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It’s easy to get bogged down by winter weather. (The playground + cold and flu season = kids cooped up in the house for days.) Not only that but you have to be on germ alert every time you leave the house. Still, with a bit of creativity—and a winter bucket list—you can make the most of the season…and still keep your sanity in tact. 

RELATED: 20 Destinations That Are Even Better in Winter

paper snowflakes
Twenty20

DIY Paper Snowflakes

It’s the easiest last-minute craft in the book: Arm your kids with a stack of paper (the stuff in your printer works fine), a pair of scissors and some tape. A few folds, some creative cuts and voilà: You’ve got snowflakes that are ready to hang. Your kids will love the project, and you’ll love the fact that they’re occupied—not to mention how pretty their creations look strung up in your foyer.

Sponsored wet ones ice skating
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Go Ice Skating

It doesn’t matter if you take your kids to lace up their skates at an indoor or outdoor rink. What matters is that you’ve done your homework and know exactly where to pick up the best cup of hot cocoa afterward. If your kid has wobbly feet and spends her day gripping the rails along the side of the rink—a place a zillion other people have touched—just be sure to wipe her hands before you depart. (It’s as simple as keeping a canister of Wet Ones® Antibacterial Hand Wipes in your car to kill germs.)

Wet Ones® Antibacterial Hand Wipes kill 99.99% of germs and clean hands.

snow fort
Twenty20

Build a Snow Fort

It’s the day after the first big storm of the season and you’re…spending it inside? No way. While you shovel the walks, challenge your kids to sculpt a “house” by packing down fluffy mounds of snow and mapping out rooms with walls. Bonus points: Encourage them to make snow people to live inside.

backyard winter olympics
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Host a Backyard Winter Olympics

Way to up the ante on an impromptu snow day. As the parent, you get to set the stakes—and the rules of each competition. Sporting events can range from sled racing to snowball throwing (e.g.,pick a target, like a tree, and see which one of your kids aims the closest). The reward? Hot cocoa for all, of course.

kids at the movies
Twenty20

Go to the Movies

It’s the best antidote to a stir-crazy afternoon. Pile everyone into the car and go see a kid- and parent-friendly flick. Say, The Lego Movie 2 or How to Train Your Dragon 3, both hitting theaters in February. Then have a mini movie club discussion on the way home with questions like “What was your favorite scene, Charlie?” and “Who was your favorite character, Emma?” Winter afternoon, saved.

RELATED: 15 Tasty Small Bites to Make This Winter

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