The cold temperatures and potential snow days can leave many moms feeling a bit anxious. What are we going to do every day all day?? Here are a few fun, easy, affordable winter activities for you and your children; many of these suggestions may require you for part of the time but will also keep the kids occupied for a while so you can take a break or get some other work done.
1. Make Mashed Potato Snowmen
When the real snow is a no show; use carrots, peas, and olives to make a face.
2. Have a Beach Day
When the dark, dreary days of winter leave you longing for sun, sand, and water! Wear bathing suits, put out beach towels, serve snacks and drinks from a cooler, play music, and enjoy the day! (You could also use the rice box and pretend it is sand)
3. Exercise Together
Put in a workout video and wear your workout clothes. Get creative and channel your inner Jane Fonda or Richard Simmons. Have fun while doing something healthy!
4. Have a Dance Party in the Car
One day while in the car some great music was playing on the radio. Not wanting to turn off the radio when we arrived home, I decided we would stay in the car and dance. My kids had a great time and we made a wonderful memory. Being spontaneous can sometimes be the most fun whether it a dance party in the car or a picnic in the snow, just be open to trying something new and unexpected!
5. Make a Dance Video
Record your children singing and dancing. If you are really looking to use up some time let them dress up too. You will all love watching these videos over and over again.
6. Write a Short Story and Have Your Child Illustrate It
Write a story based on something your child is interested in. Write or type the sentences or words on several pieces of drawing paper (put together like a book). Read with your child and have him draw pictures to go along with the story.
7. Make Your Own Rice Bin
Fill a short, plastic storage bin with several bags of rice and uncooked pasta. Add plastic cups and spoons and if available, sand toys. Spread towels on the kitchen floor or mudroom and this will keep them entertained on even the dreariest of days. I found some great do it yourself rice bins at Little Bins For Little Hands.
8. Make Your Own Coloring Books
Print out several coloring pages found online (Google coloring pages or go to disneyjr.com or nickjr.com). Have children decorate a cover and bind all the pages together.
9. Play Vet
Gather up a bunch of stuffed animals and have your child give each one a check up. You can be the receptionist and call each patient in. A great activity when you are busy doing something else because it requires only a small amount of your time.
10. Play Doctor
Feeling tired or under the weather? Lie down and let your kids perform a check up on you! Have them fill out your charts and take your vitals, etc. It will keep them entertained while you take a break!
11. Have Dogs?
Teach them to play hide and seek. Have them sit and stay while the kids hide and then release the dogs when the kids are ready to be found.
12. Make a Fort
Use blankets and pillows and the kitchen table or a couch as the base to create a secret hideout. Pretend you are pirates or castaways on an island.
13. Have a Treasure Hunt
Create cards with hints on them and hide them around the house all leading to one big treasure (a cupcake, small present, etc) dress up as pirates and go hunting for the treasure.
14. Play I Spy
Use color and shapes in your descriptions. If children are learning to or able to spell, try saying what letter the object begins or ends with as a hint.
15. Get Creative with Cardboard Boxes
Save large boxes for a rainy day. These can be turned into kitchens, cars, trucks, spaceships, forts, etc.
16. Play Hide and Seek
Challenge your child to count past 10, say the alphabet instead of counting, or recite the colors in the rainbow (mix it up)!
17. Need to Get Out of The House?
Go to a local coffee shop or bakery and have hot chocolate and cookies.
18. Who Says You Can Only Eat Ice Cream in The Summer?
Go to an ice cream store and have ice cream for lunch or dinner with healthy snacks in between.
19. Is There Construction Going on Near You?
Pack a lunch or bring some snacks and park the car near the work site. Little ones will love watching the bulldozers, cranes, and other trucks.
20. Take A Walk
On a mild winter day get some fresh air and take a break from TV and other electronics. It will feel great to get some natural vitamin D.
21. Snowy Day?
Fill a water gun with water and food coloring and spray the snow. You can write words, letters, draw shapes, etc.
22. Too Cold to Play Outside?
Have a snow ball fight inside with rolled up socks!
23. Go Swimming in the Bathtub
One rainy day my disappointed children were instantly cheered up by getting to wear their bathing suits and swim goggles in the bath tub.
24. Play Beauty Shop
Do each others hair and give manicures and pedicures. Get dressed up in fancy dresses; you finally have a reason to wear your wedding dress again!
25. Buy Large Rolls of Paper
Trace your child lying down on the paper and have him color the picture of himself
26. Make Your Own Indoor Car Wash
Fill up one big bowl with soapy water and another with plain water. Give her some dish rags and an old tooth brush and gather up all the match box cars in the house to be washed.
27. Decorate Cookies
Color white frosting with food dye and use store bought sugar cookies (or make your own) to decorate. Use sprinkles, M and M’s, chocolate chips, etc. Have a contest for most creative cookie. Make a plate of finished cookies and bring to a neighbor or friend.
28. Play Restaurant
Have your child come up with a restaurant name, create a menu, wait on you and serve you. More than one child? Have one be the chef and one the waiter (get dressed for the part). Use play food or pull out some real food for them to create a special meal from.
29. Getting Ready to Make Over Your Child’s Room?
Look through catalogs, paint samples, and search the internet together to gather ideas for decorating the room.
30. Make a Dot to Dot
Have work to do but your little one is not letting you? Give her a piece of paper and tell her to make dots all over the paper. Then have her connect the dots with a line, using a different color. Do several of these and (when you are done working) look at each one and talk about what the pictures look like. This works well when you have an older child doing homework and a younger one that wants something to do.