By Rachel Wells
If your kids (or you!) are feeling a little bit stir crazy while stuck inside with the colder weather, beat the winter blahs with some fun indoor activities for kids. It is easy to feel cooped up and stir crazy once the cold winter weather arrives. Fortunately, kids can be easily entertained once they see something as new or different, or maybe even a little bit messy. Hopefully you have a chance to try some or all of the following activities to create some indoor captivating winter entertainment.
It doesn’t have to be spring time to go on an egg hunt. An egg hunt is equally entertaining at any time during the year. You can hide little treats in the eggs, or spice it up by putting something different inside the eggs like puzzle pieces. If you hide puzzle pieces in eggs, you can then
follow up the hunt with puzzle time together. Two activities in one, you can’t beat that!
There is definitely a time and place to do a craft of your choice with your child. They will no doubt be excited to hear “hey let’s make slime together”. But how fun would it be to turn craft time into a challenge or competition. There are a few different ways to go about this. One way is to give everyone participating the same 5 items (i.e. 1 popsicle stick, 1 cotton ball, 1 piece of yarn, googly eyes, and 1 pipe cleaner) along with scissors, crayons, paper, and glue, and see what everyone can make out of those five select chosen items. Another way to do a craft challenge would be to assign a task, for example giving 30 minutes to make an instrument, and let your child find whatever they can around the house to create with.
Kids love to build, and if you have never given your child a few packs of large plastic drinking cups, I assure you they are missing out. I have yet to find a group of kids that did not love building with plastic cups. Have your child design a wall, store front, castle, time machine, you name it. To extend this activity with an older child, try recording them on a tablet or cell phone jumping through their creation and play it back to them in slow motion. So much fun!
One final idea to beat winter boredom is with sensory play. Although these can be a bit messy they are worth it for the amount of entertainment and educational value they provide. Try dying dried pasta, rice, or cooked spaghetti. You don’t need to spend a lot of money when planning out fun indoor activities for kids. To make colored pasta or rice, simply put your desired amount in a Ziploc bag along with a few drops of food coloring and a little rubbing alcohol. Make sure the pasta is coated and then set it on a paper towel or cookie sheet to dry.
Once it’s dry, give your child cups and spoons to scoop with, hide treasure hunt objects in the colored pieces, or use string to create colored dried pasta jewelry if you color pasta shapes like penne or rigatoni.If none of these activities strike your fancy, don’t underestimate classic boredom busters. Build a couch fort, spend time cooking together, or play card or board games together (you can even try making your own board games together). There are so many fun indoor activities for kids that there is no need to spend the winter bored. Remember that no matter what you choose to do together, it’s the quality of the time that counts, not the activity itself. Spend time really engaging with your child, listening to them talk, and watching how they play, discover and grow!