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Cold-weather Outdoor Fun

 The weather outside is frightful -- but being cooped up inside with grumpy kids isn't really delightful. Try one of these activities when you want to convince your crew to head outside:
  • Search for booty. Go out and create a trail of cereal or bread crumbs in the backyard, leaving a small prize hidden at the end of the trail. Then send your young explorer out to find the hidden treasure.
  • Give them an errand. Ask the kids to take the dog out for a run around the yard or fill the birdfeeder. Or ask your budding meteorologist to monitor the weather: He can guess the temperature or tell you if it's going to snow or rain by looking at the clouds.
  • Paint the snow. Fill spray bottles with water and add a few drops of food coloring to each -- now you've got kid-safe (and temporary) "spray paints." Your child can play tic-tac-toe on a snowbank, create multicolored snowballs, or trace his footprints.
  • Rain, rain...stay! If you live in a climate that's more prone to rain, try this wet-weather art project: "Have your child draw a picture on a paper plate with washable markers, and then take the picture outside into the rain -- kids love watching the raindrops swirl and spread the colors around," says Kris Bordessa, mom of two and author of Team Challenges: 170+ Group Activities to Build Cooperation, Communication and Creativity.