Baby, it’s cold outside!
When the temperatures drop, we warm-blooded human beings tend to make like a bear and hibernate. Bundling up by the fire in our warm & fuzzies can be tempting. But, winter days quickly turn into months inevitably leading to every parent’s worst winter nightmare – cabin fever.
To avoid your children climbing the walls during a fit of boredom induced madness, keep their young bodies and minds active with some simple creativity & pre-planning.
Here are just a few winter wonderland ideas to get you started:
When dressed for the season, playing in the snow can captivate imaginations of young and old. So grab your toboggan and hit the nearest hill! Also fun are activities like, building snow forts or obstacle courses,snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, and skating.
Get creative with snow? Why not?! Build a snowman or snow kid with your little ones and let them come to life with household items (buttons, cork, mop heads, and old clothing). Fill a spray bottle with a mixture of food coloring and water and encourage your family to make snow art or play snow tic tac toe (this one can be messy, so supervision may be necessary).
Cold weather can foster fascinating exploration grounds for young adventurers. Throw on the layers, grab a journal & pen, and take your family on a wilderness adventure in your backyard. Draw snowflakes (quickly before they melt!), gather sticks and pinecones for art projects, spot the winter birds in your area, or record animal tracks. If it’s too cold to write outside, pick up a disposable camera and encourage your kids to photograph the treasures they find.
There will be days when it’s just too cold to have fun outside, so it’s best to be prepared with a variety of fun indoor activities. The tried and true games that let young imaginations run wild are favorites: puppet shows, making forts out of blankets & chairs, reading, Lego, and traditional arts & crafts to name a few. But, if you want to add some wintery magic or holiday cheer into the mix, check out sites such as Kaboose or Disney’s Family Fun. Here you can find an endless supply of coloring pages, games, recipes, and activity ideas all with a holiday theme, such as this great video on how to make a holiday countdown calendar:
Don’t Forget the Marshmallows
Nothing says “I love you” like a cup of creamy hot cocoa full of marshmallows. Ok, so maybe that’s not how the saying goes, but you get my point. After spending the day wrapped in Michelin Man-style outfits and arriving home pink-cheeked and full of smiles, what better way to warm up? Sure, there are plenty of tasty ready-to-drink cocoas on your supermarket’s shelves. But, it’s easy to make yourself & kids can help with measuring.
Try this version from Today’s Parent (they suggest adding cool cream to each mug to make the temperature’s perfect for sipping):
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 3-1/2 cups milk
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- Combine the cocoa, sugar and salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn’t scorch.
- Stir in milk and heat until very hot (do not boil!) Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between four mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature.
Servings per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
total fat: 8.6g
GoodLife Wants to Know: How do you have fun with your family on wintery days?