Get playin’, get cookin’, get movin’, get kids winter-happy and plugged into fun!

Are you wishing that hibernation could be a people thing? Have you forgotten what the kids look like without a device or game controller in hand? Then it’s time to thaw out your creativity and step up your family’s January game!

Just a couple days into 2018, The Spruce, described as “a new kind of home website offering practical real-life tips and inspiration to help you create your best home,” published “24 Fun Things to Do with Kids in Winter,” by Jennifer Wolf. The list is packed with fantastic, easy, and inexpensive ideas that add sparkle to the dreariest of winter days, including making hot cocoa with marshmallows, making paper snowflakes and hanging them up in unexpected places and other cold-weather classics such as snow forts, snowball fights, sledding, bowling, and roller skating. (Let’s not forget ice skating!) Here’s one that combines a little learning with a game of chance: “Make a graph showing each day’s high and low temperatures for the week. Then make predictions about next week and see who’s closest to each day’s actual temperature.”

Another idea from Wolf is to “play board games together, and be sure to introduce the kids to some of your favorites!” This can also extend into other types of games.

For little ones, “playing school” can also be a useful “pretend,” and the Get Ready Preschool Learning Set for ages 3-5 makes it easy to set up a pretend classroom at home and do some real learning! It can also keep more than one child busy at daycare or in a preschool classroom as a reward or while others are finishing their work. It comes with 1 traditional workbook and flash card set, 1 wipe-clean workbook and flash card set, 1 write & wipe clock, 1 practice pad, 1 coloring pad, 8 sticker sheets, 8 crayons, jumbo pencil, and dry erase pen and eraser—all in one handy carrying case that makes clean-up and storage easy.

Similarly, the Counting Money Learning Set for ages 6-8 and 1 to 4 players, also offers lots of options, as it teaches practical skills. Play multiple games with 4 double-sided Lotto game boards and 72 cards. Use bold, bright, press-out coins on 28 double-sided quiz cards for counting money. Get pencil-and-paper learning with a 48-page learning pad. The possibilities go on.

Considering that in addition to usually being the coldest month in the Northern Hemisphere, January is officially yet informally Baking Month, Soup Month, and Slow Cooking Month, it’s a great time to stir up some fun in the kitchen. Kid-friendly treats can still be tasty and healthy, so bring on the kale and chia seeds! Last January The Red Tricycle offered up “See Ya Sniffles! 12 Cold-Busting Recipes to Try This Winter.” They include Oatmeal Superfood Breakfast bars that are packed full of goodies. The site says, “The oats contain an immune and cholesterol-boosting fiber called beta-glucan. The pumpkin seeds are packed with protein, magnesium and zinc. And the bananas and blueberries offer a few vitamin bonuses. Plus, they’re pretty to look at and easy to whip up.” Cool-looking Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bark and Averie Cooks’ Kiwi Agua Fresca, “a refresing kiwi drink that’s naturally sweet and easy to make,” are other tasty, nutritious treats. The Red Tricycle even shows 3 different ways to roast highly nutritious edamame.

A couple years back, the Sunny Day Family blog posted “10 Fun Winter Snacks for Kids,” including some gathered from others sources, that are both tasty and adorable! Try Sledding Penguins Frozen Banana Snack (from Reading Confetti), No Bake Snowflake Cookies, and Banana Snowman with strawberry cap and pretzel arms (from Pre-K Pages).

With spring still two months away, rock winter with good times and good fun—indoors and out!