Thursday, December 3, 2015

Family fun: beating the winter blues

"For families with young children, the winter months can seem like the most punishing time of the year:  shortened days, cold temperatures, and snow days all drive kids indoors.  How do we keep our kids happy, healthy, and active when we are already struggling to do the same for ourselves?"  
-Battling Winter Blues Positive Parenting Solutions

The article mentions turning off the television, remembering routines, and encouraging enthusiasm for indoor activities. Some of our favorite indoor activities involve creative play and science.

Creative Play
  • Play-Doh and Moon Dough are worth the mess when it is too cold to play outside and the weather has everyone feeling a bit too blah. Homemade play dough is fun too!
  • Setting up a pretend store can keep kids entertained. Grab a play cash register and stock up on play money. The kids can "sell" books, snacks, toys... really anything they want to gather up into a display. 
  • Make simple stick puppets with popsicle sticks, tape, and construction paper - then let the kids give you a puppet show from behind the sofa. They can even make and distribute tickets or create advertising posters before the opening act.
  • Use simple household ingredients for fun kid-approved science projects like a play-doh volcano that erupts with baking soda and vinegar. Or, replace the baking soda with salt and use it to show the kids how to make pennies shine.
  • Sometimes store-bought items can be fun and use a bit of science. The Original Melting Snowman (or it's $5 copycat in Michael's craft stores) entertained us throughout the day on Thanksgiving this year. My daughter enjoyed building him up and we laughed as he slowly oozed and "melted" for the next couple hours.

Do you want to browse even more ideas for winter family entertainment? recently posted a parents' guide to surviving the winter months. In the Scholastic Parent Guide to Winter you will find learning activities, free printables, expert articles, and top book picks can help you maximize every minute with your kids of all ages.

Winter can be difficult. It's darker, colder, and here in the Atlanta area, it is often gray and rainy. But we can make the most of our winter surroundings with a bit of family fun!

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