Winter can be a challenging time for stay at home moms (or dads). Being unable to send kids outside to let off steam and give you a bit of a rest can drive even the most even-keeled of us to the brink.
Everyone gets a little bit of cabin fever, which can cause us to be irritable, critical, and whiny. Of course, there’s always parking the kids in front of the tv, but that’s never the best option.
But on the other hand, winter could also be a season when your kids remember turning the house into a whole new kind of playground.
It could be that there are certain games that make winter your favorite time of year to bond with your kids and learn more about each other than ever before.
Here are some ideas for fun indoor wintertime activities that will keep you and your children busy and entertained.
Write a Story Together
Depending on the ages and abilities of your kids, you could embark on this project in a lot of different ways. Here are three methods that I like using:
- Round Robin. If the kids are younger, it might be best to try round robin out loud. Start with one sentence. The next person builds on the first with another sentence, and so on around the circle until your story comes to a natural close. After creating your story, write it down. If the kids are older, you can challenge them each to write down a paragraph one after another in a quieter game that’s even easier to bind together into a book.
- Magazine Prompts. Cut and paste pictures from magazines onto pieces of paper. As you create the story together, use the pictures for inspiration on where the story will go next. You can combine this method with round robin for a story that goes places you never would have thought!
- Write down a story that you make up yourself and have your children illustrate it for you.
Once you have a story and pictures, make a project out of binding together the book. One of the best things about this activity is that at the end of it, you’ll have a treasured family memento.
This activity is great because it’s a long-term activity that both you and the kids will learn a lot from.
It’s also an ideal wintertime activity because during the harsh weather, birds need fresh sources of water and supplemental food, and so more and more interesting species will be attracted to your yard.
If you’re lucky, they might even decide to build their spring nests there, and then you and the kids can watch the whole lifecycle! Backyard birdwatching starts with creating some fun homemade bird feeders.
This article has some really easy ideas that work great with kids.
Next, get some binoculars and some birding guides for the local area. Learn about new species as they come to the yard. You can also download apps for more learning opportunities.
Help the kids get involved in the excitement by making a chart of the most common species in your area and seeing if you can check them all off.
Rearrange the Furniture
I know this sounds more like a boring chore at first, but it actually works wonders. For one thing, we all get a little stale and restless-feeling in the winter.
Switching up the living room, or someone’s bedroom arrangement, can make the house feel novel and exciting again, and no one feels this more than kids. Rearranged furniture can inspire a whole new set of games and activities for you both.
One more advantage that I love is that rearranging the furniture usually gives you a chance to do some extra cleaning in the dusty corners of the house.
Winter always makes me feel kinda dingy and dirty and gross, and knowing that most pest infestations accelerate in the winter only makes it worse. The chance to do some extra corner-cleaning will make the room feel fresh and new again, which inspires more play and creativity.
Alright, this game can be a double-edged sword, because it’s a really active game that could turn your household organization on its ear, but it’s sure to be an activity that your kids adore, especially when the parents get involved. If the carpet is hot lava, how do you get from place to place?
Add panels of spare carpeting, hand towels, or clothing to make transportation from one place to the other easier. To amp up the excitement, designate a lava monster or even two, who can’t step out of the lava, but can chase people from place to place.
Let your kids dress you, use your makeup, pull out old clothes and Halloween costumes. Make it extra fun by making a runway out of cardboard boxes or extra fabric.
Take pictures and practice your best poses. This game can go on for hours, especially with little girls. Insist that each outfit is properly accessorized and displayed to best advantage.
You can even make a Facebook album out of your favorite poses, or craft a fun photo booth backdrop where you guys can try out your best red-carpet poses.
Not every food lends itself to help from little hands. However, this could be a great time to get the kids involved in the kitchen, a lesson that could lead to a lifelong hobby or passion, as well as better health for your child and maybe a night or two off of cooking duty for you in the future.
A few things that are great to get kids’ help with are decorating cookies, or making a pizza together. Let them roll out the dough and pick the toppings.
What are your favorite indoor activities during the winter? Share below!
Category: Home Hints