Beat the Winter Blahs with Movie-Inspired Fun
Cabin fever often finds us turning into couch potatoes, wiling away the winter hours in front of movies. This winter, use movies to inspire themes as you beat the winter blahs with creative family fun!
- Home Theater: Dean Jones, the iconic actor of Disney’s Herbie movies and That Darn Cat, stars in this oft-forgotten but fun-filled slapstick family comedy, Snowball Express. Jones’ character, John Baxter, inherits a Rocky Mountain ski resort and, along with his family, must fix up the property and make it profitable in order to keep it.
- Eat Tortilla Snowflakes. Warm flour tortillas for 15 seconds in the microwave. Fold the tortillas in half once and then in half again, so you create a pie wedge shape. Using clean scissors, cut as you would paper snowflakes. Unfold tortillas. Brush with butter or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar or shredded mozzarella cheese. Bake until just warm and slightly crisp (about 4 minutes at 250˚).
- Snowball Fight! Try an indoor snowball fight. Create indoor snowballs using balled up white socks, white tissue paper or giant pom poms. Create two teams and divide the space into two sections. Set a timer for 2-5 minutes and have each team throw snowballs to the other side. If a snowball lands on your side, you may throw it back to the opponent’s side. This continues until the time expires. The team with the fewest snowballs on its side wins.
A Very Merry Unbirthday
- Home Theater: In Disney’s animated classic Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter sings the “Unbirthday Song” about the 364 days a year that are NOT your birthday. Enjoy the film, then celebrate with your own unbirthday party!
- Backwards Dinner! Decorate the party with an unbirthday banner and upside down decorations. Invite your children to a backwards dinner and encourage them to wear their clothes backwards. Then dine backwards, starting with dessert and ending with appetizers.
- Play Backwards Games! Create a pin the tail on the donkey game, but place many tails on the donkey. Then, blindfold the contestants one at a time as they take turns removing one of the donkey’s tails. The object of the game is to remove the correct tail—the one in the proper spot. Replicate the concept to play other favorite games backwards. Play Candyland beginning at the finish line. Play Old Maid where the winner is the player holding the maid at the end. Raid the game cabinet and see what games inspire your kids.
Winter the Dolphin
- Home Theater: Is winter making you long for the beach? Cuddle up with Winter the dolphin for an at-the-beach, heart-warming family film Dolphin Tale. A boy rescues Winter the dolphin when her tail is lost in a crab trap. With creativity, he persuades a team of scientists to develop a prosthetic tail enabling the dolphin to swim again.
- Dolphin Sandwiches! Local grocery stores sell sandwich cookie cutters in dolphin shapes. If you are unable to find these, you may purchase food-coloring markers in the bakery aisle and let the kids draw ocean scenes on their sandwiches.
- Dolphin Olympics! Create two teams and compete in some fun races. Catch Fish in Your Mouth: Dolphins can jump up and catch a fish in midair with their mouths. Provide everyone with a cup of goldfish crackers (5-10/person) and see who can successfully toss them into the air (one at a time) and catch them in their mouths. Award one point per successful catch. Balance a Ball on Your Nose: Give each player a plastic ball and, using a timer, determine who can balance the ball on the nose the longest (no hands!).
- Home Theater: National Treasure stars Nicholas Cage as historian and code-breaker Ben Gates. He’s been searching his entire life for a rumored treasure. The movie is filled with thrills, adventure and intrigue as Gates races to get ahead of those that betrayed him. National Treasure appeals to many age levels so that both younger and older children will enjoy.
- Edible Pyramid. Make crispy rice treats and then cut and stack them into the shape of a pyramid. If you are ambitious, you can frost and add detail with gel paint.
- Treasure Hunt! Create a treasure hunt for your kids to follow, complete with clues, mysteries and a prize at the end. Another fun idea is to play the board game Clue or to solve cryptograms. Better yet, each write your own cryptogram and trade with family members to solve. Or, hide a treat and the only way to find the treat is by solving a cryptogram puzzle.