Holy winter weather! I know I’ve been a little quiet here the last little bit of time. I promise it wasn’t for lack of trying. Like most of the country, we were hit with a polar vortex that left us with windchills of -25 and a regular temperature of -5. Honestly, we were in the tropics compared to the middle of the country which was -65 with windchills! Praise God for heat and warm homes and getting us through those ridiculous days.

Yes, I said ridiculous. No one hates winter more than me. This it ironic because I live in New York which is terrible for nearly six months with snow. Snow is worse than the cold, in my opinion.

Despite the weather, the optimist that I am sees the good and finds the means to get through with precious family time. When you have kids who deserve some sort of outlet but the weather just doesn’t permit it, what can you do? What if you didn’t plan ahead and suddenly you’re all snowed in or shivered in and you want to have rich family time and give those little hands some enrichment?

Here are my top five projects I enjoy doing with my kids. Little or no planning ahead of time required. My oldest said he loves them. (My youngest is too young to tell me.)

1) Make cookies. I know, this is a classic. It is a fun experience for my son because he is able to be hands on to help me. I use the chocolate chip cookie recipe on the bag of Nestle chocolate chips.

Here is a link.

I typically have these products on hand at any given time. Hence, #1 on my list!

2) Play a board game. I have the Wizard of Oz version of Life. (I am a sucker for this classic movie! Ps: I reference it is my first book, WHERE THE HOLIDAYS GO.) It can be any game you’d like. We also played Monopoly but I happen to have that on my iPad. (For the record, I also have Life on my iPad but we did the real version.)

3) I used empty Crystal Lite containers to make cute little “emergency” containers. I learned this from Pinterest but I created my own at Christmas for my son’s teacher and bus driver. At the time, my son wanted me to make him one. I am glad we didn’t at the time because this allowed us to do it during the “stuck-inside week.”

How did I make these? I took the label off an empty Crystal Lite container. You can decorate it or “wallpaper” it, but as you can see from the photo (from the Christmas ones I did), I drew a snowman on them with permanent marker. After I tied a ribbon, I used a simple label to “stamp” them with its contents. In the case of this photo, I did sanitizer and a band-aid and some mints, chocolate, erasers, and paper clips. My son drew Batman and filled with similar things. He keeps it on his desk in his bedroom.

4) We played Hide and Seek.

5) This depends on your child’s interests. My son likes to color but as he gets older, he is more into coloring things to put together to make a 3 dimensional model. He used scotch tape to create a mask! He took paper and manipulated it to cover his head.

Perhaps your child will just make a simpler mask to cover cheek to cheek, or temple to temple. Have them color and decorate the masks!

I will do another post on crafts that require a little (but very little) preparation. This post hopefully helps you when you’re in a pinch and do not have those other products on hand.

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