Cold-Weather Boredom Busters

1. Make s’mores pops. Melt chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Dip the bottom half of a large marshmallow in the chocolate and coat with graham cracker crumbs. Use a kitchen torch or the outdoor grill to toast them.

2. Play beauty parlor. Fill the sink with water so your girl’s dolls can get a fresh look. Have combs, ribbons and hair glitter for those finishing touches.

3. Enjoy an indoor picnic. Spread out a big blanket in the living room and make PBJs or finger-food favorites. No ants at this picnic!

4. Talk in questions. Have a conversation only speaking in questions. First one to use a statement loses!

5. Try the saltine cracker challenge. Each competitor has 60 seconds to eat six saltine crackers. It’s harder than you think!

6. Make paper snowflakes. Fold construction paper as many times as you want and start clipping away. Hang them in the window.

7. Take turns face painting. Grab some non-toxic paints and a few brushes. Use stencils or freehand your masterpiece.

8. Make Kool-Aid play dough. Combine 2½ cups flour, ½ cup salt, 1 tbsp. cream of tartar, and a packet of Kool-Aid drink mix. Add 2 cups boiling water, 3 Tbsp. oil, and stir to combine. Let the dough cool and shape away!

9. Make an original jigsaw puzzle. Cut out a page from a magazine. Mount the picture on poster board and cut into various shapes.

10. Create a menu. Flip through cookbooks and use markers to create a restaurant-style dinner menu. Make the meal, or play pretend!

11. Make pretty bookmarks. Cut out a rectangle from felt and decorate. Be creative – use gems, feathers, buttons and stickers.

12. Plan an imaginary trip to the moon. Make a packing list and itinerary. What will you do there? Who will go with you?

13. Make a food sculpture. What can you make out of M&Ms, vanilla wafers and peanut butter? The final creation makes for a yummy snack.

14. Play the song-title game. One person says a song title and the next person says a song title that has one of the same words in it. Example: “Baby” (Justin Bieber) could become “Baby, One More Time” (Britney Spears).

15. Dip it! Dip makes watching a movie more fun. A quick and yummy recipe: over low heat, stir one 8-oz. package of cream cheese with a standard-size can of chili with no beans. Serve with tortilla chips.

16. Go for a winter walk. Bundle up and take a stroll around the neighborhood or in a local park. Pick up items on nature’s floor, such as acorns and pinecones, then make a centerpiece for the table when you get home.

17. Learn something new. Pick a topic, such as airplanes or Native Americans. Look up 10 interesting facts and present your report to the family over dessert.

18. Do a good deed. Surprise a neighbor by bringing them cookies, or sweeping their front porch.

19. Become an artist. Sit outside and sketch a scene of the changing seasons. Sketch the same landscape in all four seasons to make a cool collage.

20. New placemats! Start with a large (11x17) piece of construction paper. Pick themes such as “My Favorite Things,” and cut out pictures from magazines that you glue all over the sheet, making a collage. Laminate using clear contact paper.

– Alexi Wilbourn


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