By Alyssa Goldman, Cheapism.com
Long winter weekends will be with us for a while. We're surrounded by kids, responsible for keeping them entertained, and it seems like there's nothing to do. But wait … We found six fun and cheap indoor winter activities that keep them occupied and stave off boredom.
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Get crafty. Take out the markers, colored pencils, paint, scissors, glue, paper, pipe cleaners etc. and let imaginations run wild. Art is one cheap indoor activity where there are no rules. Whether your kids create a personalized snowflake or build a home out of Popsicle sticks, emphasize that creativity is key.
Play with your food. Bring arts and crafts into the kitchen with recipes from Parenting. Create a ladybug out of vegetables with a cherry tomato, cucumber, low-fat cream cheese, black olives, chive stems, and carrots. And after the kids prepare various creations, you won't have to worry about making lunch the rest of the week. This cheap indoor winter activity will keep little hands busy and bodies healthy.
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Plan an indoor picnic. Place a blanket on the floor and assemble the kids' creative edible treats for an indoor picnic. If you don't mind setting the heat on high, pretend it's summer: throw on sunglasses and pull out the swimwear. This cheap indoor winter activity is sure to make any youngster giggle.
Conduct scientific experiments. Just because school is out doesn't mean children don't need to use their brains. Learning can be fun -- and in some cases, tasty -- simply by creating various concoctions. Prepare homemade ice cream with ingredients already on hand. If it's snowing outside, make the cold white flakes an essential part of your ice cream treat: Stir five cups of snow along with condensed milk, vanilla extract, and a cup of sugar. (Details available at iVillage.)
Another kid-approved "experiment": Make goo from scratch. Empty a box of cornstarch into a bowl, then add 1.5 cups of water and 15 drops of food coloring. Now invite the young chemists to roll the goo in their hands and pour it from a cup. No snow out back? Make your own. The bonus with this cheap indoor winter activity: It doesn't melt and you can make it any color you like. This stuff is non-toxic, but there's no tasting.
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Get an early start on spring cleaning. But don't tell the kids that they're doing household chores. Have them go through their closets and drawers to choose clothes they no longer wear or have outgrown. Make sure they browse through their rooms as well as the playroom to find toys that have been collecting dust. Donate the "old" items to Goodwill, the Salvation Army, or a local organization that accepts these items. This cheap winter activity will rid your home of clutter and teach your children the importance of charity.
Just dance. Exercise tends to go by the wayside during the cold months so make it a priority to keep on moving. Dance around the house and have a friendly competition to see who can come up with the silliest moves. Visit YouTube and find a dance routine you can learn together. There are plenty of instructional videos that break down the choreography and make it easy to master. Any missteps will bring about even more laughter.
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