It is that time of year, the days are short and the weather is cold. If your house is like mine there are children looking for things to do. Oh sure, Lego sets and play kitchens might buy you a little time, but I have compiled a short list of things you can try the next time your kids shout, "I'm bored". These items will be long on fun and short on money.
1. Take a hike - Bundle up and get outside for a walk. Tell your child you are going to look for all the things that are different in your neighborhood or the park this time of year. Pack a snack and some hot cocoa in a thermos. We love this book: I Love Dirt!: 52 Activities to Help You and Your Kids Discover the Wonders of Nature
2. Go sledding - Much like #1, this is a ton of fun and great exercise. After all the fresh air maybe they will nap.
3. Go to the library - Most local libraries are full of activities. Catch a drop-in activity or browse the shelves yourself. The bonus, you can leave there with a whole bag of things to do when you get home.
4. Cook something - Go through your cookbooks with your kids and pick something. It is a great way to get them to try something new and have fun too. We like this cookbook: FamilyFun: Cooking with Kids.
5. Family game night (or day) - Get out those checkers, or a deck of cards. Turn off the T.V. and see who sinks the .
6. Have a picnic inside - Kids love to pretend. Pretend winter is over and you are having a special picnic lunch. Spread a blanket on the floor and serve lunch there.
In all the years I have lived in Michigan I have come to realize that winter comes every year whether I am ready or not. With these activities I can make those crazy days with bored kids a bit easier.