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Creative ideas to keep the kids entertained on snow days

By Paula Walter
Winter has hit with a vengeance this past week. With the frigid temperatures, ice and snow that have recently plagued much of the country, going outside for more than a few minutes has not been an option. It doesn’t take long before you hear those dreaded words, “I’m bored,” echo through the house. It’s time for some tried but true indoor activities for young and old alike.
An all time favorite hands on science activity for children is making a baking soda and vinegar volcano. Gather play dough or clay and create the base of the volcano, hollowing out a bottom where the explosion will take place. Scoop baking soda into the volcano and add some vinegar. If you want a bigger eruption, simply add more of the baking soda and vinegar and watch the excitement. It is handy to keep some old towels on hand in case things get out of hand.
Making your own play dough is a simple, albeit messy, operation. Add one cup of cold water, one cup of salt, two teaspoons of vegetable oil and food coloring in a bowl. Mix well and then slowly add three cups of flour and two tablespoons of cornstarch. It will feel like bread dough. Cover and store. Play dough can offer hours of fun for young and old alike.
Sometimes, the messier the project, the more fun that is had. Pre-schoolers will love this activity that involves washable tempera paint and a salad spinner. Squirt paint from several bottles with different colors into the spinner, making sure to get paint not only on the bottom but also on the sides. Cut out different shapes using any kind of plain paper you have on hand. Place in the spinner, pull the cord and watch the fun begin. Lay the colorful designs out on a flat surface to dry.
Board games are always a favorite for children and adults of all ages. Jenga, Connect Four, Spot It and Uno are some of the 10 best selling games according to that will entertain children six years old and up. Sorry, Monopoly, Operation and Trouble are games that have been around a long time that remain family favorites. Go Fish, Crazy Eights, Old Maid, War and Snap are card games that have been popular with kids for years. Cards are not only fun to play, but children learn to take turns and learn some basic counting skills. Fluxx is another card game for kids eight and up that has become popular where the cards themselves make up the rules of the game.
Websites such as Pinterest offer a plethora of craft ideas including crafts for children that include making birds, bees and panda bears out of paper plates, hand-print art ideas and crafts made out of popsicle sticks and egg cartons. These sites offer endless ideas that can keep everyone in your family entertained and busy.
For the rest of the story, pick up a copy of this week's Tomahawk.