by Rachel Wells
Winter can be hard for families that live in cold climates and find themselves cooped up inside for months at a time. If this sounds like you, we’re here to help you make it through the winter with happy campers. Check out this list of 15 free or inexpensive activities that will keep your kids occupied and having fun until the warmth of spring returns.
Volunteering is a win-win activity. Not only does it not cost anything, but it teaches children about giving back in ways that are engaging and fun. Look for local soup-kitchens where your family can serve meals, opportunities to play with puppies at a shelter, or donate gently used items to a donation center.
2. Family Game Night
Grab some snacks and enjoy a fun and cozy night in with a classic family game night. It’s always fun to mix in a few family favorites with some new options as well.
Some family games we love:
Make jewelry, paint a canvas, learn to sew, or watch some how-to origami videos. Crafting is great bonding time where you can work together and create a fun keepsake you can treasure for years to come.
4. Cooking Or Baking
Working together in the kitchen is a great way to bond, it’s a lot of fun, and it’s also a great way to teach independence while building confidence.
5. Play In The Snow
Make a fort, build a snowman, create snow angels, or go sledding. If it’s going to be cold and snowy might as well head out an enjoy.
6. Check Out Local Events
Check out your local library for winter events or see if your local museums are hosting any free days.
7. Play Flashlight Tag
Turn off all the lights, grab some flashlights, and enjoy a family game of flashlight tag or hide-and-seek around the house.
8. Make Birdfeeders
To make a simple birdfeeder cover a pinecone in peanut butter before rolling it in birdseed, or string cheerios onto a pipe cleaner.
9. Go Ice Skating
Find your inner figure skater by heading to a local indoor or outdoor rink.
10. Build Indoor Forts
Gather up all your pillows and blankets and construct the ultimate couch fort.
11. Hold A Hot Chocolate Making Contest
Winter and hot chocolate go together like peanut butter and jelly. To host a fun family hot chocolate contest, grab some hot chocolate mix, whipped cream, sprinkles, candy canes, marshmallows, caramel sauce, crushed Reese’s or Heath bars, and cinnamon sticks. Spread out all the ingredients, give everyone time to mix up their drink, then hold a taste test to see who made the best combination.
12. Set Up A Popcorn Tasting Movie Night
Before cozying up to enjoy a movie together set up a gourmet popcorn station that your kids will be talking about for weeks. Pop some plain popcorn and put out any of the following toppers to make some delicious and one-of-a-kind snacks.
- Melted chocolate
- Sprinkle cheese
- Chocolate chips
- Gummy bears
- Trail mix
13. Do A Puzzle
Sometimes the simplest activities are overlooked. Break out a nice big puzzle and leave it out in a central location. Even if your child isn’t super interested at first you can peak their interest by sitting down and getting a few pieces connected yourself – it won’t take long for them to join you.
14. Make Frozen Bubbles
If the weather is below freezing head outside and make some frozen bubbles! You can use regular bubble solution or make your own. All you need to do is blow the bubbles outside, catch one on your wand, and as long as it’s not too windy you will have frozen bubbles in no time. Your child can even touch the delicate frozen bubbles with their hands.
15. Do A Winter Science Experiment
Check out this post for some super fun snow themed science experiments that you can do with items commonly found around the house.
Which ways do you plan to freeze the day, and enjoy the winter months together?