Welcome to the bitter cold of mid-winter. (Unless, I suppose, you’re lucky enough to live in the tropics.) If you are one of the people stuck in the winter wonderland part of the country, then you are probably experiencing the wonderful, snowy, frigid weather right now.

With winter weather comes lots of inside time for the kids. Today I am sharing five boredom busters for surviving those winter days indoors!

Make Gak

Gak, also called flubber or slime, is a fun mixture of Elmer’s glue and borax. It’s a simple recipe to make at home and will keep your kids occupied for hours. We make our gak in a rainbow of different colors using food coloring. You can find step-by-step instructions for making gak at Lil’ Luna.

Make Oobleck

Oh, oobleck… It’s one really fun creation. It makes a pretty big mess, but the laughs and giggles you hear from your kids will be well worth it. Watch them try to figure out the magic that is oobleck. (How is it a solid one second and a liquid the next?) My blog, Dine & Dish, has a recipe for oobleck and a video demonstrating how much fun it is.

Blow up Balloons

I can’t tell you how many times just a handful of balloons blown up for the kids to play with has saved the day (and my sanity). See how many times you can hit the balloon without it landing on the ground. Play balloon volleyball. Get some kid-safe markers and decorate the balloons with faces or silly shapes. Balloons are so much fun and provide hours of indoor entertainment.

Make an Indoor Fort

This is another one where you just have to turn your eyes away from the mess. Gather up all of the blankets and pillows you can, and help your kids make the biggest indoor fort ever. Then, allow them to spend the day living in their fort. Being allowed to play, nap and even eat in the fort gets a big thumbs-up from my kids.

Read

Reading is our favorite indoor activity. Need some help picking out books for your kids? Booktrust’s list of top children’s books for 2013 is a great place to start.

Now that you are armed and ready for some great indoor days, you’ll be hoping spring stays away for just a little bit longer. Stay warm, and have fun inside!