February 2, 2014

Six More Weeks of Winter? I'm going to need some more Pinterest!

Well, it's official.  The news media has captured the sad fact that Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow.  Looks like we're in for six more weeks of snow, ice storms and sub zero temperatures.  We've already missed four days of school which will have to be made up in bright, sunny June.  Please don't let us miss any more.

Our family has not been outdoors much this winter.  I envy the moms who post pictures of their family snow shoeing through the mountains, tubing down a big hill or skating on a tiny pond.  We've done none of that.  There was one day of sledding that left us all cold, wet and whiny.

The real danger in staying indoors these winter months is that the boys will play games on their tablet from sun up to sun down.  A current favorite is My Singing Monsters.  I allow them 45 minutes of game time during the day.  If they want more, each must do a household chore and read a book.  They will happily do both in order to get some additional game time.  It becomes necessary vital to find activities to distract them from the touchscreen.

Despite this post's title, only one of these indoor activities actually came from a board on Pinterest.   The crayon rubbing was something I remember doing in second grade.  Have you seen the paper you can buy "ready made" for this?  Where's the fun in that?  We did ours the old-fashioned way!

Liam loves stuffed animals.  When we bought Fuzzoodles for a friend's birthday present, I could tell that he really wanted to keep them for himself.  I was excited when I found a big set at an after Christmas sale. These are great open-ended craft materials.  The kits are a cross between giant pipe cleaners (chenille stems in politically-correct terms) and Mr. Potato Head.  Lots of fun for 3-6 year olds.  Truth be told, they're even fun for grown-ups!

These SuperBowl bingo cards were a big hit.  Since the game was on at dinner and bed time, we played during the pre-game show.  I did cover the bottle space with a sticker.  I guess we could have pretended it was soda or water, but it really did look like a bottle of beer to me.  There's no reason a four year old should get excited about seeing a beer commercial.  The rest of the icons were fun to watch for.  (The one that looks like a snowmobile is actually a television camera.)  We ended up playing whole card bingo and Henry won!  It was so much fun, in fact, that I'm going to try it again with these Winter Olympics bingo cards.

 Lastly, we started an activity to practice scientific inquiry.  I'm not sure Henry has much exposure to science in his first grade class.  I don't hear much about specific activities like I did last year, so I've decided to take up the slack.  We placed the bottom of a celery head in a shallow dish of water.  Each day we observe it closely for changes.  The boys record their observations in notebooks.  I also asked the boys to make a hypothesis about what would happen to the celery bottom in ten days.  Liam predicts that it will "shrink and melt".  Henry thinks it will "rot".

These are the things that pass for fun when you are teacher's kid and winter is long.  Oh so long.


  1. Love these projects! Though I really hope that winter is shorter than predicted. :)

  2. I also love your projects....sigh, when J-Bear is a little older and I can devote more time to both of them...thanks for always inspiring me.

  3. You are doing a great job keeping the boys busy and entertained! I love the bingo projects :) hope the weather warms up soon xo

  4. Oh my gosh! I love the science experiments. Hope Phil was wrong too for your sake and spring is right around the corner!

  5. Cool ideas! Have to look up more on Fuzz-oodles.. Never seen them but look like right my my alley!!!
    Thanks for sharing and inspiring so man of us! Hugs!