8 a.m.: Snow day! Fun!
9:23 a.m.: What am I doing with these kids? Send help.
We're right there with you, readers. There's nothing like the panic of realizing you have to entertain children for long periods of time at home.
Thankfully, children like making stuff. Squishy, messy stuff that you can create with ingredients you probably have in your kitchen right now. And haven't you been trying to use up that tartar sauce anyway?! So turn off the TV (momentarily) and let your kids pick one of these DIY projects (or all of them). Hey, you can even videotape it, put it on YouTube and maybe it goes viral. If you become famous, please give us credit.
Children all over the country are stockpiling glue thanks to the the current slime craze. And hey, we get it: It's fun and easy to create. You only need glue, Borax powder or laundry detergent and water. You can also add things like beads, lotion and food coloring to get different textures and colors. You'll find a recipe here. If you want to skip the Borax, here are some natural recipes. Maybe your children can sell it in the neighborhood so you can recoup some of your household's skyrocketing glue expenses.
Move over slime, because the Dr. Seuss-inspired Oobleck can be pretty entertaining too. You can pick it up like a solid but then it oozes through your hands like a liquid. And you only need corn starch, water and food coloring (optional). See how it's done here.
Ever set up a whole painting project and your kids declare two minutes later, "I'm done painting!"? Well, this one lasts longer because they help make the paint first. And you only need shaving cream, white glue, flour and food coloring. Just remember the order of the ingredients seems to matter. You'll find a recipe here. Paint away, future puffy paint Picassos!
Unless you just stocked up recently, your play dough is probably dried out. But there are lots of ways to make homemade play dough. You can even find ones that require no tartar sauce and no heating. And if you keep it in an airtight container, it will still be good on future snow days! (Is it too soon to mention the potential of more snow days?!)
Eventually, you will send those children outside in the snow. And before they have a chance to say, "It's too cold out here!" get them painting. To make snow paint, all you need are spray bottles and food coloring. And away they go! Parents can hopefully watch from the comfort of their homes.
Make a toy parachute
Getting tired of messy projects? This activity is easy and requires practically no cleanup. Just find a plastic grocery bag, a paper cup and some yarn, ribbon or string. You'll find the instructions here. You can even decorate your parachute. Happy flying!
The recycling bin is a treasure box
OK, when things get really desperate, maybe challenge your kids to see what they can create from the stuff in your recycle bin. They can use their imaginations or get inspired here. Doesn't it feel good to be eco-friendly and keep kids entertained?