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Here in the Greater Memphis area, we get just enough winter to make this time of year interesting at best and, at times, rather bleak. Mix together shorter days, sub-freezing temperatures, and the occasional snowfall, and what you often end up with is silent wish or prayer for an early spring.

So, what’s a body to do help pass the time, beyond, that is, spending record amounts of time watching TV or engaging on social media? Ah, glad you should ask because here we have a number of suggestions to help you and your kids make the most of your winter days, evenings and weekends.

  • Magazine Art – Have the kids draw a sketch on a piece of construction paper or paper plate. Then cut up a few pages of an old magazine into small pieces. Glue the pieces down to make a colorful mosaic.
  • Indoor Campsite – Get in your pajamas, bring out the sleeping bags, turn off the lights and set up camp right in your own living room. Huddle inside a tent or fort and tell spooky (or silly) stories.
  • Rewrite a Book – Have your child pick his or her favorite book, and ask them to write (or draw if they are younger) how they think the story would have ended with a simple plot twist.
  • Home-Made Play Dough – Mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, ½ cup salt, and 2 tablespoons cream of tartar in a bowl. Add a few drops of food coloring to 1.5 cups boiling water. Carefully add the boiling water a little at a time into the dry ingredients until the mixture becomes sticky. Remove the dough from the bowl and knead it vigorously until no longer sticky. Add more water or more flour until it has the right consistency.
  • Ice Sun-Catcher – Fill a pie or cake tin halfway with water. Gather up rocks, leaves, pine cones, small toys, or any other decorations you’d like to use and arrange them in the plate. Add a loop of string, ribbon, or twine, making sure the loop part sticks out of the plate. This will be the hanger for your sun-catcher. Place the craft in your freezer or outside if it’s cold enough and let it freeze completely. Once done, let the tin thaw just until you can easily remove the mold. Hang it in front of a sunny window (with something underneath to catch the drippings as it melts), or outside.

There now, isn’t winter looking a little brighter and cheerier already? We certainly hope so, but we’re not done yet. Because with all the extra time you spend indoors comes added demands on your home plumbing. And for that very reason, this happens to be one of our busiest times of the year. So if a pipe should spring a leak, a faucet starts dripping on its own, or a toilet back up and nothing you’re doing is helping, then one quick call to Conway Services is all it takes to get the job done – on time, with a guaranteed upfront price, and your satisfaction guaranteed. Just like always.