Christmas has come and gone, and Valentine’s Day is several weeks away.
It’s the time of winter doldrums with no holidays to prepare for, and the kids are getting antsy for something fun to do.
Even though it’s the “bleak midwinter,” there are plenty of ways to bring some cheer to otherwise cold and dreary days – and we’ve got some great ideas!
Picture this – it’s a bitter cold Saturday and you have no plans. You’d like nothing better than to sit by the fireplace for a few hours with a cup of hot chocolate and a great novel.
But you’re a parent, so you can forget about having a few hours to yourself. The kids are bored and you’re desperate to keep them entertained so you can catch up on laundry…and everything else you have to do.
Enter some fun winter activities the whole family can do together. Even Mom and Dad will want to join in the fun to bring back those magical childhood memories of snowy days.
There’s something about snow that makes even the coldest day bearable for playing outside.
And if you get a lot of snow in your area, there are all the wonderful activities that go with it like building a snowman or snow fort, taking a sled ride down the hill, or having a snowball fight.
But there are some other creative things you can do outside on a snowy day.
Grab some empty plastic spray bottles from the dollar store and fill them with food coloring and water. Now you’ve got your own watercolors and a pristine white canvas the kids can paint on. Even better, the mess stays outside and washes away when the snow melts!
See who can come up with the best snow sculpture instead of the ordinary snowman. Find some items you have in the house to use as molds or carving tools – loaf pans, cupcake tins, plastic spatulas, you name it.
You can even have a contest and present the winner with a homemade trophy. Make it an annual event and pass down the trophy year after year.
Kids will love a snow relay race!
Pick teams and grab some extra winter clothing to put it in a basket at the starting line. Each participant must put on an extra hat, scarf, coat, etc. and run a lap. Once they get back to the start, the next team member has to put on that item of clothing – plus another one.
The layers – and the laughs – will build as each team member has to keep adding winter accessories while trying to beat the clock…and the other team. Be creative and make it silly!
So what if you don’t get snow very often, or you never do?
With a few items you probably have on hand, you can still ice skate, have a snowball fight, or make a snowman – indoors!
Kids can “ice skate” by wrapping sheets of waxed paper around their feet (with socks on) and securing with a rubber band around their ankles. They can even dress up in “skating clothes” like scarves or tutus and play fun music.
This is best done on carpeting as it can be slippery on floors like hardwood!
Or grab some of those white socks that lost their mates long ago. We all have a pile of them! Take a bit of poly-fill stuffing bought at a craft store to make a “snowball” and tie the ends off. Time for that snowball fight!
This will keep the kids entertained and no one will get hurt. Although, it might be wise to move any breakables out of the play area!
Think you can’t make a snowman without snow, let alone inside?
With a little imagination, you can make a “snowman” with balloons or balls of newspaper and decorate with scraps of paper, buttons, or whatever your kids can think up. Even something as simple as a few paper plates can make a fun snow friend.
There are also lots of tactile activities that kids will love to do on a winter afternoon.
Paint with white puffy paint to make a winter scene, or even paint with marshmallows! The large ones make great paint dabbers and there are no messy brushes to wash – just don’t let the kids eat them!
You can also draw a design on dark paper, “trace” it with school glue, and sprinkle it with salt or white glitter to make a snowy scene.
Make “hot chocolate” playdough by adding cocoa powder or even peppermint extract to your recipe (many kid-safe recipes are available online, and some are edible!).
All these activities will probably make the little ones hungry for a snack.
Marshmallows, pretzel sticks, and strips of fruit leather make great snowman-builders. Or start the day with pancakes in different sizes to be decorated with raisins, chocolate chips, fruit slices, and whipped cream – snowman pancakes!
Remember cutting out paper snowflakes as a kid? A similar technique can be used to cut designs into soft tortillas. They can be filled with cheese, nut butter, or other healthy fillings to make a snowflake quesadilla.
And if you have a snowflake cookie cutter left from Christmas, you can cut shapes out of cheese slices, bread to make sandwiches, or even soft veggies like cucumbers.
Don’t forget, kids love the old standbys. A cup of hot chocolate and a warm blanket can’t be beat. Add some family reading time, and you’ll make memories that will last a lifetime.
Try some of our favorite snow-themed books or choose your own from the local library. The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats, The Mitten or The Hat by Jan Brett or The Snowman by Raymond Briggs are timeless classics will warm your heart.
Have fun with these do-it-yourself winter wonderland ideas — or think of your own “snow day” traditions. They will make for a magical winter day, no matter the weather.
(h/t Mommy Underground)