced Chai
- Hot chocolate*
- Apple cider*
- Herbal tea*
- Black tea
- Egg Nog* – this one may not be hot, but it’s cozy!
*Hooray for kid-friendly drinks!
This year I fully intend to try festive drinks like wassail or mulled cranberry cider. YUM.
7. Simmer Soups and Slow Cooker Meals
There may be nothing I love more than sipping on stew or soup on a chilly fall evening with my family. Eating meals around the table as a family is so important to us. It doesn’t hurt that a simmering soup of any kind smells delicious!
8. Bake Breads and Cookies
Baking a sweet bread with my kids is one of my favorite cozy activities. It makes the house warm, it smells wonderful, and it takes care of breakfast and/or dessert.
But cookies are even more of a special treat and are perfect for the holidays–or just a Saturday. Both my kiddos just love helping in the kitchen!
9. Enjoy Your Family
I had to say it–There’s nothing cozier than the warmth of enjoying my family and appreciating what I have. Cuddling up as a family is definitely one of my favorite ways to stay comfy all year.
It’s amazing how my little ones will notice a nice atmosphere and ask for things like blankets and music when they want it. I’ve just found that it means a lot to intentionally add cozy touches to our home, even though it isn’t always easy.
A wise woman builds her home, but a foolish woman tears it down with her own hands.
How do you make your home cozy?