In honor of our friends in the Northeast who may be home-bound due to the blizzard, or those who are just dealing with antsy kids who are done being outside, here are snow-themed activities to keep the family busy. Let snow fly and the let the indoor fun begin!
A group of 10 and 11 year old girls enjoyed these activities at a party we threw over holiday break last month. Or you could watch Finding Nemo. Because Nemo is a clown fish who ends up in a dentist's office in Sydney and not a storm, I don't care what The Weather Channel says.
- Make marshmallow snowmen (see above)
This is a very simple activity. We put our snowmen on cupcakes, but stand alone snowmen are never a bad thing, either. We used jumbo marshmallows for both the head and body held together with a bit of icing in between. The snowmen are even cuter if you have jumbo size for the body and regular size for the head.
We used red licorice for the "scarves" and black icing in a tube. If that's not on hand and you're not about to venture out, you could just melt some chocolate chips and use a toothpick to apply the dots. We used broken pieces of linguine for arms, but if we'd hand pretzels, those would've worked better.
They may just love a bath in hot cocoa, too!
- Create frosty friends without leaving the heat.
We modified this craft from one in a 2011 issue of American Girl Magazine. I couldn't find a link to the article itself, or I'd post it. Here's our version of the craft, which is perfect for those whose washer and drier eat socks and leave lots of lonely singles, as mine does. Note: I had the kids sit on a big blanket on the floor, then when they were done I could just shake it out - clean up was easy. Once I explained what to do and demonstrated the first filling and tying off, they were good to go with minimal supervision
1. Pour dry rice into a plain white sock (kid-sized socks work best, but if you have a lot of time to kill, whip out grown-up sized socks!) We found that the regular white rice we used didn't go through a funnel very well, so we just spooned it in at the top of the sock so that it fills up the toe portion. Do enough so that you have a decent base. Tie it off with a rubber band. Then put in enough rice to make a middle section of your snow person, and tie that off with another rubber band. Do this a third time, using a bit less to make a head. Tie off the top of the head with a third rubber band, and cut of the remaining portion of the sock.
It doesn't take as much rice as you might expect, writes the woman with 2 lb bag of rice in her pantry right now as a resulting of overestimating.
2. Make a hat by cutting off the top of a colorful baby sock. (We actually found that either end will work - if using the toe, you're done, or if using the top, just tie it with string or ribbon) Use a fabric scrap, or additional pieces of sock to make a scarf for your snowperson. We used ribbon left over from the holidays
3. Give your snowman a face. Real craft people will say to use glue and attach fun beads (if you're going for large size snowmen, you could probably get away with buttons) I' not a real crafter, so I handed the girls some markers and they went to town drawing faces. They did not know about the beads and did not miss them. It was fun to see how different girls made different snowmen.
Think of staging your snowmen in funny scenarios around your house and photographing them. A picture of them watching the snow from inside could be fun. Send them photos to Tween Us at TweenUsBlog (at) gmail (dot) com. We'd love to see them and will feature them here!
- Pin the parts on the snowman
Then cut out black construction paper circles for eyes, an orange triangle for the carrot nose, maybe a hat, scarf, brown sticks for arms. Put tape circles on the back of them, and play just as you would pin the tail on the donkey: Spin the blindfolded person and let them loose.
I know, it sounds way too young for your tween. But I was surprise at home much the seven tween girls had when they played this game. There were a lot of giggles, and they even asked to play again.
Get silly with the things the person doing the pinning needs to do. Spinning is fine, but you can get far more creative with jumping, singing, just about anything.
Stay safe, warm and cozy!
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