This time of year has a lot of things going for it, but one of the biggest negatives can be the weather. Sure, it’s nice to wear sweaters and play in the snow, but the storms and frigid temperatures that accompany those things often make going outside a total drag. Unfortunately, kids are home from school and still need to be entertained. When the weather outside is just too frightful, here are a few things you can do with your kids to keep all of you from going nuts!
Bake & Decorate Cookies 1 of 7
Making cookies with kids is a time-honored tradition. Little kids can practice shapes and colors with cookie cutters and frosting, while older kids can let their inner cookie designer go wild. The best part is all the cookies can be given to people as gifts - 'tis the season, after all!
Make A Movie 2 of 7
Nowadays, almost everyone has a smart phone, and those all have video recording. My daughter absolutely loves to walk around with my phone, "making movies." Right now they make no sense, and they're terribly jumpy (think Blair Witch Project), but one of these days it's all going to click for her and we'll have some amazing little shorts on our hands. In the meantime, it's funny to watch her turn the camera on me and hear her say, "Mommy, let me see you dance!"
Construct! 3 of 7
Constructing things is wonderful for a child's development for a variety of reasons: creativity, motor skills, teamwork, etc. You can go all-out and buy blocks and LEGO, change it up with Play-Doh, or keep it simple with construction paper and tape. In the months leading up to Christmas, my daughter loves to make ornaments and decorations, and I'll keep them forever.
Make a Movie Theater 4 of 7
Every now and then, I'll pop a huge bowl of popcorn, grab our cozy blankets, and pile onto the couch with my kids for a movie of my daughter's choice. She likes the feeling of control I give her - "which of these three movies do you want to watch?" - and I love that she still wants to sit cuddled up next to me. These moments won't last forever!
Toys 5 of 7
Toys are an obvious go-to on a frigid day, but sometimes it just takes mom or dad playing with them to turn a previously deemed "boring" toy interesting again. I like to stock our playroom with toys that help foster learning and imagination (or both!). My daughter is very big on "teaching" her baby brother how to do things right now, so her current favorite toy is the VTech Teach & Touch Word Book. She wasn't sure about it until I said, "Hey, you can use it to help your brother learn words!" What I didn't tell her is that it's also helping her learn new words, and even some reading, too. She can sit and play with it for hours!
Simon Says 6 of 7
Simon says seems like a simple game, but it's actually a great want to help teach kids to really listen and comprehend. I have been known to start playing Simon Says whenever I feel like my daughter isn't being a good listener, and it always snaps her to attention. She loves being "Simon" and thinking of crazy things for me to do, so it helps with her creativity, too.
Build a Fort 7 of 7
Who doesn't like building a fort, especially with a parent? Every now and then, I love surprising my daughter by bringing out all the sheets, blankets, and pillows in our house and letting her help design a really killer fort. My favorite moments are after the fort is built and she invites me inside of it. She loves playing with me, and I love hearing the stories she's created to go with the fort. I love watching her mind at work.
What are your favorite indoor activities?