It won’t be here for awhile yet in Connecticut and even longer if you live north of this latitude. So I gathered some ideas for things to do when the North wind blows and the snow piles up and the little red line in the thermometer does a disappearing act.
1.) Table Games
When was the last time you had Monopoly’s Boardwalk and Park Place loaded with hotels? What word in Scrabble made you laugh until you cried? How many rounds of Uno until you finally win a game? Seriously, how can a 4 year old consistently beat me at Candyland? Hot Chocolate and pop corn and this is a perfect winter day!
Here are a short list of story prompts, you may know some more that work perfect with your friends and family. Just write them on slips of paper and put them in a hat. Draw an item and tell everyone your personal story to go along with the idea. ( Somebody get the video recorder going!)
Where were you when the police arrived? Where did you go when you skipped school? When you were a kid what kind of trouble did you get into? Who gave you your first kiss? What was your prom like? What car did you learn to drive on? What was the strangest workday you had? How lost did you get? What really happened to your homework? Why did you sneak in? Looking to learn more about storytelling? Here are links to my website, the CT. Storytelling Center, the League for the Advancement of New England Storytelling, the home of story in Massachusetts and the National Storytelling Network. www.carolynstearnsstoryteller.com www.connstoycenter.org www.lanes.org www.massmouth.org www.storynet.org
3.) Old Fashioned Letter Writing
That’s right, get out some paper and a pen and craft a letter to stay in touch with an old friend or family member. Tell them about recent news and then maybe reminisce about a shared time long ago. Dig out the address, put a stamp on it and make someone’s day.
Is there an inner artist waiting to burst forth. Even if there is no hint of an artist you can have fun drawing. How about stick figure cartoons about some work oops. Got a funny family story that can be done in stick figures. Look at this online site of how to draw and try a couple of the images here: http://www.my-how-to-draw.com/ You could draw a super hero to rescue you from the cold!
Who can’t remember laughing at friends playing this at a party. Of course you may have to talk some family members into the game. You may need to institute a Charade dinner, no talking just gesture the conversation and pass the peas and let the fun begin. See how a teacher uses Charades to teach proper grammar. http://seemoreplaces.com/blog/2010/09/video-of-the-week-using-charades-to-teach-english-grammar/#.UusWdpWPKUk
6.) Play Music
Dig out an instrument and play some music. It doesn’t need to be performance quality to be fun and good for you too. Playing music is good for the mind and if a wind instrument it is great exercise for your lungs! Not musical? Turn on a CD, radio, or personal music and tap to the beat, you can improvise a drum with a coffee can, box or book ( don’t tell a librarian I said that). Start here for ideas: http://www.redtedart.com/2012/10/15/musical-instrument-crafts-for-kids/
7.) Books to Read
1.) Cod by: Mark Kurlansky his work is a historical book and an environmental warning, but the writing is easy to read with a flow of a favorite mystery or novel. There is a Kids version too! This is the book to help the world, to better understand the effects of over fishing and the ramifications of that practice.
2.) Lincoln; Team of Rivals By: Doris Kearns Goodwin here is a interview of the author about the book. http://youtu.be/WUWHRbXdIEM We need to know where we have been and the sacrifices made to keep our country in order to move forward. A must read book for the American spirit!
3.) Dancing Men by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle This is an oldie but a goodie. First our brains need a little mystery to work on, its like push ups for the brain. The take the wonderful code of the dancing men and have some fun creating family messages, challenge your co-workers, plan an event around the theme, or have a dinner party mystery.
4.) Gather the kids, grown ups to, never to old to read a story aloud together. May I recommend a classic, Secret Garden by: Frances Hodgson Burnett perfect to read about the coming spring!
5.) My final recommendation is one to make us appreciate the rest and reconnection to family that winter brings. There is a special beauty in winter and no one captured that better in words than Robert Frost in, Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening
There are many kinds of puzzles, jigsaw, word, and mechanical among the favorites. To me it just wouldn’t be winter if we didn’t pass at least one week with a giant jigsaw taking up the whole dining room table. Family members stop and put in a piece or two and go on. A couple of us bring steaming cups of coffee, tea or hot chocolate and settle in for some serious puzzle time and conversation. It’s simple as long as the cat stays off it! Here is a puzzle image to chase away winter blues: http://www.wayfair.com/MasterPieces-Colorize-Flippity-Flop-1000-Piece-Jigsaw-Puzzle-71346-MIN1826.html
You might like this link too: http://www.carolynstearnsstoryteller.com/singing-the-chesapeake/
More on the book Cod in a review I wrote: http://www.carolynstearnsstoryteller.com/rape-of-the-sea-book-review-cod/