Whether we like it or not, winter isn’t going anywhere for awhile and getting your kids outside to enjoy the snow and fresh air is an important thing. But the outdoor fun only lasts so long and before you know it, they’re back inside looking for something to do. Here are a few ways to keep the kiddos entertained.

Create an Indoor Treasure Hunt.

With a little bit of prep work, this activity will keep your kids occupied for a good deal of time while also having them up and moving around the house. Just create a scavenger hunt style treasure map, hide some special prizes, tokens or treats around the house and set them off on a good old fashioned mystery.

Strike Up a Game of Balloon Ping Pong (No Ping Pong Table Necessary!).

Grab a ping pong paddle or even a wooden spoon, blow up a few balloons and find anything that will work as a virtual ping pong table—you don’t even need a real table, a line in the floor will work just fine. Serve the balloon back and forth without letting it touch the floor. You won’t believe the fun and exercise you’ll get trying to keep the balloon in the air.

Dance Party Freeze Game.

Turn up your favorite music, keep the volume control in hand, and instruct the kids to boogie down until the music stops and then freeze. When the music starts again, you move to the beat. Dancing is a great way to brush off the winter blues and get the whole family moving.

Build with Cardboard Boxes.

Nothing beats boredom like kids with cardboard boxes. Gather up your extra cardboard boxes left over from the holidays or check with a local big box warehouse or furniture store. They typically have extra-large appliance boxes they are more than happy to give away. You only need to provide them with scissors, masking or duct tape, markers and time to build a rocket ship, club house, fire truck or anything their imagination can dream up.

Put on a Kid’s Yoga Video.

Your kids will get their “om” on with fun yoga videos tailored to children. They’ll be stretching and moving while also learning to manage stress, build their concentration and increase their confidence. Cosmic Kids makes great yoga videos for kids.

Design an Indoor Hopscotch.

Hand your kids some construction paper or printer paper and have them make their own hopscotch grid. Once finished, tape each piece to the floor to prevent slipping and use a sock in place of a rock. Encourage them to build the grid bigger than the standard 10 squares while still being able to keep up the game.

Build a Tent or Fort.

Gather up the blankets and sheets and start building an imaginary world. There will be energy exerted and story lines developed to create hours of fun for children of all ages.

Jump to Cushion Island.

You may not typically love your sofa cushions spread out across the living floor, but there’s no time like winter to break your own rules! Let your kiddos spread out the cushions on the floor and designate them as islands your child must travel between. Pretend there are sharks and other sea creatures on the floor between the cushions so they really don’t want to fall in!

Hide and Seek for the Win.

You enjoyed a good game of Hide and Seek when you were a kid and my guess is your kids still love it too. Never underestimate how much fun a game of Hide and Seek is in your own home or how much your kids will get a kick out of finding great places to hide in their own house. Now, start counting to 40!

Basic Veggie Soup

Canned soups are often over-processed and full of salt. This will take you mere minutes to make, and it’s downright good and healthy.

Quick Spinach-White Bean Soup

Ingredients1 c. chopped onion 1 c. chopped carrot 1 c. chopped celery 2 tsp. oil 3 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth 1 (10 oz.) box frozen chopped spinach ¾ c. uncooked tubetti or ditalini pasta ½ tsp. dried oregano ½ tsp. dried basil ¼ tsp. ground black pepper 1/8 tsp. garlic powder 2 (15 oz.) cans Cannellini, Great Northern or white beans, rinsed and drainedDirectionsIn a large saucepan over medium heat, cook onion, carrot and celery in oil for five minutes. Add chicken broth, spinach, pasta, oregano, basil, pepper and garlic powder. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add beans, and cover cooking saucepan for five more minutes.YieldNutrition

Mediterranean Tomato Soup with Rice

Ingredients2 cans (14.5 ounces each) gluten-free, low-sodium chicken broth, such as Swanson’s Natural Goodness 1 can (15 ounces) petite diced tomatoes, including juices 1/4 c diced fresh onion 1-1/2 Tbs. of finely chopped fresh oregano, basil, marjoram and rosemary, plus extra for garnish 1/2 tsp. sugar 1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste 1/4 c instant brown riceDirectionsCombine all the ingredients in a two-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Serve hot, garnished with a sprinkle of fresh herbs. Brimming with the fresh herb flavors of southern France, this recipe uses instant rice that slightly thickens the soup as it cooks and gives it body. If you don’t like chunks of tomato, puree the tomatoes in a blender before you cook them. Or, puree the entire soup with an immersion blender after it has simmered 20 minutes for an extra-smooth consistency.Yield4 servingsNutrition

Snowman Cookies

Craft delightful snowman cookies with this recipe.