Au Pairs in the Chicago area are challenged to find fun and interesting things to do with children while indoors during the cold, winter months. Au pairs are encouraged to provide interactive child care and to have a new activity planned for the children in their care.
Muddy Hand Cookies
2/3 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla
2 ½ cups flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa mix
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together. Add eggs one at a time and mix well. Place all dry ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly and then add to butter mixture. Blend together thoroughly.
Chill dough in wax paper until firm; about 2 hours.
Roll dough to ¼” thick on floured surface.
Lay your hand on the dough and cut around to make your hand print.
Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet at 350F for 6-8 minutes!
ABC’s of Winter Fun
A is for Art – try drawing, painting or gluing
B is for Baking – bake a dessert together for dinner
C is for Clay – Use non-hardening clay or play dough to shape and mold
D is for Dance – put on a lively tape
E is for Exercise – be sure to get some everyday
F is for Friends – invite some over
G is for Greenhouse – find a local greenhouse to visit to enjoy the sights and smells
H is for House – make a playhouse from a large appliance box
I is for Ice skating – take the children to a local rink
J is for Jigsaw puzzle – be sure to pick one that isn’t too difficult
K is for Kitchen science – try a safe experiment
L is for Library – borrow some new books
M is for Movie – make one with a video camera, or watch one
N is for Necklace – make one out of cereal or macaroni
O is for Origami – learn to make simple paper creations
P is for Puppets – socks make easy and fun puppets – put on a show!
Q is for Quiet Time – everyone needs some of this
R is for Reading aloud – choose a good book and a comfortable place to sit
S is for Seeds and Suet – put out food for the birds and watch them eat
T is for Tent – make one from old blankets and chairs
U is for Unplugged – do a day with no TV
V is for Variety – try something new everyday
W is for Walk – take one in any weather (be sure to dress appropriately)
X is for Xylophone – make your own with glasses, water and a metal spoon
Y is for Year – make a calendar or scrapbook to remember the year
Z is for Zoo – visit the animals
Indoor “Drive-in” Movie
Help your child to decorate a box as a car so he can sit in it to watch a movie. Make movie tickets. Consider inviting a couple of other kids to join in.
Choose a new or old favorite movie for a special ‘cold afternoon treat’.
Serve appropriate snacks to eat during the movie.