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Winter Boredom Buster
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Ever wonder what to do with your children or grandchildren on these long winter days? When our daughter was young, we spent two years in a very small town that had little to offer young families. So we had to get creative—especially during the winter months.

Below are a few of the ideas we came up with that became favorites of our daughter. They don’t cost money—just a little time and imagination.

Build a Playhouse or Fort-- I remember one winter when my husband came home from town with a large empty dryer box. Together he and our daughter made it her house. They cut out a door and windows, and used color markers and stickers to decorate the inside. Her favorite dolls, stuffed animals, play food and blanket went inside. She spent hours playing house, both alone and with us. We’d knock on her door and the playtime would begin.

Act out a Bible Story-- Another favorite was acting out Bible stories. We’d use whatever clothes and household items we had on hand as props. It didn’t have to be fancy. I remember one play in which the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street was baby Jesus, and another in which plastic play food was the lunch the boy bought Jesus to feed the multitudes. Not only was this fun, it brought the Bible alive to her, and put the stories in her memory.

Play Store-- This will take some patience because your kitchen will be disorganized for awhile, but our daughter would beg to play this game. I’d set out certain canned and dried foods and she’d set up a store. She used her creativity to lay out the items the way she wanted, as well as priced the food, which taught her about money. I’d then come with my shopping bag and play money to buy. Of course I’d ask for the storekeeper’s advice once-in-awhile!

Bake Cookies-- Most kids love to bake. Yes, it’s messy. And you may have to bite your tongue when a teaspoon of salt turns into a quarter cup—and you have to start all over. But it’s a wonderful memory. You can’t beat that aroma of homemade cookies baking! This will not only teach your child about measurements, but if you take some cookies to neighbors, your child can discover the joy of sharing.

Indoor Picnic-- We’ve done this with both real and play food. We’d spread our red and white gingham table cloth on the floor and set out the feast. Of course, dolls and stuffed animal were invited. What I remember most about this game is the unhurried, uninterrupted time we had to just sit and talk.

These ideas are simple ones, but that’s not what matter most. What matters is that times like these will get your child away from the TV and you away from your busyness. What matters most is that they create a feeling of home. They can build a memory—and memories last forever.

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By Nancy Canwell. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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