Seidel: Say goodbye to winter boredom

“I’m bored!” When chilly temperatures abound, parents are likely to hear this dreaded complaint from their children. To allay boredom, kids tend to spend more time in front of television screens, behind video game controllers or seated at computers during the winter. But there are plenty of imaginative ways to keep the little ones active and entertained on frosty weekends and snowy days.

Consider trying the following activities before spring blossoms:

• Indoor beach party: When it’s chilly outside, there’s nothing more heart-warming than playing make believe at an indoor beach party. This idea was inspired by the teachers at Friendship Station Preschool, who planned an indoor beach party in January. Lay out towels, get out the beach chairs and inflate floatees for story time on the beach. Don your swimsuits, and “fly” to your tropical stay-cation spot. Create coral reef and fish cutouts to set the scene for an indoor picnic including Goldfish snacks and Hawaiian punch. Then, “swim” and crabwalk through the house, hula dance and do the limbo, before playing “Go Fish.” Finally, wrap up the day by scuba diving in the bubble bath. What’s the best part of bringing the beach indoors? No sand or sun burns!

• Delectable game night: Spend the day preparing yummy treats, then take on traditional game night with a twist. Play charades, cards, Pictionary and board games with the family. To prevent sore losers, the winner must serve the day’s delicious creations before the night is over. If you’re trying to limit sweets, consider making trail mix or blending frozen bananas and 2 tablespoons cocoa powder in a blender for a homemade ice cream.

• Creative snow play: Many winter memories in Geneva involve sledding at Fabyan Forest Preserve, ice skating at Wheeler Park and snowshoeing through Peck Farm trails. If Mother Nature graces us with another snowy surprise, there are more inventive ways to enjoy winter’s wonders. Create a unique photo opportunity by building a headless snowman, and letting the kids mug as Frosty. Painting in the snow is sure to please artistic kids. Simply mix up washable tempura powder paints, and bring them outside for worry-free fun. Or create colored ice-sculpture building blocks by freezing water and food coloring in containers found around the house – think muffin tins, yogurt containers and JELL-O molds. Before heading back inside, store a special snowball in the freezer as a fun reminder of this winter day. To warm up, throw blankets in the dryer before snuggling up with hot cocoa.

As spring approaches, there are plenty of programs to look forward to at the Geneva Park District. Visit www.genevaparks.org to view an online brochure of programs such as “Mom and Son Night,” “Breakfast with the Easter Bunny” and “Fabulous Family Yoga.” Spring registration begins March 12 for residents and March 19 for nonresidents. “Like” the Geneva Park District on Facebook at facebook.com/genevaparkdistrict to receive updates on the latest happenings and offerings.

• Natalie Seidel is the marketing coordinator for the Geneva Park District and can be reached at 630-232-4542. Email her at editorial@kcchronicle.com.