Winter Weather Activities for Kids

winter weather activities

Clever ideas to keep kids entertained this winter break

School is still out for winter break. Did you prepare accordingly? You can start by adjusting your Sensi™ Wi-Fi Programmable Thermostat schedule or temperature set points to make sure you’re not freezing everyone out of the house now that the family is home during the day. (If you’re lucky enough to be heading to warmer climates, be sure to set a vacation schedule and use these other tips to save money at home while you’re gone.)

Now that you have assurance on your family’s home comfort, here are some winter weather activities and tips to help you keep your sanity and to keep your kids entertained during the long break.

Winter Weather Activities for Kids

Get Smart!

“Mom, why is snow white?”

“Dad, how are snowflakes formed?”

“What on earth is ‘thunder snow’?”

If winter brings a myriad of these types of questions from your kids, this site has all of the answers, along with fun winter weather activities and projects like turning dew into frost or how to examine a snowflake up close. If your kid insists on playing on the Internet for the entire winter break, steer them into watching something other than memes and cat videos with this great list of fun YouTube science channels. Emerson, the company behind Sensi thermostat, also has a fantastic resource for you and your kids to learn all about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) – Emerson.com/ILoveSTEM.

Get Out There!

Do you want to build a snowman? Of course you do. Snow and colder temperatures bring a plethora of fun, winter weather activities to do with the family. Go ice-skating or sledding, build snow igloos and forts, or strap on some snow shoes and take the family for a wintry hike to check out the neighborhood holiday light displays before they’re gone for another year. If your kids are nature lovers, break out the binoculars and go bird watching. Since most of the leaves have fallen off the trees, birds are much easier to spot. Have your kids keep a journal with pictures, descriptions and locations and compare it to the different birds they’ll see in the warmer months.

(When you’ve had enough of the frigid temps, use the Early Start feature on your Sensi thermostat to start heating your home early. This will ensure that your home is the perfect temperature upon arrival to help melt the frost of those little toes.) 

Get Crafty!

Build a birdfeeder out of pine codes, peanut butter and birdseed to help with your winter bird watching activities. Use food coloring to make ice art out of water or snow. Freeze into shapes using trays, molds or old containers. If it’s cold enough, take your ice art outside and sprinkle water on them to freeze into larger buildings or sculptures. The Internet, especially Pinterest, is full of other crafty ideas do with your kids during winter break. Check out these amazing Pinterest Winter Crafts for Kids Boards for ideas and be sure to follow our Sensi Pinterest Profile for energy savings tips and more while you’re there.

Get Creative!

Looking for creative ways to keep active kids occupied when it’s too cold to go outside? Keep up their competitive spirits with a treasure hunt. The kids can get more clues when they’ve finished their chores. Use masking tape to create everything from a temporary racetrack to a bowling lane and have your kids use toilet paper instead of a ball for indoor games. It’s much easier to pull up and throw away the tape than pull apart and put away a track full of tiny parts. And toilet paper, while it can be a pain, is fun for kids to play with and easier to clean and replace than a treasured, shattered lamp.

Another idea is to let your kids organize their books and use index cards to “check them out” from the library. They can also set up a pretend shop where they can “sell” the toys they don’t want in exchange for trinkets or paper money. This is a perfect opportunity to organize a trip to your local charity drop-off to donate the “sold” toy, teach kids how to be charitable and clear out space for all of the new toys they just received over the holidays.

Get Nostalgic!

Make a list of your family’s favorite winter-themed or holiday books or movies over the years and read or watch one together each night. Or start a new annual tradition by making a New Years Eve time capsule. Have your kids write a letter to their future selves, job down statistics like height and weight, favorite colors or foods, fun memories from the past year, etc. Decorate a container and seal it away until next year.

These winter weather activities and ideas are sure to keep everyone entertained over the holiday break.

 

Winter Energy Savings Tips

winter energy savings

Don’t let the cooler weather heat up your utility bills

Winter is coming.

The time of year that even the most ardent cold weather fan starts to dread because watching the numbers on the daily weather temperature forecast go down often results in the numbers on your utility bill going up. But, there are steps you can take now that can help to reduce your energy usage while still keeping your family warm and cozy during the cold winter months ahead. Use these winter energy savings tips to cut back on your utility bills during the heating season.

Get smart with a programmable Wi-Fi thermostat

You can have an energy savings of up to 10% on your annual heating and cooling bills by simply adjusting your thermostat (source: Energy.gov). But, today’s modern family is busier than ever. With our harried lifestyles, it’s difficult enough to manage our own schedules, let alone our thermostat’s.  Instead of remembering to work the system, let your system work for you. Upgrade to a programmable thermostat that puts you back in charge of your winter energy savings.

The SensiWi-Fi Programmable Thermostat is super easy to install and the free, intuitive mobile app puts control of your home comfort at your fingertips. With seven independent day schedules, it’s perfect for all kinds of lifestyles. Lower your thermostat temperature setting at night to save money and get better sleep and also during times when the house is vacant. And, since Sensi thermostat is certified Energy Aware®, you can feel confidant in the energy savings you’ll get from its precision temperature control accuracy.

Learn more about programming your Sensi thermostat for maximum energy savings here.

Protect your equipment

For optimal energy savings, your heating and cooling equipment should be well maintained. Replace the furnace filter once a month, or as recommended by the manufacturer. Dirty filters can restrict airflow, increasing energy usage and costs. If you haven’t yet called your contractor for fall seasonal maintenance, schedule your check-up now to ensure that your HVAC system is well adjusted and operating properly. This can help shave up to five percent off your annual heating costs.

Conserve hot water

Shorten your shower time to help reduce your hot water consumption. By cutting your showers in half, you can save up to 33% on your water heating costs. For increased savings, install low-flow shower heads and faucets to save an additional 10-16% annually. Also, while that bathroom fan is great for removing humidity, turn it off as soon as you can because these fans can blow out all of the previous heat that you’re working so hard to conserve.

Let in the sunshine 

Sunshine is the original – and free – heat and energy source. Open your curtains or shutters on your south-facing windows during sunny winter days to let the natural sunlight heat up your home. You can also turn down your thermostat a few degrees on these days for additional energy savings. When the sun sets at night, close those curtains to insulate your home and seal in the heat.

Bundle up at home

Warm throw blankets and comfy clothing layers are your first defense in cold winter months. Dressing in layers is a simple and free way to higher energy savings on your monthly heating bill. Instead of turning up the thermostat, throw on a heavy sweater and warm socks and cozy up with your family on the couch under blanket. Also, try rearranging your room so your seating is by interior walls. They tend to be less drafty then next to windows on exterior walls. Speaking of drafts, take a quick home audit to find energy leaks that are costing you money then click here for more interior design tips to maximize your energy savings.

 

Staying warm and comfortable during severe winter weather doesn’t have to mean high utility bills. Use these winter energy savings tips to increase efficiency, freeze that heating bill and use that extra money to plan for your summer vacation.