(Karen Kurycki/for The Washington Post)

There are many things you can do to get through the dull, dark days of winter. Here are a few ideas, thanks in part to a couple On Parenting bloggers.

Sarah Maraniss Vander Schaaff, who blogs at the Educated Mom, is the mother of two girls. Here are some suggestions she made before the recent snowstorm-that-wasn’t:

●Make a picnic inside. You don’t have to get as fancy as Martha Stewart does, but have some fun. Pull out a blanket or old tablecloth. Have the kids help you pack up a feast (bonus points for fun stuff such as trail mix with chocolate chips, interesting sandwiches or special straws for drinks), then go feast in a room you don’t normally use for eating.

●Go on a treasure hunt for loose change. Wallets don’t count. Send young ones in search of coins in seat cushions, near the dryer and under beds. They get to keep what they find. You get a relatively clean floor.

●Explore. Give kids the role of travel agent. Choose a destination, learn about it and make up a fake itinerary. Sunny, warm places are welcome. Vander Schaaff suggests trying Google Earth for some extra learning and exploration.

Lauren Knight, a mother of three boys who blogs at Crumb Bums, wrote a list for On Parenting of things to do indoors this winter:

●Build marshmallow structures. Use dried spaghetti and mini marshmallows to construct a tower, an alien ship or anything your child can imagine. This is also a good little intro to geometry.

●Make a marble racetrack. Take a pool noodle and cut it in half lengthwise to make two racetracks, then set them up side-by-side on your stairs or propped on a couch. Send small cars or marbles down the track.

●Sumo wrestle. When the kids need to burn off some energy indoors, clear out a space and line the corners with pillows. Let your children borrow an old T-shirt, stuff it with pillows in the front and back, and let them wrestle. “Go ahead,” she writes, “try to hold back your own laughter while you referee the match.”

●Create a cozy reading nook: Find a nice corner in the house and pile it with pillows, stuffed animals and blankets. Grab a wide range of books from your library and then go tuck yourselves into the corner and read the afternoon away. Extra points if you create a fort and read by flashlight.


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10 (indoor) things to do with kids on snow days