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Baby, it’s cold outside

By on January 16, 2009

pet rocks
photo by ebby

Young kids can get bored during winter breaks and snow days. They can play outside for only so long if it’s cold outside. Some days it rains or sleets, so even limited outdoor fun isn’t possible. Puzzle books, baking, snuggling and watching movies are great, but it doesn’t take long before kids start to get antsy. Even if you live in a warmer climate, these boredom busters will help keep kids busy and having fun any time of the year.

PET ROCKS AND PUPPET SOCKS: Break out the paints, pipe cleaners, wiggle eyes, felt, pompoms, yarn scraps, etc. Pick smooth rocks and old socks, and let the kids decorate them.

BINGO: Play with dollar-store prizes such as crayons, stickers, toys, mittens, etc. Or use kiddie coupons for fun things such as meal of choice, no-chore day, pick a movie rental, etc. Don’t have a bingo game? You can print bingo cards and call sheets online. Visit www.dltk-cards.com/bingo.

POT-OF-GOLD HUNT: Clear an area in a room. Give each child a paper or zip-enclosure baggie. Scatter loose change and small items such as Silly Putty, snacks, small toys, decorative pencils, bubbles, punch balloons, etc. Blindfold the kids, and let them gather up items into their bags. After they’re done, they’ll have a small grab bag of goodies to play with.

POSTER COLLAGE: Let kids make their own artwork collages with magazine and catalog cutouts, drawings, copies of photos and craft supplies. Display them in their rooms when they’re done.

CLAY-POT CRAFT: Kids can paint their own clay pot any way they want. You can also provide small, colorful pieces of tissue paper or a decorative paper napkin and some glue diluted with water (two parts glue and one part water) or decoupage glaze such as Mod Podge. Using a paintbrush, brush the glue mixture onto the clay pot, and let the kids press the tissue-paper section or paper napkin onto the pot. Coat the outside with the glue mixture or Mod Podge, and let dry. As an option, an adult can apply a clear-gloss, water-based varnish to finish it. Don’t have a clay pot? Use a glass jar. Make this craft even simpler by having kids simply add craft foam shapes onto the containers.

TOSS GAMES: Toss games are easy and fun. You can use beanbags, wadded foil or balled-up socks and toss into a box or laundry basket. Or aim for smaller targets, such as using coins tossed into a muffin tin or clothespins dropped into coffee container with a hole cut into the lid. To make the clothespin-drop game harder, you can have kids hold it under their chin and drop.

BLANKET FORTS: Even older kids love blanket forts and indoor picnics. If you have a play tent, you can set that up.

PILLOWCASE SNOWMAN: Stuff a white pillowcase with polyfill. Sew the opening to close or use double-sided sticky Velcro. Tie a scarf around the pillow case one-third of the way down to form the body. Add a winter hat on the head. Glue on wiggle, button or pompom eyes and a felt nose, and glue on buttons vertically down the front. You can do something similar on a smaller scale using tube socks or wash cloths. Simply use felt instead of full-sized hats and scarves.

What do you like to do with your kids when it’s cold or dreary outside?

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About Sara Noel

Sara Noel owns GenXZ, Follow me on Twitter

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