Cabin fever driving your kids (or you) crazy? While winter doesn’t always allow a lot of opportunities for young children to play outdoors, it can be a time of great discovery with a little help from Mom, Grandma or a favorite aunt.
Paint without the mess
Finger paint is a great activity for little Picassos but can prove messy, especially for those younger than age 3. To provide the fun without the mess, put a small amount of finger paint in a gallon size freezer bag (stronger than storage bags), and tape the top and bottom edges to a table. No mess, no slipping, and your kids will have fun “painting” designs in the bag! Or, tape the bag to a patio door or window and let them design their own “stained glass.”
Have a ball (of clay)
Homemade clay is inexpensive and can provide hours of entertainment. Use the recipe to the right to whip up some non-toxic clay, collect some add-ons (nuts and bolts, wiggly eyes, beads, sequins, pipe cleaners, feathers, etc.) and let their imaginations run wild. Allow creations to dry on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet for a few days. Want colored clay? Add a few drops of food coloring or natural dyes like beet juice or cocoa powder.
Have a picnic
Spread out a blanket and pick out some of your kids’ favorite summertime foods… Hot dogs, fried chicken, burgers, chips and dip, cupcakes, whatever they love. Turn up the heat, let them wear summer clothes and pretend it’s a nice summer day. Want to take it a step further? Bring in a plastic play pool and set it on an uncarpeted floor. Fill with warm water and let little ones splash around in something other than the bath tub!