New Orleans is experiencing some chilly temps this week and if you’re anything like me you are finding every opportunity to hide from the cold! We have been getting creative with the outdoor activities over the last few months, but now it’s time to bundle up and stay inside. If you have already gone through our previous list of boredom busters and played all of the hottest board games, here are a few ideas to keep your kiddos occupied and warm:
This is a fun New Orleans tradition that most locals have fond memories of. As we second line in place and decorate our homes as house floats, have your kids join in the fun and create a shoebox float.
Kids can utilize any craft materials, old Mardi Gras throws and those “fun” toys from their favorite fast food place to create a float that represents their favorite theme. It would also be a great conversation piece as they Zoom and FaceTime with family and friends over the next couple weeks!
Playdoh Sensory Bins
If you are feeling extra crafty, you can make DIY playdoh and create an exciting sensory bin. But if you’re like me, you can grab playdoh in Purple, Green and Gold from the store or Amazon and make a fun Mardi Gras themed sensory bin using playdoh and Mardi Gras beads, masks, doubloons, and feathers.
In keeping with the cold weather theme, fake snow is usually a huge hit with little ones. Depending on how adventurous you are, you can grab a container of it from your local store (it is usually with the slime or putty), or you can find a recipe online but they usually don’t last as long as the store bought kind.
Once you get it in a shallow container, throw in little toys, shovels and cups and your kiddos can explore and create their own snow adventures. If you are really into the snow theme, you can order large quantities from Amazon and throw it in an inflatable pool in the middle of the living room!
This easy, fun and free activity can yield hours of fun for kids. A few stools, couch cushions, boxes, and blankets will do the trick.
Slime or Oobleck
Slime is not my friend, but my kids definitely love it. There are hundreds of recipes and I’m sure most of you have tried one or ten, but it definitely keeps kids busy.
And if you like a less sticky but equally satisfying sensory activity oobleck is just as fun. Here is a recipe below:
- 2 cups Cornstarch
- 1 cup of water
- Food coloring (optional)
Combine the water and food coloring (if using) and mix it into two cups of cornstarch. It will create a fun concoction that’s not quite liquid but not exactly a solid either. Kids enjoy this sensory activity!
Oobleck doesn’t last more than a day but to create a double duty fun project, at the end of the day, pour the oobleck into a mold and let it harden for about 12-14 hours and then use it as chalk. It is a great, non-toxic chalk option for younger children.
DIY Watercolor Painting
If you are avoiding stores and looking to entertain your little ones with a craft project, here is a double duty one. They can create their own watercolor paints and then paint with them!
- 1 Cup of boiling water per color you are creating
- 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of any of the following spices:
- tumeric or cumin (yellow)
- paprika (red)
- instant coffee (brown)
- Place 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon of each spice in a different glass jar.
- Pour boiling hot water over the spices. Seal and shake.
- Let stand for 24 hours, shaking occasionally.
- Store colors in the refrigerator for later use for up to 7 days.
Like most New Orleans cold fronts, the chilly temperatures will be gone in a few days, but these activities are great to complete with kids once it warms up. Hopefully it will keep the kids occupied long enough for you to enjoy an entire cup of hot coffee!