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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

For families who love spending time in the great outdoors, the colder seasons can feel dull and boring. While family-friendly recreational choices can feel limited once the temperatures drop, it’s a lot easier than you think to turn winter into a unique opportunity to spend more time with your loved ones. Instead of dreading the colder temperatures this season, try the 10 ideas below to fill up your winter days with indoor activities that your whole family can enjoy in any weather.

1. Create a fun family scrapbook.
Going through your old pictures together is a great way to relive your family’s best memories from the past year. Ask your kids to pick out pictures for a colorful collage of their favorite moments.

2. Play board games.
From classic boxed games to cutting-edge digital releases, there’s no shortage of board games you can try to bring your family together on a cold winter day. If you have kids of different age groups, play one game for the older kids, then play another for the little kids.

3. Bake cookies.
Cookies are delicious, interactive and easy to make. Just be sure to keep an eye on the oven if you’re baking with young children.

4. Do jigsaw puzzles.
When you’re tired of playing board games, flex your mental muscle with jigsaw puzzles. Not only are jigsaw puzzles perfect for families, but research shows that concentrating on finding the right puzzle pieces helps improve the brain’s cognitive functions in both children and adults.

5. Bring the outdoors indoors.
Get the feeling of being in the winter wonderland outside without bringing in the cold by decorating your house with fake snow out of cotton wool and do-it-yourself paper snowflakes.

6. Read together.
To get your children excited about reading, try stories with unique themes or novels that appeal to their interests. If you have older kids who love the latest zombie craze, browse through top zombie books for teens online. Educational books and books with games or worksheets, on the other hand, are ideal for younger children with a strong sense of curiosity.

7. Build a camp.
If your family loves camping, recreate the experience indoors with a small tent or a fort made out of blankets and pillows. You can make microwave s’mores or other camp related foods to get everyone in the camping mindset.

8. Craft together.
You’ll be surprised by how many clothes, accessories and decorations you can make with simple household items. Felt masks, holiday ornaments, colored paper banners, wall calendars and paper dolls are just a few examples of family-friendly crafting projects you can do with kids of all ages.

9. Build a snowman.
If it’s too cold to build the real thing, try creating an indoor version with paper or old newspapers. It will be a fun challenge to see what you can come up with.

10. Play family friendly video games.
There are many family friendly video games out there and with new systems like kinect and wii, you can be active while playing as well. Try getting an adventure game or dancing game and take turns playing. It’s not only fun to play, but it’s even more fun to watch family members try to score on the dancing game.

Winter is a beautiful season, however it can get stuffy having to spend all your time indoors on especially cold days. If you aren’t sure what to do with your snow day, try one of the ideas listed. You might just find a fun family activity you’ll continue to enjoy even when the weather warms up.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want to stave off boredom.