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22 Ways To Keep Your Kids Happy When It's Cold And Icky Outside

Are you spending your winter days staring into a seemingly eternal abyss of freezing cold? Try these tips and tricks for keeping your family healthy, warm, and reasonably cheerful.

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2. Whip up perfectly smooth hot cocoa — there's a trick to it!

Using powered hot cocoa mix? Dump it in the cup, then add just a little hot water. Stir, stir, stir. Then add a little more hot water. Repeat until full and smooth and creamy and clump-free. Mmmmmm.


6. Acknowledge that getting ready to go outside is enough of an ordeal to count as its own activity.

Nothing to do? No activities or playdates planned? Suggest a simple walk around the block. By the time you get your kids' snowsuit on...


7. It's a good time to educate your kids about cute, cuddly Arctic animals.

Even if you don't normally believe in screen time, it'll help trick your kids into thinking that winter is fun. Try downloading the Winter Animals app in iTunes.


11. Cure a croupy cough with some steam.

If you hear the tell-tale seal-barking sounds of croup, bring your child into the bathroom, close the door, and turn on the hot shower. Sit beside the shower (not in it) and breathe in the steamy air. Then...

Making sure your little one is dry and well-bundled, stand in front of the fridge and open the freezer door, this time breathing in the cold air. (Other options include stepping outside if it's chilly out, or turning on the AC and standing in front of it.)

12. Always carry a spare set of clothes.

When kids get wet, they can lose their body heat even more rapidly, so keep an outfit on hand so that you can change them into dry clothes at the drop of a (woolen) hat.


15. Make friends with the family next door.

It doesn't matter if you've never had a playdate with your neighbors before — you automatically have something in common: it's yucky outside, and you all need something to do. Invite them over, or knock on their door bearing cookies. They'll be thrilled to see you!

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