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It can be hard to keep your kids entertained, especially when the weather starts getting colder. Which is why seasonal activities are a great way to combat the old “But Mom, there’s nothing to doooo!” lament.
Here are several great ideas for the winter season that won’t cost you an arm and a leg:
Snowflake watching. Every snowflake is unique. Take advantage of nature’s beauty by taking your kids on a snowflake-watching tour. You can walk through your neighborhood or drive to a more country-like setting or local park. Kids can get antsy just admiring the beauty, so make it an interactive game by having them hunt for the “perfect” snowflake. Bring colored swatches of fabric for catching snowflakes and snap a quick picture of each one to make a scrapbook when you get home.
Shoveling snow. Yes, you are sneakily getting your kids to do a chore for you, but they don’t need to know that part!
Once all the driveway is blanketed in snow, give your kids free reign to play in the snow—making snow balls, tossing them up in the air, making little mountains and snowmen, “burying” each other, and making snow angels. The only caveat is that once they’re done playing, they need to shovel the snow off of the driveway so that you can access the garage.
They will begin to suspect that this is a chore at this point, but you can make it fun again by having them compete to see who can shovel the most snow the quickest. If you’re a mom, you’ve probably already got plenty of ways to make suspicious things like chores seem like fun!
Crafts. It’s a rainy, gray day that makes outside activities a no-go? Lucky for you, the official holiday season has begun, which is an endless source of fun, cheap craft activities for kids.
Those hand-print turkeys and construction paper snowflakes we grew up making are barely the tip of the iceberg. Just do a quick Google search for “kid’s holiday crafts,” or any similar variation, and you will find enough craft ideas to keep your kids happily entertained for an entire season of rainy days.
Winter treats. Hot cocoa with mini marshmallows, warm cider, and fun holiday goodies can make any “boring” day seem special. Involve your kids in the treat-making, and you can easily spend a whole afternoon having fun (and staying warm!).
Want a time-tested, go-to for super-simple treats that kids of any age can make? Rice Krispies treats crafts. Again, a quick Google search will give you more ideas than you know what to do with, but once Mom has made the actual Rice Krispies treats, the flexible, smushy “material” can then be molded into any number of seasonal shapes, designs, even whole scenes. Use some food coloring to add to the craftiness, and your kids have the equivalent of edible Play-Doh. (Okay, Play-Doh is technically edible (it’s non-toxic), but you know what I mean.)
Kelly Gurnett writes for QuickQuid, the UK’s premier online payday loan lender, and runs the blog Cordelia Calls It Quits, where she documents her attempts to rid her life of the things that don’t matter and focus more on the things that do.