Parenting, Projects, Working Mom

5 Surefire Snow Day Boredom Busters

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Snow days can be B-R-U-T-A-L! It’s not the cold air that pierces your soul, the chapped lips, the biting feel of wind nipping at your cold, snow covered fingers. It isn’t the insanely dirty tiny pants or socks (it’s snow for God sake, how the hell did you get that dirty?!?!?!?!). It isn’t even the stir crazy youngin’s that are treating my home like a bouncy castle. It’s the boredom! When my tinies get bored, they will FIND something to entertain themselves – and it usually means that I’m not going to like it. No, they aren’t destructive, but they are mischievous. So, here are 5 ways I keep boredom at by when I have a day at home with the kiddos.

5. Art Projects

Tiny is particularly artsy, so any time I can include a little bit of creativity in her day, she is all for it. Usually I like to give them supplies and just let them go at it – I am a firm believer in the power of a blank canvas helping you express yourself and view art as the voice of the soul. Whatever needs to come out, will come out, and this way it comes out constructively. We have a plastic shoe box at home that has crayons, glue, scissors, water colors, markers and glitter. They can make or create anything with those items. Recently, I was given a copy of Steve Harpster’s book Draw Alpahbeasts. It is adorable! Tiny has had a blast creating monsters and animals from letters for Teeny to color in. They are making names, messages, and initials for gifts right now, and they are so precious. They can easily pass part of a morning drawing and coloring bright and sunny little beasties with easy to follow instructions and diagrams that show my daughter exactly how to replicate each animal on her own page – and I love to see what creative little touches she adds to make them her own.

4. Painting Rocks

Yes, I know this is related to art projects, but it is its own animal. Be sure to line your project surface (for me it’s the kitchen table) with news print or plastic (large garbage bags work in a pinch) before your little Picasso’s get busy. The day before, I wash the rocks to get rid of any grit or residue (we collect ours when we are hiking, walking trails, or near our little creek) and let them dry overnight. I usually go ahead and wash any that we find when I get home so that they are ready when we are ready for them.

The painting part is easy – use water based acrylics like these Apple Barrel ones that are my favorite. They are less than a dollar a piece and easy to clean off skin…not that your kids get messy like mine. Any that the kids want to keep or gift get a quick coat of Mod Podge (seals and protects) and dry overnight.

3. Play Dough / Kinetic Sand / Legos / Tinker Toys

These old favorites still have a huge place on our toy shelf. The boy child especially loves anything that can be used to build or shape. He loves trains and cars, and loves to build – We use tinker toys, Lego’s and all types of creative ways to build obstacle courses for his trains – then race the cars down hills, mounds, and tracks – all fueled by imagination. I love how creative he is and how much he giggles when we play together. Get your own sets at the links here: Play Dough Legos Kinetic Sand Tinker Toys.

You can even make your own play dough here!

2. Make a Blanket Fort and Read a Story

There is (and let’s be honest, always has been) something magical about curling up in front of a fire with a good book and some cocoa (check out my post on the perfect snow day cocoa here!). It is down right good for the soul and helps to give a little break to your rollicking little ones. Make a simple fort by draping sheets and blankets over the backs of chairs and fill the bottom with pillows and blankets – right in front of the fire.

We are reading Harry Potter right now, and even my 10 year old loves to have me read to her while we snuggle. A fire and some cocoa set the mood for a quiet and cozy rest time (even if they don’t nap) that helps you push through to the end of the day without going insane.

1.  Pine Cone  and Popcorn Bird Feeders

While the winters are relatively mild in the deep south, we can still get some cold days and down right frigid nights in the deepest part of winter. One of the things I have loved so much about our current home is that it has a huge yard where the kids can run and plenty of plants that attract birds and butterflies. They are the most spectacular things when they really show up in Spring. Some of the birds tough it out during the winter though. Food can be hard to find if you are small and feathered, especially if you don’t have a ready human to provide for you. That’s where we come in. We make peanut butter and bird seed covered pine cones, wrap a bit of twine around their widest part, and hang them where we can see the birds from our upstairs windows. We have had some of the most stunning Cardinals this year, and the Blue Jays have been ultra bright. I don’t know if it is the gloom of the winter causing them to looks so much more brilliant than usual or if my Grandmother is popping in to say hi, but I’ll take it either way. If you would rather make a lovely popcorn wreath that they will LOVE, check out this link!

Don’t let a messy day ruin more than your hair – these sure fire activities will keep kids of any age entertained for hours. What do you do when it’s to messy to go outside?

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