If your like me, you have struggled trying to figure out fun things to do with your family during winter break. Let's face it, whether its rain, snow or just too cold to go outside, everyone soon finds boredom a constant companion. Being stuck indoors is just not as fun as magazines and television ads make holiday breaks out to be. Although you may feel there is nothing at all to do, with a little ingenuity, you can create a winter playland right in your own living room.
- Play snowman games. Give your children toilet paper and winter clothing and have them dress each other up as a snowman. Have them wrap toilet paper around each other and then use the winter clothing to seal the look. You can even add stickers for buttons and other decoration. Kick it up a notch and time each child as they dress up, having a small treat as a prize for the fastest or best-dressed.
- Mix food coloring with shaving cream to create a washable paint and let your children paint on the bathtub during bathtime. You can also allow them to paint on plates or cups, anything glass or porcelain made. Let the creativity shine through then simply wash off.
- Make a fort in your living room and tell scary or silly stories. This is an oldie yet a goodie. Drape sheets over your furniture and place a small lamp in the fort. If you want to kick up the fear factor with older children, use a flashlight, instead.
- Make a starry sky indoors to do some stargazing. Affix white stringed lights the inside of a large, cardboard box on its side. Simply poke the lights through tiny holes in the box and place pillows and blankets inside. Lie in the box with your child and count the stars.
- Learn something new. If you have younger children try playing a game to learn how to tell time, or learn how to spell a new word. Older children may enjoy trivia games that can teach them new history lessons or math problems. You can kick it up by learning a new word or phrase in another language, too.
- Okay, so its not Easter, but try placing glow bracelets in plastic Easter eggs and hide them around the house. Turn out the lights and let your children go on a "night-time" Easter egg hunt, indoors. Just make sure there is enough light so they don't run into furniture or each other.
- Have a sibling appreciation day, or child appreciation day. Make it as festive as a birthday party. Hang decorations, make a cake and just have fun. You'll soon see the excitement in your children's faces, just like it was their own birthday.
- Pretend play with them. Section off a hallway with an old sheet decorated as a castle entrance. Create characters for yourself and each child. Place a video camera in front of the "castle" to make your own action/adventure movie, or invite other family members to watch you put on a performance with your little ones.
- Have your children decorate cardboard boxes as cars. Set each in front of the television and offer snacks such as popcorn and chips. Have a drive-in movie night with a great family movie!
- Clean house! Make fun time into clean time. Assign chores by writing tasks on a popsicle stick and have each child draw one. Give them their own small "cleaning kits" with organic cleaners, gloves and turn em loose! Offer prizes or rewards for cleaning the quickest, best or most thorough. Make sure the chores you assign are age-appropriate.
These tips are also great for rainy days, all year round. Just use your imagination and watch your indoor days turn into unforgettable days.