The cold temperatures may mean we have to put a hold on bike rides and pool days and focus on winter car seat safety, but don’t fret. There are plenty of fun things to do indoors. It just takes some thinking. As a stay-at-home mom, I had to scour the Internet for ideas and get my own creative juices flowing to come up with some out-of the-ordinary activities to delight my kids. Your toddlers and preschoolers will surely love these ideas, too. The best news is that many of these activities can be carried out with supplies you already have around the home, or ones that are budget friendly and easy to find in stores. Here are five great indoor activities for kids you can try this winter:
Marshmallows and pretzel sticks are the perfect supplies to build a sailboat, a house, a pig, or whatever else you can think of. Use the pretzels to skewer the marshmallows, and – wah-lah! – your children will have a masterpiece they can play with (and eventually eat), too.
This sweet and easy project is fun and simple even for the non-Betty Crocker types of moms. To make sugar-cookie pizzas, slice cookies from refrigerated sugar cookie dough (use more dough than you would use if you were making cookies). On a cookie sheet, flatten the dough, bake, and let cool for about 10 minutes. Next, your little helpers can decorate their pizzas. You can use icing for sauce, white sprinkles for cheese, and red M&M’s for pepperoni. To make the pizza healthier (as healthy as sugar cookies can be!), top the icing with fruit toppings such as strawberries, blueberries and kiwis.
Story-tell with a twist.
To bring new life to classic stories, use this trick. Read one of your child’s favorite books. When you get to a point of action, have your child take charge of the story and call the shots. For example, if you are reading The Big Bad Wolf, consider asking your child what he would do if he was a piggy and his house blew down. Would he run from the wolf? How would he feel? It helps keep children thinking on their toes and is one of many easy ways to fire your children’s imagination.
Build your own sensory table.
In October, we visited a local park that had a friendly trick-or-treat night complete with a hayride and tables with witch’s hair (straw) and witch’s moles (rubber balls with strings),
|The kids having a blast playing in uncooked macaroni noodles.
and some other similar ideas. You can do the same at home. Fill bowls with textured objects such as steel-wool pads, rice, dry beans, cotton balls and flour. Blindfold your child, have him feel the objects and describe them. You can even ask him or her to guess the object.
Have an indoor picnic.
Take a non-messy lunch out of the kitchen for a special treat. Grab a basket and gather up some picnic-type foods that kids can help pack, such as string cheese, raisins, carrots and fruit. Assemble some sandwiches and, while your kids watch in awe, spread out a blanket in the family room and invite them over to enjoy the indoor picnic. If you can’t get outdoors, as least you can pretend!
I hope you can use these ideas of indoor activities for kids to make your chilly winter days at home a little livelier! Have any other indoor activities your children enjoy? Feel free to share. We would love to hear about them!
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