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Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
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Olathe, KS 66061

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Creating Winter Fun for the Whole Family

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The cold crisp air, shorter daylight hours and bare trees are all signs of winter's arrival. The lack of sunlight in the evenings and schools being closed for the holiday break leave families with young kids looking for inexpensive, creative and fun activities. Whether you have 15 minutes or several hours, the possibilities for creating fun activities are endless. 

Often the supplies for a fun filled afternoon are inside of your kitchen cabinets or storage closet. With a little creativity anything is possible. The following are a few fun winter activity ideas to try with your family: 

Snow painting

  • Supplies needed: Food coloring, water and wide mouth squeeze bottle.   
  • Directions: Put 5-6 drops of food coloring into a squeeze bottle, fill with water and put on the lid. After a snow fall, kids can use the snow as their canvas and the squeeze bottles as their paint brushes. Kids can also build their own snowman and decorate with their homemade snow paint.    

Snowflake tortillas
You will need a warm up snack to go with your snow play. How about folding a tortilla and cutting it to create a snowflake. This fun and simple snack tastes great and is fun to make. Find the complete recipe here: http://abirdandabean.com/2015/02/tortilla-snowflake.html

How about ice tunnels
Playing with ice in the warm kitchen is always a fun way to interact with your whole family. Challenge each other to see who can create the most intricate or colorful ice tunnel. How do you start this activity?  Please visit for full details and the science behind the activity: http://artandcreativity.blogspot.com/2011/06/ice-tunnels-bring-on-summer-fun.html

Homemade play dough

  • Supplies needed: 3 cups flour, 1 cup salt, 5 teaspoons cream of tartar, 2 cups water, 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and food coloring.  
  • Directions: Mix the first three ingredients in a large sauce pan. Blend water and oil in a separate pan. Add water and oil mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until it thickens. Remove the play dough from the sauce pan and knead for a few minutes. Add flour to stiffen mixture if needed.  Store play dough for up to three months in an air tight container.  Play dough can provide hours of fun. Kids can sculpt figures, use cookie cutters and create shapes with their homemade play dough. http://www.easy-kids-recipes.com/play-dough-recipes.html

Milk carton bird feeder

  • Supplies needed: Any sized milk carton, pencil for perch, stapler, scissors, acrylic paint/brush and string or wire for hanging.
  • Directions: Wash and dry milk carton, staple shut, cut a hole 2 ½ inch wide or cut a square hole (make a hole on both sides), paint and let dry and attach a wire or string to hang feeder. Kids can use their artistic creativity to decorate their own bird feeder. http://www.ziggityzoom.com/activities.php?a=302

Additional resources for kid activities: