4 Ideas for Winter Family Kitchen Fun

4 Ideas for Winter Family Kitchen Fun

Turn bad-weather inside time into family time.


Cold temperatures or winter storms trapped your family inside for the day? Try these four winter family kitchen fun ideas.

1. Learn a new kitchen skill

For the youngest toddlers, that might mean simply stacking plastic cups and measuring tools. With nowhere to go on an inhospitable day, older kids can work on a baking or cooking skill that involves more time or practice than is usually available. For example, making homemade bread doesn't require loads of hands-on hours, but it does need extra time for proofing and rising. Or tackle multiple batches of different kinds of cookies and help kids learn how to freeze the extra dough. (Bonus: You'll have a stash of sweet treats to toss in the oven when the weather's great and no one wants to cook.)

2. Make a homemade toy or gift

A few ingredients are all it takes to make handmade modeling compound in a rainbow of colors. A good project for preschool and elementary school-age kids, it gives them an inside-day play toy, too. Mix up a batch of salt dough to create homemade gift tags for your kids to use on presents throughout the year. (Search online for easy-to-follow recipes for both ideas.)

3. Boost your science IQ

Kitchen science experiments offer a fun way to learn and play. Simple tests help your kids discover how to change the freezing point of an object (salt melting ice), how molecules connect to form shapes (making rock candy), and what happens to objects of different densities (marshmallows floating in water). (Search online for simple instructions.)

4. Create a cleaning challenge

Your kids might groan, but an inside day cleaning game is a perfect way to help them understand that teamwork can be fun and that keeping the kitchen clean is important. Give each child a cabinet, drawer, or door and set a timer: They must remove all items, scrub out the inside of the cabinet, and return everything to its proper place. Give awards for "most energetic," "quickest work," or "silliest complaint." Plus, they'll learn about essential tasks that need to be done to keep your family's kitchen hub in tip-top shape.

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