Let it Snow!!

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Snow days can be great fun for your family. With a little creativity and a few minutes of planning, your family can enjoy a cozy indoor day while winter rages outside. Here are a few ideas to help you jump start some fun, inexpensive family activities.

Paper Crafts

This is an easy activity, and with such a large selection of crafts to choose from there is sure to be something for every age group. Old magazines, printer paper, construction paper, tissue and tracing paper can all be put to good use, and often just the act of gathering the supplies in one place will give your family some great craft ideas. Most paper crafts require glue, but even if you don't have any in stock you can easily make a paste of white flour and water that will usually be sufficient for most activities. Collages and winter themed shoebox dioramas are easily created without guidance, and printable paper crafts as well as origami instructions abound on the internet. Some paper crafts to consider include:

Origami
Collage
Paper Dolls
Papier Mache
Snowflakes
Printable/Foldable Robots
Paper Puppets

Story + Puppets

This is a simplified version of a puppet show, utilizing your child's favorite story book characters. First, have or help your child create simple paper or felt puppets of at least one character in the book. Then, as you read the book aloud, your child can act out the character with the handmade puppets.

Movie Day

This can be great fun, especially if you go all out to create either a cozy indoor theater or sleepover setting. For a theater, place seating fairly close together in rows, set up a snack bar with popcorn and other treats and healthy snacks, and draw or print out a list of movies, showtimes, and “tickets” to each showing. Don't forget to close the drapes and dim the lights, and remember turn off all your other electronics! For a sleepover theme, bring out the pajamas, pillows, blankets, and stuffed animals, and turn your family or living room into a movie night sleepover complete with hot cocoa.

Camp In

Can't go outside? Then bring the fun indoors! Set up a tent and campsite in your house, complete with air mattresses, cooler and table. If you have battery-operated lighting, great! Otherwise, set up a lantern on a small table near the tent and call it a lantern. When day turns to night, make some s'mores for the whole family and sit in a cozy circle with flashlights while telling spooky stories.

 

Rainy Day Fun

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Moms dread a rainy day in summer unless they have an arsenal of fun, simple activities that kids can't resist. A little planning, a few inexpensive supplies and a dash of imagination can make the first few raindrops of a rainy summer day the signal for indoor fun.

Quiet Fun

One of the most highly recommended quiet, rainy day activities is just to read a favorite or new book. But even the best reads will last only so long for pent up, active children; then it's time to up the ante to keep their interest. Coloring books of varying levels of difficulty are known to induce an endorphin filled and calming state for kids of all ages.

Inexpensive plastic containers, a favorite color for each child, stocked with paper, colored pencils, safety scissors, glue, tape, patterns and stencils are the ingredients for soothing and satisfying imaginations. The formal art show on the fridge gallery will, of course be the follow-up activity.

With the needed material from the same box, challenge each kiddo to create a uniquely-their-own book modeled after their favorite author. Have them take turns reading their completed creations to the family.

Imaginative Fun

Paper bag puppet shows, dress up costume plays and talent shows, all kid-created, can really bring out the genius in a budding director or actor. Children love to exercise their imaginations and will remain occupied for hours with just a bit of guidance from the also housebound grown-up.

Active Fun

Crank up the tunes, move the furniture back and have a dance competition. Physical movement that is coordinated with rhythm and melody will help spend some pent up energy and encourage creative physical expression.

The Secret Animal game allows children to act out the animal drawn from a bag and have everyone else guess the animal. Play can rotate rapidly as animals are guessed and score is kept based upon the child who guesses the most creatures.

Helping Fun

Turn chores around the house into a game that allows each child to earn a sticker for each job or chore they have completed or assisted with. When each child reaches a designated number of stars, a treat, or individualized treats are the reward. A rainy day is a great time to instill the value of having everyone pitch in to the household upkeep, especially with a captive audience. Then, end the afternoon with an indoor finger food picnic.

Of course, on a warm day you might occasionally let the kids out to play in the rain for a while!  ; )