Winter is a tough time for kids, especially ones who are too little to go to school during the day. With limited space for them to run and play, cabin fever sets in quickly. Kids have boundless energy and fewer options to remain active and engaged during the winter. Every parent knows what happens when kids do not have an outlet. Try these fun and mostly free winter-friendly activities the next time your child mumbles those famous words, “Mom, I’m bored.”
8. Take Them To The Mall
Consider the mall a free place for your kids to move around and get some energy out. Lots of malls offer a play area for younger kids to climb, play, and interact with other children. If your kids are too old for the play center, have them walk laps around the mall for exercise. Treat them to lunch after so many laps and encourage them to keep on going if they want dessert. Make it fun by visiting their favorite stores or doing some window shopping.
7. Visit The Public Library
The library is another great option if you are looking for a free place to visit in the winter. Most libraries have story time for younger children that include crafts and activities. Older children can participate in book clubs or spend a few quiet hours reading. Check out your local library’s website for times and dates of their most favorite activities. Some libraries have toys, puzzles, audio books, and computer games that are designed for building essential skills needed in school.
It is never too early to get kids comfortable with helping out in the kitchen. Baking chocolate chip cookies or cupcakes is not only fun; they taste good too! Ask your children to help you measure out the flour and sugar. If you are feeling generous, let them crack the eggs into the bowl. Show them how to gently stir the mixture and use their hands to shape the dough. Cookies are a great option because they only take about ten to twelve minutes to cook.
5. Build A Fort
Tap into your child’s creative side by building a fort made with a large blanket or comforter, two chairs, and lots of pillows. If you have more than one child, help them each build a fort. Encourage them to make up fun scenarios and act them out. Your daughter can be a princess in her tower, or your son can be a knight in shining armor. Forts turn ordinary playtime into something more exciting. Try reading with a flashlight in your child’s fort or even eating a snack in their “cave.”
4. Get Crafty
Crafts are not only a good way to pass the time; they also help your child develop fine motor skills. Have them put on a smock or one of your old T-shirts and break out the paint. If painting on construction paper gets dull, head to the store for a three-dimensional object, like a wooden sculpture of their favorite animal. Activity books are another great option. Look for ones with lots of stickers, mess-free markers, and workbooks.
Even children are old enough to reap the benefits of volunteer work! Sign up your entire family for volunteer opportunities such as at food banks or animal shelters. Your local church or community center may have a list of things children can do to help. This may include packaging up food for the needy and delivering them to their destination. You can also take your kids to visit with elderly residents at nursing homes who have no family.
2. Host A Sleepover
One way to get your kids through the dreary winter days is to host a sleepover at your house with at least one of their friends. They will enjoy having a friend over to sleep in their room, eat with them, and just play! Create a fun itinerary such as making pizza for dinner, having milk and cookies as a bedtime snack, and watching their favorite movie on television. When they wake up the next morning, treat them to chocolate chip pancakes or a meal that would only be allowed on special occasions.
1. Get Outside For Exercise
The weather might be cold, but that does not mean you have to stay inside all winter long! Take your kids outside to play in the snow or at least to run around a bit! Bundle them up with snow pants, winter coats, hats, gloves, and boots and let them make a snowman. When you come inside, treat your kids to hot chocolate or a special treat to help them warm up. The fresh air and exercise will do them a world of good!