This is the first REAL snow day we’ve had this winter and you’re hunkered down with the family indoors. And while it looks very pretty and peaceful outside, it may not look quite the same inside the walls of your house. Tired and burnt out on ideas to keep your ‘noise makers’ busy, here are a few simple, little preparation, snowy-day activities that may help you entertain the kiddos and maintain some sanity!
1. Homemade Play dough Recipe
1/4 cup salt
1 cup flour
1/4 cup water
**Have your child mix the flour and salt in a bowl then add water. Knead and squeeze the dough to make a clay consistency. You may need to add more water. Note: This dough doesn’t last as long as the cooked recipes.
Ideas Divide into sections, then knead in food coloring (liquid or paste). Kids love making the white play dough change colors. Use unsweetened Kool-Aid for color and scent. Add glitter for sparkly play dough.
2. Movie Party
Blankets and Pillows
**With kid help, set up your family area or T.V. room so everyone can lounge together, with pillows and blankets. Move furniture around to make it a special treat and make it cozy for the gang. Also make popcorn, Kool aid/lemonade and add some candy, if it’s suitable for their age.
Dress up clothes
Parents clothes or siblings clothes
Hats, scarfs, goggles and accessories
**Use any items that wouldn’t normally wear to play dress-up. That might be real dress-up clothes that they may have or use a parent’s or sibling’s clothes you don’t mind getting messy. Grab hats, costume jewelry or winter goggles, and face paint or make-up is an extra bonus for making them look and feel like a character.
4. Hide and Go Seek
No preparation needed
**This is super-easy and can be taught to younger ones so they can start to get the idea of game basics like closing their eyes, counting and searching for someone. Older kids never get sick of this favorite and will have fun using their brains to find the best hiding places in the house.
5. Scavenger Hunt
Any household items
**Come up with a list of different items around the house that the kids can search for. Depending on their age, you can make it easy for your preschooler or more challenging for the older ones.
No preparation needed
**Put on your favorite tunes, or theirs and shake a family tail-feather together! It will not only wear them (and you) out, but will make for lots of laughs- both your kids laughing at your dance moves and you laughing with them! Note: this can be combined with dress-up, if you want to really let loose.
7. Making and decorating cookies
**Come on- who doesn’t like to make cookies. Use your favorite simple cookie recipe and let your kids help you make a mess in the kitchen. Not only will the smell of them baking put everyone in a good mood, it will be fun for all doing the decorating afterward- oh and the eating part is pretty fun too.
Crayons, colored pencils (or something to write with)
8 X 10 sheets of paper
Timer for older kids
**Pick teams, use a timer, keep score and try to guess what someone is drawing. You can pick a theme like characters out of a book, animals in the sea, different kinds of transportation; the ideas are endless with a little imagination.
16 oz. Paper or plastic cups
**Use masking tape to create a bowling lane with a starting and end point. Set up the plastic cups like bowling pins and use the ball to knock them over. You may need to test out different cups and balls, on different surfaces to see what works best at simulating bowling.
10. Play in the snow!
**When all else fails, throw them out in the snow! The family can build snow forts, go sledding, build snow men and have snowball wars. Just be sure to bundle them and yourself up so you can have hours of playtime in the winter wonderland. And be sure to have some hot chocolate, cider or tea as a treat for everyone when you’ve had your fill of fun in the cold.