If you are the CEO at your house (Chief Entertainment Officer, that is), odds are by the end of February, you are running out of creative and fun ideas to keep your kiddos busy during this seemingly endless winter.  At least, I know that I am. 

My favorite winter reading this year has been The Preschooler's Busy Book:  365 Games and Activities to Keep Your 3- to 6-Year-Old Busy! by Trish Kuffner.  It has been a real lifesaver for this not-so-crafty-or-creative Mom.  Her book contains tons of great ideas - not fancy, complicated, Martha Stewartish projects that require a trip to the craft store.  This author just has ideas for creative play that are, well, better than the ideas you would come up with.  Even the most creative Mom can use a little help sometimes, right?

Here are a few examples of her ideas that my kids have enjoyed on days when the snow and cold kept us indoors:

  1. Scrub old coins clean with an old toothbrush and a mixture of water, salt, and vinegar.
  2. Have an indoor winter picnic on your living room floor.
  3. Lay out pillows in a hallway and have your child jump from "island" to "island" without falling in the "water."
  4. Sprinkle flour on a cookie sheet and "draw" a picture with your fingers.
  5. Use your bathroom scale to weigh a variety of household items (try adding up items to match your child's weight).
  6. Take an empty egg carton and label the holes from one to twelve.  Have your child count out the correct amount of raisins or Cheerios to put in each hole.
  7. Make a map of your own neighborhood and to take with you next time you head out for a walk.
  8. Make your own tambourines out of two papers plates filled with corn kernels or beans.

See what I mean?  Fun stuff.  And the book has 357 more ideas just like this!  It isn't rocket science and it isn't going to revolutionize parenting as we know it.  But it is just the kind of help that a Mom can use from time to time.  One minute you think you are totally going to lose it because the weather has you stuck in your house with restless, bored kids and the next minute you have thrown together a creative activity that keeps the troops under control.  Way to go, Mom!