Most of the country is in full-on winter mode. But spring is just around the corner. If you are
scrambling for what to do with the kids before the weather breaks, keep reading for a few
activities that will keep little minds engaged and entertained.
Dive into some kitchen science:
If you think about it, science takes place in your kitchen each and every time you cook a meal.
From balancing how much baking soda you put into cookies to determining the perfect pressure
for your favorite Instant Pot recipes, you may as well be measuring with test tubes. Alleviate
boredom by showing the kids just how interesting cooking is. If snacktime is near, you can even
turn their favorite treats into a lesson on DNA or geology. One of the tastiest experiments,
however, is to make two different kinds of biscuits. One with regular milk and baking powder,
the other with baking soda and buttermilk.
Let them use technology as a learning aid:
Technology gets a bad reputation among parents. There is some merit to this, and kids who are
simply given a phone or video game system to keep them entertained are missing out on an
entire world of knowledge. You can avoid falling into this trap by investing in a kid-friendly tablet,
which they can also use to help with homework during the school year. They can use their new
device to play educational games-in-disguise, like Prodigy, use Google Earth to visit remote
locations, and, on those days they just want to relax, they can log into Netflix and chill with their
favorite show. Don’t add the cheapest model to your cart; do your research first to make sure
that it has all the power and features you need (and that it will stand up to the abuse!).
An oldie but goodie, hide-and-seek has been around since at least the second century and is
played in some iteration across the globe. Your house makes the perfect indoor playground,
and there are lots of places for children to hide. Be careful, however, that children understand
where they are not allowed to go, such as an unfinished basement, garage, or anywhere there
might be tools, chemicals, and other dangers lurking.
Kids of all ages love to make things, and crafting together is an excellent way to bond. Even
more importantly, crafts can easily turn into a sneaky lesson in science or history. You might, for
example, make your own Shrinky Dinks out of leftover plastic containers, and then dive deep
into why plastic shrinks in the heat. Similarly, you can make jewelry, drawings, or pottery in
different styles, and compare them to cultures around the world and through the ages.
Make some noise:
You can make beautiful music together with your children by simply utilizing a few easy-to-find
household objects. Spoons, buckets, and even the kitchen table can become instruments with
100 percent imagination and zero effort. Challenge your kids to write a song and compose their
own music. You can even use music as a segue into a mathematics lesson by having children
count beats and establish patterns.
Have a pajama party:
If all else fails, grab your pajamas and have an old-fashioned pajama party. Together with your
children, you can have a pillow fight, eat popcorn, watch movies, and wait for spring to
reemerge. If you don’t mind them staying up a little later, you can also enthrall older kids with
urban legends, and then discuss the deep psychological reasons why they persist.
No matter what activity you choose to do, make the most of the bad weather by incorporating
physical activity or education. Otherwise, your kids may wind up left to their own devices. While
free time is absolutely necessary, the best use of time is that which makes memories.
Written by Carrie Spencer