Five fun winter projects for your kids

Winter brings a chill to the air and storms that can keep the kids trapped inside the house for a whole day. But, have no fear, here are some great ways to occupy your children and have fun at the same time!

* Recycle old Christmas cards - Recycle old cards or finish off the few remaining cards that you did not send by creating fun and colorful crafts. You'll need safety scissors, paper plates and glue, too. Kids can cut the pictures from the cards and arrange them on top of a paper plate, creating a collage that becomes a holiday picture or even a hand-held fan. Add a handle by attaching a wooden Popsicle stick or drinking straw.

* Board Game Day -- Kids don't really play as many board games as we all did in our youth. But, a cold winter day is the perfect time to pull out Sorry!, or Monopoly and enjoy family time around the kitchen table. A great twist on traditional board games is to create "family rules" to the game. Allow each child to create a special rule that applies to the game. It creates a special game for your family.

* Cupcakes! - There's nothing more fun than eating cupcakes. They are easy to make and perfect for involving small children in the kitchen. Your child can insert the paper cups and help spoon the batter. Once they cool, add sprinkles, colored icing and small candies to personalize each edible creation. According to The Cake Critic, be careful to avoid too much icing. Be sure to include your child in the clean-up process.

* Fantasy Dinner Party - This is a fun way to entertain the whole family. Children can use old decorations from Easter, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years to create a wild fantasy dinner-themed party. Costumes, hats, jewelry and fancy clothes add to the "specialness" of the event. Turn the evening into your own brand of murder mystery dinner by playing a game of Clue.

* Build a Fort -- Nothing is more fun than building a fort out of old cardboard boxes. It's a great way to put all the Christmas boxes to good use too. Kids can be creative in piecing the boxes together and can use chairs and blankets to add "secrecy" to their hideaway. If there's snow outside, nothing beats building two snow forts and then battling it out in a good ole' fashioned snowball fight. Don't forget your camera!