I love snowy days and cozy winter evenings when the family hunkers down and spends time together. The kids, on the other hand, get cabin fever fast if we don’t have a bunch of boredom chasers at the ready.
Our house is loaded with books and LEGO™ and we’re always up for a science experiment, impromptu puppet show or dress up contest. Arm yourself with ideas for family fun at home, starting with the following.
This fun activity from Zoom and PBS Kids introduces the concept of oxidation and is a great intro to scientific method. Experiment with a variety of liquids to see how they measure up to lemon juice for polishing pennies to a sparkling shine.
- Lemon juice
- Old, dull pennies
- Paper cups
- Paper towels
Also from PBS Kids, George’s Busy Day is part of a collection of online activities on the Curious George website. It offers 16 counting and numbers games with fun names like Meatball Launcher and Hat Grab.
I’m a fan of H.A. Rey’s Curious George stories from way back, and I like this site for quiet play when kids are feeling a little under the weather. Curious George on Amazon
Spread an old bed sheet on the floor (not the carpet). Help kids to draw their neighborhood, complete with roads, houses, schools, etc. Take it up a notch and add toy cars and trucks, people, and houses made of blocks or LEGO™. When the fun is done, simply wash the sheet and save it for next time.
- Old, white sheet
- Washable markers
- Blocks, LEGO™
- Small cars and trucks
- Small people figures
Board Game Marathon (Pre-K+)
We have a game closet in our house with all of the board games we’ve accumulated over the past – wait for it – 50 years! We have wooden pieces on our Scrabble and Parcheesi boards and bakelite dice in our Yahtzee cups. To the tweens and teens, this stuff is “vintage” and “kinda’ cool.”
When I see mopey faces on a rainy afternoon, I’ll grab a few games, pop some popcorn and set up the living room for a boredom-busting game marathon.
Turn the Kitchen into a Home Tacqueria (Adult Supervision)
Kids love tacos and making their own is an event at our house. Plan ahead and set up an assembly line of all of the ingredients they’ll need to build custom tacos.
Instead of trying to do this on a weeknight, plan to make it for lunch on a Saturday, or a day when the kids are off from school. The folks at YummyHealthyEasy have a classic recipe. Here’s what you’ll need.
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 onion, finely diced
- ⅓ cup tomato paste
- 4 tsp. chili powder
- 1 pound lean ground beef
- 1 tsp. salt
- Corn tortillas (about 8-10)
- Toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, cheese, avocado, sour cream, etc.
With the Toca Hair Salon Me mobile app for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, your child can have fun being a stylist and a client with the snap of a photo.
Or, set up the unplugged version and create a make-believe hair salon. Use the kitchen table and make each chair a stylist’s station complete with spritz bottles, combs, brushes, mirrors and a variety of accessories. Older kids can use hairdryers and cool touch curling irons for a fun slumber party activity. Taco Hair Salon Me
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