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33 no-tech, super-fun winter activities for kids

Cold, gray days are no match for this ultimate winter fun list for kids.

Winter activities for kids

Winter is still happening. As we count down to spring, what we hard-working parents really need is a quick list of cheap, low-tech ways to entertain kids until the warmer days start happening.

Stay busy on snowy days with 30+ winter activities for kids.

1. Make popcorn balls

These easy popcorn balls with marshmallows or corn syrup may be a little messy, but they're an activity and a snack all in one. Win!

2. Grab some tape

Make duct tape crafts, including duct tape wallets (hey, even Martha's doing it).

3. Create flipbooks

Buy cheap notebooks or use some sticky notes to make flipbooks.

4. Play Arctic explorers

Get out the camping gear and set up a backyard winter explorers' base.

5. Write your own adventure

Write some Star Wars or Harry Potter fanfiction—whatever heroes your kids are into.

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6. Use your noodles

Experiment with making your own personal ultimate ramen recipe (find ramen tips on Pinterest).

7. Take a hike

Go for an epic walk.

8. Make chores cheerful

Throw a housecleaning party – complete with music and snacks. Get creative and invent a point system for certain tasks.

9. Get grateful

Throw a thank you card-writing party for all those Christmas gifts. (Hey, it's worth a try.)

10. Improve on a classic

Make epic blanket forts.

11. Get creative

Try some new winter crafts.

12. Bake up something new

Have fun with simple baking recipes.

13. Go sledding

Make a homemade sled—or, take your normal sled and give it a rad new paint job.

14. Play games

Let the kids plan and put together a family game night. (Don't worry – you can still bring your own beer.)

15. Rock out

Make an easy Rubber Band Guitar.

16. Hunt for treats

Create a scavenger hunt with your leftover Christmas candy.

17. Build your own game

Score some old board games at the thrift shop and let the kids mix and match the pieces to create their own games.

18. Play all day

Or invest in some all-day board games to keep the kids busy. With snacks, of course.

19. Make a machine

Use toys, string, and recycling materials to make a breakfast-cereal pouring Rube Goldberg machine.

20. Take to the skies

Make simple kite that really flies out of newspaper or a simple kite out of foam.

21. Geek out

Print your own fake Apple Watch. That way your kid can go back to school with some bling.

22. Keep it groovy

Make a homemade lava lamp with salt and oil.

23. Make your own funny papers

Write funny captions in old magazines or newspapers with a sharpie.

24. Cut and paste

Make some awesome magazine collages.

25. Play (harmless) pranks

Have a prank party with these harmless, funny pranks for kids. (Can't get enough? More pranks this way.)

26. Throw a pizza party

Homemade pizza night! Or lunch.

27. Whip up some playdough

The old standby of making homemade play-doh is still fun: try this easy play-doh recipe, or this super-simple play-doh recipe.

28. Get colorful

Use silicone oven safe muffin trays to recycle all those broken crayons into new ones.

29. Repurpose your Amazon boxes

Look at all the things you can do with cardboard. Some of them might be fun. More here.

30. Freeze ice cube art

Use ice cube trays or clear containers to freeze toys and objects in ice, Han Solo-style—if you live someplace cold, freeze stuff outside, or use the freezer.

31. Don't forget the library

Go to the library and borrow a mountain of books – for free.

32. Make snow un-white

If you live someplace with snow, grab some food color send your kids out to create snow graffiti (more snow art ideas here).

33. Fulfill your Jedi destiny

With a stick, some pipe insulation foam and duct tape, you can make a pretty legit sword or lightsaber that you can use to battle.

Plus, 5 bonus tech activities

  1. Make a video game with Hopscotch
  2. Download some podcasts and set up an audio theater
  3. Explore the posts on Today Box
  4. Take a virtual tour of art museums around the world
  5. Experiment with learning piano with Pianu or drop beats with Patatap


14 Toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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Time-saving formula tips our editors swear by

Less time making bottles, more time snuggling.

As a new parent, it can feel like feeding your baby is a full-time job—with a very demanding nightshift. Add in the additional steps it takes to prepare a bottle of formula and, well… we don't blame you if you're eager to save some time when you can. After all, that means more time for snuggling your baby or practicing your own well-deserved self-care.

Here's the upside: Many, many formula-feeding mamas before you have experienced the same thing, and they've developed some excellent tricks that can help you mix up a bottle in record time. Here are the best time-saving formula tips from editors here at Motherly.

1. Use room temperature water

The top suggestion that came up time and time again was to introduce bottles with room temperature water from the beginning. That way, you can make a bottle whenever you need it without worrying about warming up water—which is a total lifesaver when you have to make a bottle on the go or in the middle of the night.

2. Buy online to save shopping time

You'll need a lot of formula throughout the first year and beyond—so finding a brand like Comforts, which offers high-quality infant formula at lower prices, will help you save a substantial amount of money. Not to mention, you can order online or find the formula on shelves during your standard shopping trip—and that'll save you so much time and effort as well.

3. Pre-measure nighttime bottles

The middle of the night is the last time you'll want to spend precious minutes mixing up a bottle. Instead, our editors suggest measuring out the correct amount of powder formula into a bottle and putting the necessary portion of water on your bedside table. That way, all you have to do is roll over and combine the water and formula in the bottle before feeding your baby. Sounds so much better than hiking all the way to the kitchen and back at 3 am, right?

4. Divide serving sizes for outings

Before leaving the house with your baby, divvy up any portions of formula and water that you may need during your outing. Then, when your baby is hungry, just combine the pre-measured water and powder serving in the bottle. Our editors confirm this is much easier than trying to portion out the right amount of water or formula while riding in the car.

5. Memorize the mental math

Soon enough, you'll be able to prepare a bottle in your sleep. But, especially in the beginning or when increasing your baby's serving, the mental math can take a bit of time. If #mombrain makes it tough to commit the measurements to memory, write up a cheat sheet for yourself or anyone else who will prepare your baby's bottle.

6. Warm up chilled formula with water

If you're the savvy kind of mom who prepares and refrigerates bottles for the day in advance, you'll probably want to bring it up to room temperature before serving. Rather than purchase a bottle warmer, our editors say the old-fashioned method works incredibly well: Just plunge the sealed bottle in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes and—voila!—it's ready to serve.



Another great tip? Shop the Comforts line on Comfortsforbaby.com to find premium baby products for a fraction of competitors' prices. Or, follow @comfortsforbaby for more information!

This article was sponsored by The Kroger Co. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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Chrissy Teigen/Instagram

When Chrissy Teigen announced her third pregnancy earlier this year we were so happy for her and now our hearts are with her as she is going through a pain that is unimaginable for many, but one that so many other mothers know.

Halfway through a high-risk pregnancy complicated by placenta issues, Teigen announced late Wednesday that she has suffered a pregnancy loss.

Our deepest condolences go out to Chrissy and her husband, John Legend (who has been by her side in the hospital for several days now).

In a social media post, Teigen explained she named this baby Jack.

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"We are shocked and in the kind of deep pain you only hear about, the kind of pain we've never felt before. We were never able to stop the bleeding and give our baby the fluids he needed, despite bags and bags of blood transfusions. It just wasn't enough," she wrote.

She continued: "We never decide on our babies' names until the last possible moment after they're born, just before we leave the hospital. But we, for some reason, had started to call this little guy in my belly Jack. So he will always be Jack to us. Jack worked so hard to be a part of our little family, and he will be, forever."

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