Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Short on ideas

Many of us stay home to keep warm and safe this winter; while parents fear the equally predictable cries of boredom. Short on ideas to keep them busy while they’re stuck inside? Forget about sitting in front of the TV all day, we’ve rounded up plenty of activities—from easy crafts to cozy recipes—that take advantage of the weather and keep kids entertained all day.
Thaw out with homemade brown-sugar hot chocolate, and toast with peanut butter that are sure to warm you up.

4 cups milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
whipped cream for garnish
chocolate shavings for garnish

Pour milk into pan and heat to simmer over medium heat. Stir cocoa powder and brown sugar together. A couple teaspoons at a time, stir about 2 tbsp. of the hot milk into the cocoa mixture to make a smooth paste. Add cocoa paste to milk in pan and simmer for 2 minutes; don’t let it boil. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into small mugs and add a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkling of chocolate shaving on top of each. Serve at once. Serves 4

Other Ideas:

  • Get a head start on Valentine’s Day and whip up some homemade crafts, like a winter wonderland heart snow globe made from old jars and, glitter, and old knick knacks.
  • Flip through a stack of old magazines and cut out inspirational words, pictures and phrases. Then use them to make a Wordy Journal. Have the kids start writing entries today.
  • Create brand new wall decor from what you already have in the house: frames and old scraps of fabric or wallpaper make pretty new art
  • The cold weather is a perfect excuse to indulge in some comfort food that kids will love, like Chicken Fingers, Stew or Meatball Sandwiches.
  • Have an afternoon tea party, and decorate the coffee table with homemade felt trivets.
  • Check out stunning snowy landscapes from around the neighborhood. Then grab a camera and let the kids take some near your own home.
  • Encourage kids to re-read some favorite titles from the bookshelf with cute bookmarks.
  • Dig out all those old holiday cards and reuse them. One fun idea: cut out your child’s handprint from card fronts, and write one kind act that your family can do for others. Make a bunch, and see how creative you can get.
  • Use the empty food tins from all the cooking you did today to make decorative pencil holders.

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