Wintery Weather Fun

by Christine - From Dates to Diapers on January 18, 2010

What words come to mind when you think of this time of the year?

Maybe you live in Chicago and are snowed in, stuck at home with all your lovely and adorable kids. Cold. Bored.

Or, perhaps you live in Southern California and your family still heads to the beach on any given day. Lucky.

Well, this time of year takes a toll on my nerves and patience. Even in mostly-sunny Northern California, it’s too cold to send the kids out back (although, they beg some days until I relent), the rain lets up for just long enough for things to begin to dry out and then it rains again, and I refuse to let my kiddos play video games all afternoon . Frustrated.

Anyone who knows me well, knows that I am not a very crafty person. However, there are some activities that never grow old. Take sculpting homemade play-doh – also known as Kooky Dough – or coloring, for instance. Occupied.

There is one such activity – more of a craft, really – that my kids and I enjoy. Not only is this a perfect rainy afternoon distraction, but the end result can be transformed into fabulous gifts for grandparents, aunts and uncles. Think Valentine’s Day!

We spend hours, quite literally, making melted crayon art, just as I did when I was a kid. {Adult supervision is an absolute must!}

Here’s how:

Gather together a roll of wax paper, your broken and de-papered crayons – if your kiddos are anything ike mine, you’re sure to find tons – and an electric skillet. A crayon sharpener may come in handy, and parchment paper may actually be a better choice over wax.

crayon designs - what you need

Take a sheet of wax paper and place it over a well-heated electric griddle. The “warm” setting works well and eliminates accidental owies.

crayon art - step one

Carefully draw on the wax paper as the crayons melt into a beautiful design. Sometimes we shave off pieces of crayon and let the slivers of color fall where they may, creating a more “random” piece.

crayon art - ethan

crayon art - josh

crayon art - together

When our pieces have cooled, we either cut the colorful artwork into fun shapes, trim it up and place it on a window to catch the intermittent sunlight, or we cover with clear contact paper and turn them into one-of-a-kind placemats.

crayon art - window

crayon art - placemat

Wintery Weather Fun!

Now, I’d like to hear from YOU! I have a $50 Visa Gift card to give to one of my friends here at From Dates to Diapers. Simply leave me a comment telling me about your winter fun ideas. You may enter once a day, through midnight (ET) on Sunday, January 24th, as long as you leave me a unique idea each time. The winner will be chosen at random, and will be announced next Monday, showcasing their winning winter fun idea!! Check out the winner’s idea!

This post is sponsored by Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup who wants you to know that 32 feet of fresh egg noodles go into every can. For lots of fresh ideas about how to keep your kids entertained and the chance to win $500, check out Wintery Weather Fun at DivineCaroline.

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{ 422 comments }

emily January 23, 2010 at 10:11 pm

bake an array of cookies!!!! those are my best childhood memories with mom!

Benita January 23, 2010 at 10:11 pm

We bake together and make hot mulled apple cider. Then we play a board game or cards as we eat what we’ve created.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Heather Goldsmith January 23, 2010 at 10:11 pm

One of our favorite winter activities is make sugar cookies in alphabet shapes and spell out words. It really is a lot of fun. Just make sure everyone has clean hands before you play with the cookies.
dontaskme22(at)yahoo(dot)com

emily January 23, 2010 at 10:11 pm

play dress up with mommys clothes and makeup!!! :)

emily January 23, 2010 at 10:12 pm

go through the house and look what you can donate to charity… give the kids a surprise trip to cookies or ice cream on the way home as a thank you for giving away their old stuff and a way of showing them to give back to the community!

emily January 23, 2010 at 10:13 pm

start a scrapbook! everyone has to create their own page(s)!

emily January 23, 2010 at 10:15 pm

choreograph a dance or show and video tape it so you can watch it back later! let the kids be the director!

Amy Delong January 23, 2010 at 10:16 pm

once a week the kids get to pick anything they want to make&we do it together!

ardelong2(at)gmail(dot)com

Jammie January 23, 2010 at 10:39 pm

Our winter fun is board games. We pull out the board games and relax while having fun.

Cynthia W January 23, 2010 at 10:43 pm

For wintery fun we make Smores in the fireplace.

Bridget Combs January 23, 2010 at 10:51 pm

We love playing the Wii

Aimee W. January 23, 2010 at 11:03 pm

Just the other day, the kids and I baked doggie brownies. I found the recipe on the internet. We had SO much fun…and so did our dogs!

Amanda Barnes January 24, 2010 at 12:20 am

When it is too miserably cold to go outside, I try to make different kid friendly (and fun) snacks. A few weeks ago I wanted to make a cake with a twist, so I made a rainbow cake (the kind where you put the batter in 4-6 containers each with different colors and pour them in separately to make a rainbow look) and wanted to decorate it non-traditionally, so I ended up putting nerds, chopped up candy canes and laffy taffy on as the icing! It was so yummy and colorful :)
Amanda Barnes
amandakbarnes90@gmail.com

Stacy January 24, 2010 at 12:51 am

My daughter got great Play-Doh sets for Christmas and they have been keeping her busy for hours.

Cori Westphal January 24, 2010 at 1:05 am

I have a jungle gym and swings we set up in our basement so the kids can play on the “playground” all winter long!

Sarah L January 24, 2010 at 1:30 am

A trip to the library is always fun. Books, DVDs, CDs – all for free to check out. You can choose to look for a particular subject and then find books & DVDs that go along with that.

Susan B January 24, 2010 at 1:30 am

We bake a lot, put together jigsaw puzzles and chase the dogs when they try to steal the pieces we drop and play game after game after game of UNO

Cynthia W January 24, 2010 at 1:52 am

For winter fun, we make smores in the fireplace.

Beverly January 24, 2010 at 2:07 am

We scrapbook on cold winter days.

Carol January 24, 2010 at 2:48 am

Final entry, and I think a wonderful activity is to get together at the dining room table and play board games.

L. January 24, 2010 at 3:08 am

My fun ideas are puppet shows when the weather is being icky. My nieces and nephews love them and have such a fun time. :)

Sheila B January 24, 2010 at 3:16 am

We always made “Rainy day candy” when the weather was bad.My daddy used to make this when he couldnt work in the rain so thats the name I gave it as a little girl. And we always had hot chocolate by the fire while we read books.

Jen January 24, 2010 at 4:24 am

We make food for all of our backyard animals — squirrels, deer, turkey, birds!

Geoff K January 24, 2010 at 6:34 am

Every winter we have a great time re-doing or re-decorating the kids’ rooms with them — this year, we’ll be attempting to paint a mural on one of the walls, and we decided on a “family tree” theme. It’ll hopefully be an ongoing project that we can come back to over the course of the next few months, especially when the winter weather keeps us indoors!

kelly wakefield January 24, 2010 at 7:14 am

We make a fire and roast marshmallows!

Erma January 24, 2010 at 7:22 am

We love to play video games.

patricia January 24, 2010 at 7:50 am

We build snowmen for winter fun!

Tom Bellamy January 24, 2010 at 7:55 am

We tell stories by the fireplace.

mary ellen s January 24, 2010 at 8:01 am

Crafts based on the upcoming holiday Valentines, St. Patricks, Easter etc there is always something to prepare for and we love making decorations

al henneberry January 24, 2010 at 8:03 am

We have 5 daughters who practice gymnastics in the living room.

EMMA L HORTON January 24, 2010 at 8:11 am

YOU CAN ALWAYS GO OUT IN THE SNOW AND PLAY WITH THE LITTLE ONES FOR A WHILE…AFTER THEY GET A LITTLE COLD THEY WILL WANT TO GO BACK INSIDE WHERE IT IS WARM … THIS WILL SATISFY THEM UNTIL THE NEXT SNOWFALL

May Schultz January 24, 2010 at 8:13 am

When it’s cold and snowy outside, I just get out a jigsaw puzzle, and keep busy with that, in a nice warm house.

Anne G January 24, 2010 at 8:33 am

Baking cookies with the kids is great winter fun. They love to make chocolate chip and cut out cookies.

Karen January 24, 2010 at 9:27 am

We visit our local Goodwill store and get a bunch of new games really cheap, play them for awhile, take them back and get different ones.

Terri Dell January 24, 2010 at 9:34 am

When the weather is really bad outside, which it is often here, I make it a movie or reading day. Popcorn, and a few healthy snacks and juices. It’s quality time and we stay warm.

Suzanne Lewis January 24, 2010 at 9:36 am

We decorate pine cones with glitter and dots left over from hole punchers.

txhottie_86 at yahoo dot com

Cynthia C January 24, 2010 at 9:48 am

Winter is a good time for a trip to the library to pick out some good books and movies.

scottsgal January 24, 2010 at 10:00 am

we go to a local childs museum

Sheila Hickmon January 24, 2010 at 10:05 am

Since my daughter loves to cook, we always come up with some crazy recipes to make.
We make playdoh a lot during the winter, she loves that!
Thanks!

Ashley January 24, 2010 at 10:42 am

We make hot tea and cuddle up on the sofa with one of my son’s favorite movies.

ashaldridge (at) gmail (dot) com

Mami2jcn January 24, 2010 at 10:42 am

We like to stay in eating popcorn and working on puzzles.

Darcie K January 24, 2010 at 10:42 am

My daughter and I spend hours making friendship bracelets for her to hand out to her friends. We also went to the fabric store and bought supplies to make our own tutus. It was such a great time!
dmkayes@gmail.com

Jason Bordelon January 24, 2010 at 10:48 am

homeade soup or hot cocoa, watching my 3yr old daughter play outside in the occasional ice because here in La we dont get snow.

Diane January 24, 2010 at 11:01 am

We went sledding with my bfs daughter for the first time last weekend and we plan on doing it a lot more frequently! She had gone a few times with her mom before but never with us, and i had never ever been! Growing up on long island there wasn’t really anyplace to go! We also do a lot of painting. I get a lot of wood and ceramics from the craft stores and and we paint them together

Jeanine p January 24, 2010 at 11:05 am

We like to go to the movies on a cold day :) It doesn’t snow here in FL :)

thank goodness ==

http://www.icoulduseadeal.blogspot.com
Jeanine jtrophy at gmail dot com

Joanne Schultz January 24, 2010 at 11:30 am

baking cookies is always a fun venture with kids. Just give them tasks appropriate to their ages.

Thanks for the giveaway!

Dddiva January 24, 2010 at 12:28 pm

We like to make tents all over the house, and tunnels. HOURS of fun.

Susan Smith January 24, 2010 at 12:32 pm

We play board games and do crafts.

Allison January 24, 2010 at 12:43 pm

We will play just about any board game!

gina January 24, 2010 at 12:50 pm

There are so many easy indoor craft projects geared towards children. Plus, there is baking & games & DVD’s.

Betty C January 24, 2010 at 1:40 pm

Often board games start to get boring and we need activity. For old fashioned fun we play Charades.

Suzanne Wilhoit January 24, 2010 at 1:57 pm

My daughter just turned 2 and we are getting ready to make valentines for everyone with stamps…

christina singer January 24, 2010 at 2:01 pm

cold yucky days mean baking cookies and breads with the kids around here. we don;t worry about making a mess, we just find a new recipe or maybe an old favorite and have a ball

carol ~ January 24, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Being in California we pack up and go to the snow and play for awhile till we get too cold to go on. Then we come back down and get pizza to warm up. Lots of fun!

Erica C. January 24, 2010 at 2:14 pm

That is so neat! I love the colors. We do a lot of jewelry making during the winter. Thanks :)

Kristin January 24, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I don’t know how inventive this is, but…my daughters and I like to stay in our pj’s, cuddled up in blankets, and watch movies, and drink hot chocolate.

Jimmy January 24, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Playing board games is a fun activity for the winter

Candie L January 24, 2010 at 2:30 pm

We like to play a lot of card games. The boys are getting old enough to start learning Pitch and other games. THank you

lisa January 24, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Craft projects are another way to stay occupied inside.

Kate January 24, 2010 at 2:55 pm

Cooking is always a fun activity. Sometimes we do little luau parties to inspire warmth!

Sonya January 24, 2010 at 3:04 pm

I like to get window markers and let the kids decorate the windows. It makes for a more beautiful view than rain and sleet!

Kelly Ann T. January 24, 2010 at 3:39 pm

We like to make a big pot of soup and homemade bread. These taste so good together on a cold winter’s day

Vicki Andrew January 24, 2010 at 3:44 pm

making paper can be fun, I also like watching the old classic TV shows off of netflix.
singermagic1(at)yahoo(dot)com

Sue January 24, 2010 at 3:57 pm

Our winter fun is making dough art. Kids seem to love it! Thanks for the giveaway!

Justine January 24, 2010 at 4:20 pm

Well this winter fun idea only works when there is actual snow, but it’s always every kids favorite! When you see it is snowing outside, take a clean baking pan or huge bowl and set it outside where it can collect snow. When it is full enough, bring it inside and scoop some into bowls for the kids (and parents too probably!). Then sprinkle powdered drink mix (think cherry, grape, etc) on top and eat, YUM! A REAL snow cone for a change, and they’re almost free!!! Honestly this is one of my kids fave things to do and all the neighborhood kids always freak out when I offer them one, try it!

Chrysa January 24, 2010 at 4:26 pm

We like to make “leftover soup”. We find leftovers stored in the fridge and freezer, then add noodles or rice to make a new creation. Sometimes it’s great, but sometimes just so so. Either way it’s fun.

Holly January 24, 2010 at 4:29 pm

We play games mostly.

kathy pease January 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm

get peat pots and flower seeds and have the kids help you plant perennials indoors..then in the spring when the weather is great to get back outside have them help transfer them to the garden :)

lis piquette January 24, 2010 at 4:36 pm

we like to bake bread ,mix the dough play outside while it rises ,and shape backout to shovel- and back inside to bake

Rosey January 24, 2010 at 5:01 pm

Every winter, at least once, we camp out indoors. We get out the tents, the sleeping bags, the flameless lanterns, etc. We also use the inside, homemade smore maker, which isn’t as cool as cooking outside at a campground, but it’s a very close second.

Shelly January 24, 2010 at 5:17 pm

I love to watch a movie and eat popcorn curled up on the couch with kitty and hubby!

Christine Jensen January 24, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Turn on music and dance!

samantha January 24, 2010 at 6:02 pm

Winter is mild where my family and I live, so our activities are much the same as any other time of year. We do, however, love making snowflake cut-outs since don’t see that type of weather in deep south Texas. Its a great way to pretend we are in a place that is really cold.

Sarah in MO January 24, 2010 at 6:15 pm

Read lots of books!

Thanks for the giveaway!

Jennifer H January 24, 2010 at 6:21 pm

Winter fun, we went to see ICE at the Gaylord Palms. It’s really a neat experience.

Jennifer January 24, 2010 at 6:22 pm

Snuggling under a blanket with some popcorn and a great DVD!

Pinkerbelle January 24, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Spread a little joy,
but don’t gain weight:
Bake cookies for the neighbors;
they’ll think you’re GREAT!

Charity S. January 24, 2010 at 6:43 pm

We make paper people and cities to go with them. All you need is paper, color pencils, and a little bit of imagination.

Lexi January 24, 2010 at 7:03 pm

make great little crafts like friendship braceletes or warm cozy blankets. i’ve been doing a lot of crafts this winter and it’s just fun to get together and make a nice scrapbook, or cuddle under the warm blanket you made. it’s also great to make braceletes because who doesn’t love some jewelry?

Becky Grady January 24, 2010 at 7:14 pm

We have movie night, and all snuggle up on the couch with blankets and popcorn.

R Hicks January 24, 2010 at 7:20 pm

One thing we like to do together is have a fun game of darts with the kids. Darts with the suction cups that is

Nancy Mesmer January 24, 2010 at 7:23 pm

I am a mother of 4, and have always loved the crafty activities on rainy and wintery days…which we have a lot of! But I have to say I now favor the Wii just as much! We got one for Christmas, and we have been up and moving since! Everyone gathers in the livingroom, cheers eachother on, and graciously takes turns. We get our family time and were all up and moving like never before. Loads of fun!
momof4bats@aol.com

steven lewis January 24, 2010 at 7:28 pm

with all the sports on tv during the winter, there is lots of tv to watch

barbara wright January 24, 2010 at 7:50 pm

Make snow angels and then come inside and have hot cocoa with marshmallows – yumm!

Brandy Byrne January 24, 2010 at 7:52 pm

WE love board games as well. I like to get them to do “educational” ones like Scrabble, etc.

Samantha Daleo January 24, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Our winter fun has been back to basics with good old fashioned board games. Every day we try to bring out a new one (thankfully we have 7 or 8..so they all seem new) and we create so many memories just spending that time together laughing and playing!

Jennifer Jozwiak January 24, 2010 at 8:13 pm

we made hommade hot cocoa & marshmallows then we’d color and watch movies!

Patrice P January 24, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Go on a nature walk, then come home and bake cookies.

dn6511 January 24, 2010 at 8:17 pm

Bake wonderful Chocolate Chip Cookies with Hot Chocolate drinks

Jennifer Miller January 24, 2010 at 8:34 pm

We like to play the brain teaser games on the Wii, that way it doesn’t feel like we’re playing a game and we’re learning at the same time!

susan smoaks January 24, 2010 at 8:36 pm

wintery weather fun for us is making cookies and eating them with milk

Tim Hughes January 24, 2010 at 8:38 pm

My favorite winter fun activity fun here in Wisconsin is grilling steaks in a blinding snowfall and having some Milwaukee Pops with friends and enjoying the snow!

vivian January 24, 2010 at 8:42 pm

make adance routine ty.

Aimee W. January 24, 2010 at 8:53 pm

Although this isn’t my favorite activity, the kids love it and insist upon it: pop in a favorite DVD on cold winter days.

Shannon January 24, 2010 at 8:57 pm

We play dart tag. I have to boys. sgegutz@gmail.com

cwaltz January 24, 2010 at 9:18 pm

My kids have been watching the Universe DVD series. They have been enthralled with every little detail.

Christine
dazed1821@aol.com

Cujo January 24, 2010 at 9:18 pm

My boys and I enjoy Monster Truck ralleys on wintry days.

celia January 24, 2010 at 9:53 pm

watercolors are often used these days, as are playing cards and any other random games we invent such as colliding pumpkins and jumping off the sofa.

Sand January 24, 2010 at 9:59 pm

We check out books and movies from the library and light up the fireplace for some family bonding time of watching movies or reading.

Brian E. January 24, 2010 at 10:04 pm

Thanks for the giveaway…our daughters used to love making Papier-mâché animals, usually modeled on their pet poodle.

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