When the Weather Outside is Frightful…Things to Do With Your Kids During the Long Winter Months
For the Child-Like Adult -Look for the % sign for things that you can do when there are no kids around.
Things to do Inside
%- Use mini muffin tins, bread tins, or cake pans and make mini treats. Because they are mini, you can make a lot, so go hand them out to neighbors or friends!
– Have a hot chocolate or herbal tea party. Use special cups or tea set. Make it simple by having things to mix in such as marshmallows, chocolate, whipped cream, sugar, honey. You can go all out and dress up, decorate the table, have finger food, and invite dolls and stuffed animals.
%- Do special lunches or dinners. Put a surprise meal together for someone getting home from work or school. Have a themed meal to celebrate a silly holiday, or focus on a specific country, color, or food that’s starts with a certain letter.
-Play restaurant. Make up a menu, set the table fancy and let the kids pick from the menu!
%-Make candy apples. Buy some caramels, dip the apples, and have lots of different toppings to cover the apples in: chocolate, sprinkles, mini chocolate chips, nuts, mini marshmallows.
-Finger paints. Make edible finger paint by using white pudding and mixing it with food coloring.
-Online printable coloring pages. I have found everything from the alphabet to star wars to princesses at http://www.coloring-book.info/
%-Window painting. Make your own window paint (recipe on back page) or use washable markers!
%-Grab a package of popsicle sticks from the dollar store. You can let kids color or paint them. Make things like picture frames, flowers, bookmarks, spell out their names, airplanes…
%-Holiday crafts. Luckily there are a lot of holidays in the winter, you can search online or come up with your own holiday crafts. The key is to search out the under celebrated holidays as well!
-Go to your nearest craft store and buy some perler beads. These are little beads you arrange on trays and then melt together. It takes kids a long time to make them, and they love it!
%- Have an indoor campout. If there is an area big enough, set up a tent, or just get sleeping bags and maybe a blowup mattress. Make smores over the stove, turn out the lights and use flashlights, light a fire in the fire place, tell stories.
%- Family movie night. Get blankets, pillows and pajamas. Pick a move, make popcorn and have some movie candy. Let the kids stay up a little later to watch the movie.
-For smaller kids, fill up the bathtub with shaving cream (you can buy the cheap stuff for $.99 or less). Let the kids draw and squish it all around. Works best if kids are in bathing suits. Watch out that they don’t get it in their eyes!
-Go all out with dress ups. Let the kids use make-up, do their hair, use face paint. (See recipe for face paint on back page)
-Put together play-dates or playgroups. Being at someone else’s house or having kids over always is a nice change of scenery.
-Make a fort or an obstacle course. Something that takes some time to build, but also the kids can have fun with for a long time, and get their wiggles out!
-Have a themed day, where everything you do follows theme from the way you dress, what you eat, and what you play! Some examples: Beach day: Make smoothies, listen to ukulele music, wear leis and grass skirts. Dinosaur day: Eat like an herbivore or carnivore, read dino books, hide dino bones and let the kids find them. Spa Day: facials, painting nails, foot massages, little sandwiches. Olden Days: Use no electricity, light candles, pretend to be snowed in.
%-Find under celebrated or obscure holidays, read about them and celebrate them! Or even better, make up your own holiday and make celebrating it a tradition! Have holiday themed crafts, food, and activities.
-Open a zoo. Let the kids set up their stuffed animals around the house in “cages” Go on a tour of the zoo!
– Celebrate half birthdays
-Scavenger hunts with letters or numbers
-create new fun holiday traditions. We do a New Year’s Smorgasbord. On New Year’s Day we sit in front of the TV all day and watch movies in our pj’s and eat junky food.
-Make something that is fun for you, also fun for kids, like watching sports. Turn it into a fun party with silly cheers and commercial time or time out games or activities.
%- Have a book reading marathon. Whether it is you or the kids that are sick, stay in your pj’s, get lots of blankets and pillows, camp out on the bed all day with piles of books for you and the kids! Let the kids spend time looking at them on their own, and then pick some to read out loud!
%- Movie day. Get everything you need for the day, stay in your pjs’ get blankets and pillows and set up on front of the TV. Pick movies that everyone will enjoy and snuggle up!
Things to do Outside the House
Outdoor Fun: (sometimes you just have to get out and play in the snow!)
%-Paint the Yard- Fill spray bottles with water and had different shades of food coloring. Spray the colored water all over the newly fallen snow, make pictures or write messages.
-Blow bubbles- chill a container of bubbles and then on a cold day take it out and blow away. The bubbles take a long time to pop!
-Just let the kids go out in winter or rain gear and umbrellas when it is raining or snowing. Kids love this and when they are done, treat them to hot chocolate to warm them up!
%- Make an igloo, snowman, snow slide, or go sledding.
%- If you feel okay about eating snow. Make snow ice cream: 2 c milk, 1 egg beaten, ½ c sugar, dash of salt, 1 tsp Vanilla. Blend all ingredients and add clean fresh snow until absorbed. Or make soda snow, take a cup full of snow and add soda!
Places to Visit:
%-The Hutchings Museum: $3.00 for children 3-12 and $4.00 for adults The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 11am – 5pm, and closed on holidays. 55 North Center Lehi, UT 84043
%-Cabela’s : Located at 2502 W Grand Terrace Parkway in Lehi, Cabela’s is a retail store that includes a 150,000 sq. ft. educational showroom with animal displays and a huge fresh fish aquarium.
–Library Story Time: Each Library varies their story time sessions and times, look up and find out when your local library has theirs.
%-Tahitian Noni in Provo, Utah: Movie Night: A variety of family movies shown in the TNI auditorium. Shows generally start at 7:00 pm. and are shown generally on Monday evening. Admission is free! 333 West River Park Drive Provo, UT 84604
%-Utah Museum of Natural History in Salt Lake City, Utah: Open Monday through Saturday 9:30- 5:30 pm and Sundays noon to 5:00. The first Monday of every month is free admission. They have tons of activities for kids. 1390 E. Presidents Circle, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
%- Utah Museum of Fine Art in Salt Lake City, Utah: Open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Wednesdays from 10-8:00, and Saturday and Sunday from 11-5:00. (Closed Mondays and holidays.) The Third Saturday is an art studio program for families. It is FREE and open to the public on the third Saturday of every month from 2 pm – 4 pm. They also have FREE admission on the first Wednesday of every month. 410 Campus Center Drive
Salt Lake City, Utah 84112
%- Clark Planetarium, Salt Lake City, Utah: They have some great shows, free exhibits and gift shop. Check their website for show time and prices. http://www.clarkplanetarium.org/index.php 110 South 400 West in Salt Lake City, Utah,
%- BYU Museum of Art: They have some great exhibits that even kids might like. Admission is free to most exhibits. Check out their site for current exhibits. http://moa.byu.edu/ N Campus Dr Provo, UT 84602
%-Monte L. bean Museum: Located on BYU campus, this is a great place for kids. Admission is free. Check website for times of live animals shows. http://mlbean.byu.edu/home/ 645 East 1430 North Brigham Young University Provo, UT 84602
%- Thanksgiving Point Dinosaur Museum: check site for times and prices. Has a lot hands on things that kids can do! http://www.thanksgivingpoint.com/visit/museum_of_ancient_life/about.html
-Kangaroo Zoo. A lot of bouncy houses and things for the kids to climb and play on. http://www.kangaroozoo.net/ 513w 700s Pleasant Grove, UT 84062
%- Jump On it: Trampolines galore, fun for the Mom’s too! http://www.jumponitparty.com/
-Lehi Legacy Indoor pool: You can swim in the winter! http://www.lehi-ut.gov/legacycenter/index.php
%- Find places in your area for bowling, indoor miniature golf, or laser tag!
– Fast Food play grounds, eat lunch and let the kids play!
%- The Nicklecade: http://www.nickelarcades.com/
-Chuck-e Cheese: You don’t have to eat the horrible pizza either! You can just go and play.
Just to Get Out:
%- Go out and get donuts either at the grocery store or a bakery.
%- Go to sonic happy hour (from 2-4pm every day, all drinks half price) and let every pick their own drinks!
-Go to Target, get the $1.50 popcorn and drink combo, Let the kids browse the toy aisle or pick a toy from the dollar section.
– Visit the dollar store and let the kids pick a toy or treat. Dollar store toys are surprisingly entertaining.
– hit the grocery store and let the kids pick out a frozen entre (we like Kid Cuisine) to have for lunch pr a special dinner!
Things to Invest In
-A set of cookie cutters. You can buy a set of 100 at Bed Bath and Beyond. Use a 20% off and get it for less than $10.
-A mini baking set that includes a mini loaf pan, pie pan, bundt pan, and muffin tin. They have these for a cheap price at IKEA.
– Thanksgiving Point Pass. The initial cost is a lot, but it is worth it for a years worth of fun! Check site for pass prices. http://www.thanksgivingpoint.com/
– Family Fun Magazine: There are great crafts, activity ideas, and recipes in this magazine. I cut out the ones I like and store them in a binder. There are great deals online for subscriptions as low as $ 4.95 a year!
Great Sites to check out for crafts and activity ideas
Kool-aid Play dough
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup salt
2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid – any flavor/color
2 cups boiling water
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
How to make this recipe:
Mix the salt, flour and Kool-Aid packets. (Be sure you are using the small sachets of unsweetened mix.) Use one color per batch (although you can mix your own color and/or add food coloring to intensify the color).
Add the boiling water and oil and stir until blended. Let cool, and then knead until the dough is consistent in color and texture.
You can store it for several months in a zippered plastic bag or other airtight container. DO NOT EAT
- For each color of paint, mix about 1 tablespoon of dishwashing liquid with 1/2 tablespoon of paint (the mixture should have the creamy consistency of house paint). Foil-lined muffin tins or plastic containers work well for holding different colors.
2. Using a different brush for each hue, paint on the window, being careful to avoid sills and woodwork.
Tips: To remove the dried paint or fix a mistake, wipe it off with a moist paper towel.
2 Tsp Shortening
5 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp flour
Mix until smooth, color by adding a few drops of food coloring.