Indoor Family Activities in Winter
In the warmer months are lives seem so busy. Then the weather becomes colder it’s not always ideal for being outside all the time.
Here are some great ways to keep the kids busy when you’re stuck inside more than you would like.
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Bring a Tub of snow inside-
What a great way to enjoy the snow, but stay warm at the same time. This was my kid’s favorite, one of my Daycare kid’s favorite, and now my granddaughter, Willa’s favorite activity. Just give them warm mittens or gloves to wear. Help the kids look around the house to find items to add to the tub. I had themes in my daycare. So if we were on “Construction” we would add trucks and bulldozers. If the theme was “On the Farm” we would add farm animals, a few fences, and a barn. My favorite was when I hid dinosaur bones in the snow and let them discover them like Archeologists. The possibilities are endless.
Kid Inspired Dinner-
Put together your Family’s dinner menu for the night by asking your kids what their favorite healthy (meaning no candy or treats) dish is. As you start putting the meal together ask the child whose favorite dish it is to help prepare it. Make it an age-appropriate task so it’s fun, yet a great learning opportunity. For example, my daughter loved salads with her Dad’s homemade dressing. We let her cut up the lettuce and other vegetables for the salad. Her dad even taught her how to eventually make the dressing. She now makes her own and adds a little more to it to make it to her liking.
Once the meal is underway get the good dishes, table cloth, placemats, cloth napkins, and candles and make it special. Kids love to help set the table. So have a celebration just because!
Write a Story Together-
Have one of you start out telling a story. Don’t forget to have someone write the story down. Make sure each person leaves it in a place where someone else can continue on. After each person has added to the story or you feel you have enough of the story, share it with grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, friends, etc. What a great way to have fun and be creative at the same time. The story could start with there once was a dragon named Jerome and when he went to breathe fire, feathers came out instead. Then hand it over to the next person. The next activity could be combined with your story and make it even more FUN.
Give a Puppet Show for Family & Friends-
Take the story your Family has just written or use a favorite book your kids would love to act out. You can use puppets you have or make ones using old socks. Assign everyone a character they have to make a puppet for. That can also be the character they play in the production. Have family and friends over, add popcorn and make an evening of it. You can get even more creative and make posters depicting the characters in the show or make programs to hand out. The most important objective is to have FUN!
Create a "SUPER HERO" Day-
Kids often have a favorite Super Hero they would love to be. What if you told them they could have any powers they wanted, what would they choose? What if they got to create their own Super Hero on paper and you help them bring it to life? Their Super Hero could require a cape you could help make. Maybe it’s a lightening bolt on a shirt and mask. What a wonderful way to tap into your creativity and team up with your child to create a costume. You can help them cut symbols, letters, numbers out of felt and glue them on a shirt, cape (towel), mask or hat. The ideas are endless. The cost can be minimal and the time spent with your child priceless.
Camping Out Indoors-
My kids and now my granddaughter love this. We put up a small tent in the middle of our family room. We turn off all the lights and only lanterns and flashlights are allowed. Even if someone has to go to the bathroom, don’t forget to take your flashlight. We make sandwiches, anything we don’t have to cook, we have fruit and other snacks too. Of course we so have to have smores. We either warm them in the microwave or we put them on a stick and turn on the toaster oven to just lightly toast the marshmallows.
We play card games like UNO that everyone can play or a fun boardgame we have. When it’s bed time lights out and everyone snuggles up close to go to sleep.
My Daycare kids loved this. We would put a line, using tape, in the middle of the room. We would divide the kids, who wanted to play, into two teams. Each team had to stay behind the tape. Then I would release the snowballs. We ended up laughing so hard at times we could hardly throw them. The kids talked about it the rest of the year and couldn’t wait till the next winter so we could do it again.
I made some of my snowballs out of white tights and batting. I also bought them too. Either way works.
Go To The Library-
What a GREAT way to find fun facts about sharks, learn how to build a robot, study the solar system, or research a country. Find some new favorite books for bedtime. Winter is a great time to cozy up with a good book and relax. Make it part of your family’s routine. My kids found many a new series they loved on our library excursions. Books can also make a great Scavenger Hunt surprise.
Game Night For The Family-
Game Night at our house was always the best night of the week. We usually had them on a Friday night. It was a great way to unwind at the end of a busy week. We ordered pizza and made sure we had plenty of snacks. Then we let the games begin! We let the kids take turn picking the game. My favorite was when the girls would choose PRETTY, PRETTY PRINCESS and my husband and son would have earrings or a necklace on. Us girls would laugh so hard. Then my husband just had to add his “Princess” voice with the princess wave. My kids still talk about it to this day. The most important thing is to make memories with your Family. Laughter can be the best medicine after a busy week.
Sometimes if there was a new movie the kids were waiting to see, we would have movie night. As a young family it was too expensive to take everyone to the movies so we had movie night at home. Everyone was allowed to pick out their favorite treat for the movie. We would lay out all our pillows, blankets and favorite stuffed animals. We snuggled up close and watched the movie together. Then the next week we went back to game night. A little change makes it more fun!
Make a creative space for your kids. It can be anywhere. Stock it up with FUN items such as crayons, markers, construction paper, stencils, stickers, scissors (optional), googly eyes, glue, foam, shapes, coloring sheets and fun worksheets etc. This is a great way to tap into your child’s creativity and will allow them to experiment with different materials on their own.
Whether you experience each activity or you combine a few, the most important gift you can give your child is your “TIME”. I will never regret spending time with my kids. We still laugh over the fun times we’ve had. Now my husband and I get to make new memories with our granddaughter. Kids grow up and start their own lives. So now is the best time to create memories that they will spend a life time reminiscing.