Winter is my least favourite season for a few reasons, all of which seem to centre around the cold. I don’t do well in the chilly weather and when it comes to keeping kids entertained, this season always seems to make it a little more challenging.
This time of year, I can’t tell them to run outside and get their sillies out when they’re all full of energy—playing at the neighbourhood park with their friends. It’s so easy in the summer, but when winter hits, the kids have to bundle up in a million layers to keep from getting too cold and sometimes the weather is so bad it means they have to stay inside.
The cold is an inevitable part of a Canadian winter, so why not be prepared? Here’s my list of 7 great indoor activities for kids when the weather keeps the family inside. With this list, they can have a lot of fun and I can keep my sanity!
1. Play board games
I used to love playing board games when I was a kid and I think it’s an amazing way to not only have a great time when the weather is less-than-favourable, but it’s a great way to spend time as a family. With all the different games to choose from, you can pick one that‘s great for any age and you can even find games that work on specific skills like reading and art— making the fun time educational as well.
2. Work on a puzzle together
I love puzzles myself and for my kids. They’re a great way to build developmental skills while having a great time as a family. Depending on your child’s age, you can choose shape-based wood puzzles or go all out and work for a few days on those giant 3D puzzles that look like the real thing.
3. Learn to cook or bake
If your kids are anything like mine, they love helping out in the kitchen—especially if they’re working to make something amazing to eat. Use the winter weather as an opportunity to show your child their way around the kitchen: find a recipe that you all love, go to the store, pick out all the ingredients and make the recipe of choice. Kids can help with all aspects—depending on their age—and they’ll learn a great skill while having fun and staying warm. Make sure to keep the kitchen cupboards stocked with baking ingredients and baking supplies for whenever the baking bug bites!
4. Have a dance party
If the outside is all doom, gloom, and snow storming—keeping you inside, bring the happy times indoors and have a summer-themed dance party. All you need is the great music you’d hear on the beach, some coconut-scented candles to remind you of sunscreen, and your best moves. It’s a great way for your kids to work out their energy during the winter and it’s destined to put everyone in a great mood.
5. Make snowflakes
Sure, outside you can find endless amounts of snowflakes to play in but the problem with those are they’re cold and wet, and you want to be warm and dry. Bring the winter indoors, but keep it blissful by making snowflakes out of paper. You can come up with interesting patterns, colour and paint, and really make a great snowstorm indoors—without all that cold. There’s a great how-to tutorial on paper snowflakes from Instructables you should check out. If you’re not excited about bringing the outside in, try another craft project!
6. Play hopscotch
Who says this is an indoor game— not me! Take this summertime favourite and bring it indoors using markers, paper, tape, and a small rock or any other little knick knack that’s throwable. There is a great tutorial for indoor hopscotch on The Idea Room giving you all the tips and steps you need to make this into a great snowed-in winter activity for your kids.
7. Build a fort
One of my favourite things as a kid was building an indoor fort out of all the things I really shouldn’t be playing with. I’d take the couch cushions off, pull the chairs out of the kitchen, and grab the big comforter off my parent’s bed and make an epic fort. This is an activity your kids can do on their own and the bigger and more elaborate fort, the better! Keeping a kit like Crazy Forts on hand for just this reason is a really great idea (this also makes an excellent gift for kids and parents at Christmas!).
What are some of your favourite winter-weather survival indoor activities? Share in the comments!
Devan McGuinness is the editor-in-chief and founder of byDevan.com. Previously blogging at AccustomedChaos.com, Devan branched out to start byDevan.com — a resource for busy people who still want time for exceptional. She has been married to her high-school sweetheart for 10 years and they are parents to 4 children, who they home school. Diagnosed with celiac disease and casein intolerance, the allergy-friendly recipes on byDevan are real meals she and her family actually eat at home.