Every parent has been there. And it’s not pretty. The kids have tons of energy, but weather-wise, it’s not a great option for them to go outside and let off steam. This time of year, a parent who wants to get through those long weekends has to be prepared with a game plan for their rambunctious, stir-crazy tykes. It’s time to loosen the house rules and have some fun. Think of it as your winter survival plan.

Water fun: When you have smaller kids who love spending time in the tub, make splashy time last an extra long time with these new dimensions of homemade fun.

* In the kitchen, create a batch of homemade, kid-friendly bath bombs … with a little surprise inside.

* Let them scribble on the walls with these super easy homemade soap-based crayons from DIY Natural.

* Finally, these genius “bubble snow globes,” which encircle a small toy with a giant soap bubble, should keep little ones enthralled.

Obstacle course: Have fun and burn off some energy with some not-too-crazy physical challenges you can host right in the family room. Start with this list for inspiration and come up with your own variations.

Egg drop challenge: Pull out some cotton balls, boxes and clean food containers from the recycling bin for a simple and fun STEM challenge, and see who can build the contraption that best protects the egg once it is dropped from the porch, basement stair railing or some other up-high spot.

Redesign your room: This project is perfect for older kids who might enjoy taking the lead on designing their space. Start by downloading a room planner and let them experiment with new layouts for a real-life application of measurements and space. Who knows? Maybe the new flow will inspire a complete room rehab project.

Scavenger hunt: If they won’t bundle up and go outside, maybe a good old-fashioned scavenger hunt will do the trick … one with a warm and cozy reward at the end.

Get signed up: Give yourself a well-deserved break and sign them up for a six-week Bricks 4 Kidz after-school program, where we provide the truly out-of-the-box fun projects that kids love with LEGO Bricks! Kids can learn about gears, torque, space exploration and more, which reinforces those STEM concepts they learn in the classroom in a truly fun and engaging way.

Don’t let the winter doldrums get the best of your family. With these six STEM-inspired challenges, you can keep those hands and minds busy all season long.