(WPRI) -- Now that the winter chill is finally settling in and we've even had a couple of snow storms, perhaps you’ve wondered what to do with the children on such cold and snowy days. Research has shown that even a half-hour of exercise and fresh air is good for your and your child's health, so our parenting experts gave us some fun winter activities to do with kids this year.
Fun Activities To Do in the Snow:
- Snow angels. How fun is it to get on the ground and make these? You can do them in patterns. One large one small, you can also count how many snow angels it takes to get across the yard.
- Build a snowman or snow family. Dig out old clothes and hats you no longer are going to use and start to build your snow family. You can have a contest on who’s is fancier, or takes the longest to build. Either way it’s fun.
- Ice skating. If you have never tried this or it’s been a long while since you have been on skates, what a great family memory to start. If you are skating outdoors make sure your town has checked that the ice is safe enough to skate on or go to your local ice skating rink.
- Sledding is an old time favorite. Go on be a kid again. Its fun and your children will remember this time.
Outside-the-Box Ideas for Having Fun in the Snow:
- Snow shoeing. You can buy snow shoes for a low cost. Or you can make your own by using a card board box cutout, some small tree branches, string or rubber bands to attach to your boots, and then off to trek around, explore, and get that heartbeat up with some fresh air and exercise. If your child can walk they can snow shoe.
- Build with ice blocks. Dig out those old plastic containers that are building up inside your cabinet that you don’t use. Fill with water add some color to them with food coloring. Leave outside to freeze. Next day you and your kids will have a blast building with all the different size, shapes and colored blocks that you made.
- Make ice candles in the snow. Get a container filled with water. Place a small tin can inside, hold it down with some rocks. Once it has hardened into ice, place a candle in the ice sculpture to illuminate outside at night.
- Make maple taffy. How fun does this sound? You need maple trees to make maple taffy also called sugar snow. If you live near an area that has Manitoba Maples this is a must do. If not look for local sugar houses. Boil sap to temperature of 234 F (112 c) and pour over clean layer of snow. It quickly hardens and becomes a tasty taffy treat. Yummy! Click here for more information on making maple taffy.
Activities To Do Without Snow:
- Dog sled race. Get the sleds out and have your children and maybe their friends pull the sleds and fill them with toys, sticks or whatever you deem and time it. Great way to get exercise, some laughs and fun.
- Polar bear plunge and timer. Pack in a tote bag swim goggles, a towel, an adult swim suit, oversize flippers, a hat, and sunglass. Now put the timer on your child has to put on all this gear over their winter clothes and time it. See who can beat the time. To make it more interesting adds some obstacle course they have to do. Walk around a tree; swing on the swing set use your imagination.
Creative Indoor Activities:
Silly Putty Recipe #1:
- Solution of 55 percent Elmer's glue solution in water
- Solution of 16 percent sodium borate (Borax) in water
- Food coloring (optional)
- Ziploc bags
- Mix together four parts of the glue solution with one part of the borax solution. Add food coloring, if desired. Refrigerate the mixture in the sealed bag when not in use.
- House hold items such as cotton balls, twigs from outside, scrap paper, scissors, magazines and glue. Let your child be the next famous artist by creating a winter master piece.
- Trace the moon. Each night have your child get a piece of paper and draw what the moon looks like at that time. Do this each night until you have a full moon. It gets dark early so it’s easy to do this with young children. You can explore the internet about the moon and why it changes and chart the changes.