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Snow day sanity savers! Toys that keep kids busy for hours

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From Heavy.com

When snow days are only an occasional thing, they’re pure magic, with playtime in the snow, hot chocolate, and maybe a little extra TV (so Mom can take a breather from keeping everyone busy). While I don’t remember this from my own childhood, apparently modern kids have a few “magic spells” that they’ll try to execute to make a snow day happening, including yelling “snow day” into your freezer!

But for those of us in the frozen northeast, those happy snow days are over – snow days just aren’t fun anymore, since after multiple storms in a row, it’s actually really tough to navigate at all outside, especially for tiny kids. Even if you’re covered from top to toe in a stylish little snowsuit, how do you play in the snow if you can’t even walk around?

Given that Boston schools are closed, the subway is shut down, and getting anywhere is going to be rough one way or another, you may ask, what can your favorite local toy store do to make these endless snow days easier? Well, for starters, we do have this handy-dandy website: while we can’t deliver our surefire boredom-busters to your front door today, there will be more storms, and stocking up on a few cool new toys to bust out next snow day is a good way to hedge your bets. Here are a few of my suggestions to turn down the temperature on your next case of cabin fever!

kahootz-spirograph-cyclex-01018The trick is to find a toy or project that’s time-consuming, to ward off the predictable choruses of “I’m bored!” Craft projects are a time-honored time-filler, and with many items we have in stock, you can plop your kid at the table, get them started, and go wash your hair, do the dishes, or check the work email that’s been piling up. For a preschooler, a sticker pad or Sticky Mosaics will keep them busy for a bit; slightly older kids can mesmerize themselves for hours experimenting with the Spirograph Cyclex. Older kids who are proficient at reading and following directions will love the challenge of making cute clay charms, and all you’ll have to do is put the charms in the oven. Or, keep your eldest busy and quiet with even more complex projects like friendship bracelets, embroidery, or the LoopDeLoom Spinning Weaving Loom, which can make real wearable cloth!

Large puzzles are also a good way to get kids playing quietly: just choose a subject they’re interested in, whether it’s horses, Frozen, or pirates, give them some space at the dining room table, and voila! Busy kids!

goldieblox-zipline-figure-AF001-2-mSnow days are also excellent days for science projects, which also help you inject some stealth learning into a school-free day. You can teach the little ones some basic scientific concepts with the Learning Resources Primary Science set, which also comes with nifty goggles, test tubes, and more that will be loads of fun for pretend-play. Older kids will spend many happy and independent hours experimenting with Elenco Snap Circuits sets or GoldieBlox building sets, which let them build working devices – just be prepared to be interrupted in the middle of a round of chores or a chapter of a good book by your delighted kid wanting to show off her working motion detector or zipline!

Finally: there’s nothing like a good marble run building set to keep kids busy! Keep in mind that while small kids may not be able to build elaborate marble runs on their own, they’ll love dropping marbles down and seeing where they go, and they’ll have twice as much fun knocking everything down! And hey… you might enjoy building this yourself, too. (I know I would!)

At the end of the day: while it seems like it’s been snowing forever, it’s February and spring is on the horizon. Hang in there, New England families! It’ll only be a few more weeks before the snow boots go back into storage and the outdoors become great again.

 

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