If your kids are getting stir-crazy, here are a few boredom busters and sanity savers for you.
Make Use of the Snow
Might as well embrace the snow. Toss your kiddos outside with a shovel and have them shovel the driveway and sidewalks. If they have extra energy and can stand the cold, suggest they shovel the neighbor’s driveway too.
Provide your kids with bowls, scoop up the snow, and add it to your saucepan. They will love watching it melt into chocolate goodness on the stovetop with you.
Maple Syrup Goodness
This makes another sweet snack for your kids. Boil real maple syrup for 10 minutes, stirring often. Then carefully take the syrup outside. Have your kids find a smooth, clean area and pour the syrup into the snow. Have fun and draw your kids’ names in the snow with it. Just be sure the syrup has cooled before picking it up and nibbling on it. You can find another recipe at Family Go.Com
Marshmallow snowmen: put three jumbo marshmallows on a plate to create the snowman’s body. Add chocolate chips for eyes and buttons and a butterscotch chip for the nose. Then, stick the whole thing in the microwave for about seven seconds. Take out and attach thin pretzel sticks for arms. Then, enjoy this gooey treat!
Create a train-like atmosphere with your furniture. Have your kids make train tickets. Then read the book, “The Polar Express” and let their imaginations take off. My kids love playing “train” or “Polar Train.”
I have two girls, we round up our mani and pedi supplies and our favorite home foot spa, and stake out a place near the fireplace.
Kids love a little bit of friendly competition. Consider a Wii tournament or a game of UNO. And check out these 10 great family board games to play with younger kids.
Snow Ice Cream
Scoop up snow in waffle cones or cups.
- 1/2 cups half & half or whole milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 4 cups of clean snow or shaved ice
Blend the milk, sugar, and vanilla together until the sugar dissolves. Mix 4 cups of snow and stir until you get the same consistency of ice cream. Add toppings or chocolate syrup to make a Snow Sundae! Here’s more about homemade ice cream.
Have An Indoor Picnic
Who needs a table and nice cooked meals? Make cookies and other finger foods ahead of time and let your kids decide where (within reason) to picnic.
- 1 cup flour
- 1/2 cup salt
- 2 tbsp. cream of tartar
- 2 tbsp. oil
- 1 cup water food coloring (optional)
- Scent (cinnamon, vanilla, mint, etc. – also optional).
In a saucepan, mix flour, salt, cream of tartar, scent ingredient, and oil. Slowly mix in water until it’s all smooth. Then turn the heat on medium and stir until it forms a ball of dough. I used a heat-resistant rubber spatula so I could scrape the bottom of the pan easily. Once it’s a ball, plop it onto some wax paper until it’s cool enough for you to touch.
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/3 cup of cornstarch
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup dish-washing soap
- food coloring
Put the sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan and then slowly mix in cold water. Then cook the mixture over low heat for five minutes, stirring constantly until you have a smooth gel. Let cool and then add dish-washing soap. Divide into as many containers as you would like colors and then mix in food coloring drops until you have your desired color. If you have colored dishwashing soap that can influence all the colors you try to create, which isn’t always a bad thing. Here’s another recipe for finger paint.
If homemade paint is for the birds, simply break out your store-bought paints and let them go to town creating. We love this kit because it includes everything you need for a painting day, which means no scrounging around on your part.
Have a Taffy Pull in your kitchen with your kids. I remember doing this every Christmas with my grandma. I may have to purchase some supplies and do it. You can find the directions here.
Indoor Snow Castles
My kids love this but be prepared for a little bit of mess. Bring in your kiddie pool and add buckets of snow. Provide your kids with their sand-making supplies. OR add the snow to your tub. I like the tub, easier and less mess.
There just isn’t enough time in the day to be creative. Consider finding free printable coloring pages for your kids. Most sites like Nick Jr, Disney, etc. have these.
There are several sites online for your child’s educational use and fun. We use ABC Mouse and Starfall.com. Other sites we like are Nick Jr. and PBS Kids.
There are always the best traditions of snow angels and snowball fights or sledding. Take pictures and capture the moments.
Cozy Indoor Fort
Too cold to go outside? Make a fort inside, using blankets and pillows, and watch a movie from the fort!
Valentine’s Day Stained “Glass” Craft
Hang up some sparkly sheets and beads, add tulle or anything fun fabric, then have your girls dress up in their favorite costumes and have a fashion shoot!
My kids loved the sock toss when they were toddlers. Arrange baskets, buckets, or paper bags in the middle of your living room floor, stuff socks into balls. Whoever gets the most socks in the baskets wins. (Or make a sock fishing game like we did here.)
This one takes overnight, but hey, if it is a snow day you have the time! I was intimidated by it at first, but it is WAY easier than I thought. All you need is Borox, a glass, water, pipe cleaner, and a string. So cool. The whole recipe is right here.
- 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups white sugar
- 1 egg
Cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Add the rest. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes. YUMMY!
Zoom With Grandma and Grandpa
Do you have a Skype account? Zoom? Facebook? Google Plus? All these have video chat capabilities. And if you can’t video chat, just call! Grandma and Grandpa would LOVE to hear from their grandkids!
Feed the Birds
When it is snowing the birds have a harder time finding food. Now’s your chance to help out and give the kids an educational something to do! You can roll a toilet paper or paper towel holder with peanut butter and popcorn (or birdseed if you have some) or check out these other ways to make simple feeders. Or you can check out how we used gelatin to make a feeder.
Masking Tape City
Have kids who love cars? Get them started on a living room city project. The tape outlines the streets. Then the cars can drive around and even up and over some couches, chairs, and such.
Use hot dogs and spaghetti. Mix with cheese. All kinds of kid fun. If it is cold, FREEZE BUBBLES!!
Baby oil + flour. COOL! You can see some pictures here.
Read a Book
No, don’t go out in the snow. But you can check out books from your library on your tablet or iPad. You may have to log on to their website or call for directions.
Hide something in your house. Then post clues for your kids to find them.
Or just play “hot and cold” telling your kids they’re getting warmer when they’re getting closer and colder when they’re walking away from the treasure.
Or have one of your older kids hide a treasure and draw a map of how to find it.
Use coffee filters. They’re pre-cut in circles. Just fold them in half and half again. Then cut out some circles and triangles.
A couple of squirts of food coloring in a squirt bottle or squirt gun and then send the kids outside in the snow to paint the snow. This is also fun for decorating snowmen and women.
Or if you’re inside, put a piece of paper on a cookie sheet, pile snow on top of it, then squeeze a few drops of color on the top of the paint. When the snow melts, you’ll have a neat watercolor picture!
If you have paint, set it outside (or in your freezer) overnight to freeze it! Then kids can color with the frozen paint.
Shaving Cream Fun
Check out 6 things to do with shaving cream. I did most of these with just ONE container. Plus, an idea to save for Easter.
Cotton balls, hammers, and fun. This is a fun one!
Worn out from all the activity? Try snuggling up on the couch with one of our favorite children’s audiobook series—kids can listen while you rest!
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