Winter weekends. No matter how much you love the time away from work, spending two straight days with cabin fever-addled kids in the middle of January can break the most patient of parents. We talked with experts around the country to find some tried-and-true suggestions on how to keep your kids from proclaiming, "I'm bored!" during these long, cold winter weekends.
Put Their Imaginations to Work
-Place a stack of blankets in the family room, playroom, or their bedroom so they can build a fort.
-A box of old clothes and accessories becomes fodder for fashion shows and all sorts of pretend games.
-Take a big cardboard box from a dishwasher, refrigerator or other appliance, a box of markers, Legos (or other building blocks) and some little cars. The kids can draw a whole roadway system, then build the town and then drive the cars around.(Suggested by Laurie Zerga, Founder and Chief Culinary Officer, Chef-K-culinary health education for kids)
Just because it's winter doesn't mean you can't leave your house. If the weather is bearable, bundle up and ice skate, make snow angels, have a snowball fight. Create winter memories that your kids will cherish. And then warm up by the fire with hot cocoa or hot apple cider.
Nothing says fun like frosting. Invite some friends over for a cookie-or cupcake-decorating bash featuring lots of colored frosting and sprinkles. Or just bake up a few favorite treats. Here are a few of ours!
Make Play Dough
It's smooshy and warm and can amuse your child-and you-for hours and hours. You don't have to buy Play Doh to give your kid play dough-just fire up the stove and start mixing! Find a recipe for gluten-free play dough here.
Get Creative and-Active
- Try the "blank canvas" project. It involves the entire family painting together on a single canvas with each member selecting a portion of it. Do this once a year. Be sure to date it.
- Play basketball as a team, or break into several smaller teams that challenge one another. Play a wild game of cards with poker chips (or pennies)-everyone has to wear gambling visors. Go to an indoor concert and take a picnic basket along-don't forget your special blanket. Dance with each other. Sing loudly together. Watch the sunset together. Plant bulbs and watch them grow and bloom.
- There is tremendous value in what I call "hammock time." This means daydreaming, hanging out, getting lost in your thoughts, doodling. Children are nourished by introspective time to wonder and dream. Give your child a special indoor place. Just hang a blanket or find a quiet spot for them to experience solitude.
(Suggested by Dr. Susan Smith Kuczmarski
book author of "The Sacred Flight of the Teenager: A Parent's Guide to Stepping Back and Letting Go")
By Kate Silver for Parents.com