In the words of our favorite supernatural nerd-fest (a.k.a. Game of Thrones), winter's coming. You know what that means, ladies with babies. Your kids are going to come home from school and be bored out of their minds within five minutes. While it might be tempting to pop in your trusty copy of Cars 2, try out some of these fun indoor activities created with items you already have in your home.
Ready, set, craft!
Fill Your Windows With Paper Snowflakes
This project couldn't be more simple –– all you need are scissors, paper, a dash of hand-eye coordination, and voila! You've got yourself a paper snowflake. These bad boys can be made in all shapes and sizes (click here or here for a tutorial), and every single one is unique –– just like a real snowflake.
Thin craft paper works best, but the Sunday comics make a colorful alternative if you're really in a pinch. Just make sure to use residue-free double sided tape so your little ones can tack their creations onto the window without leaving a sticky mess for you to clean up later!
Plant an Indoor Herb Garden
Getting your kiddos into the great outdoors during the winter months can be a chore (sigh, so many layers!), so why not bring the outside in? Make the most of the resources in your house by using a piece of disposable tupperware (or, better yet, a cute garden pot) and filling it with dirt from the backyard. Then let your child plant a few herbs and seed packets from the grocery store — and sit back and watch them grow!
Cook a No-Bake Cake
Cooking with your children is a great way to keep them entertained during the winter months, but a feisty 5-year-old plus a blazing hot oven isn't exactly a match made in culinary heaven. That's where the genius of no-bake cakes come into play. Not only is the oven completely out of the picture, you can pretty much let your kids do their own thing without having to worry that they're going to burn the house down. Plus, your little ones will love watching you devour their creation!
There are loads of great recipes for no-bake cakes online, but head to 101 Cookbooks for one of our favorites (chocolatey deliciousness, here we come!).
Go on a Scavenger Hunt
Want to keep your child occupied for hours on end? All you need is a pen, paper, some random knick knacks, and a big prize (a homemade ice pop works wonders). Nothing entertains cooped-up kiddos like a good ol' fashioned scavenger hunt –– the key is coming up with great clues that will keep them guessing.
We suggest you hide 7–10 items around the house, along with hints about where the next item is (if you're really striving for excellence, make the clues rhyme). This will be a go-to game for years to come!
Tie-Dye Shirts With Natural Ingredients Found in Your Home
We tend to think of tie-dying as a summer activity, but why not bring the project inside by using natural dyes from your own home? Your fridge can be a bountiful crafting source if you know what to look for, and in this case we suggest beets and spinach. These veggies can easily be juiced, and you can use their rich color as dye (also, try tea bags and mustard for cool earth tones).
Simply throw some newspaper over your kitchen table, have your kids ball up a white shirt, wrap it with rubber bands, and they'll be breaking out their inner fashionistas in no time! (Check out the Wendolonia blog for tips on pattern-making.)
Go Camping Indoors
Kids love getting their camp on, but some of us mommies prefer glamping (less bugs, more pampering). Why not make everyone happy by dusting off the camping gear while your little ones are stuck inside during a snowstorm?
Help your kids set up the tent, and then let them go to town unrolling their sleeping bags, telling ghost stories, and playing board games. You can even help them make s'mores over the stove!
Sock Puppet Palooza
Time to get back to basics, mommies. Nothing says "craftathon" like sock puppets, and you can make them with items you already have around the house (socks, spare buttons, string, felt, markers). Sock puppets require almost no clean-up and your kids can put their imagination to good use while playing with them. In fact, we suggest that you ask your kiddo to put on a sock puppet show for the whole family –– that way everyone can join in the fun!
DIY Hula Hoop Rug
Do you have a mini designer on your hands? Let your kid go to town by teaching him or her how to make a rag rug. Sure, you might not know how yourself, but the process couldn't be easier. Simply gather old shirts or sheets, and have your child cut them into strips with a blunt-end pair of scissors. Then, grab a hulu hoop, and you're good to go. Head over to Disney’s Famil Fun for a comprehensive guide to tying rags onto the hoop so your child can get weaving!
Make a Bleeding Crayon Canvas
This one takes some planning ahead, but don't let that deter you. Next time you find yourself in a craft store, just grab a box full of crayons and a white canvas. Then wait in eager anticipation for your kid to say "I'm bored," and boom! You're all set.
First, help your child affix the crayons on top of the canvas in whatever color-way they prefer, with tips pointed down. Then grab your trusty blow-dryer and get melting. Your kid will come away with a beautiful canvas of rainbow colors! Check out a complete how-to at Whatever... blog.
Every parent loves documenting their kid's life, but there's only so much you can do with all those adorable childhood snapshots. Until now! The time has come to teach your little one the basics of scrapbooking 101. The supplies? An empty notebook or journal, some tape, scissors, markers, and maybe a few stickers if you're really feeling adventurous. Encourage your mini Martha Stewart to arrange the pictures in the pages of the journal, write stories about their memories, and decorate the margins. Hours of free time, here we come!