Keeping the Kids Busy on Dreary Winter Days

It’s winter and in most parts of the country, that means weather that’s unpredictable and not always the best. Whether it’s freezing cold, snowing, rainy, gray, or just plain gloomy, many of these days aren’t ideal for sending the kids out to play. In these wintery months after the excitement of the holidays and holiday vacations, the kid’s boredom will start to set in. Even after the onslaught of new things for the holidays, you are bound to hear, “I have nothing to do” and “I’m so bored”.

It is at those times that every parent needs an arsenal; a secret bag of activities to prevent the whining and keeping them from bouncing off the walls.

It’s even a good idea to have a literal secret bag. Or a jar, folder, or binder where you can have activity ideas stashed away. At the first mention of boredom, it is then easy to tell the kids to go pick something from that stash. But what kinds of activities can go in your secret stash? From activities they can do alone to fun things for the whole family, here are just a few ideas to help you survive until spring.

A Treasure Hunt

Hide a prize somewhere in the house and then create a treasure map and set up clues to locate it. Place the clues in labeled envelopes (like “#2 of 10) to help the kids keep track and then send them hunting. Another option is to have the kids hide the treasure, create the map, and clues and send you on the hunt.

Indoor Obstacle Course

Crash through pillows, hurdle ottomans, crawl under a table….. Let the kids make a safe but fun obstacle course using things around the house. It’s a great way to be creative, use logical thinking, and burn off a lot of excess energy.

Paper Airplane Races

Start with a basic paper airplane and see how far they fly. Provide the kids with crayons, markers, or colored pencils so they can make the plane their own. Once they have their basic design down, challenge them to add things like paperclips, tape, or stickers to see how that affects how fast and how far they will go.

Inside Camp-Out

We all used to build forts and tents out of chairs and blankets when we were kids. Let your kids take this fun to the next level. If you have a small dome or pop-up tent, set it up in the living room and add pillows, blankets, and anything else you would need on a traditional camp out. Make it even more fun by having a picnic on floor or making foods you would normally make outside.

Family Film Festival

Nothing beats curling up with a blanket and a good movie on a bleak day. Have everyone in the family pick a favorite movie, stay in their pajamas, and grab some pillows and blankets. Make popcorn and snacks and snuggle up together to share some family time because a few good laughs is a great way to beat the winter blahs.

Word Fun

This one takes no planning, no props, and can be done anywhere. And all it takes is imagination.

  • Pick a style of story and beginning with “once upon a time…”, have each child add one word and see where the story goes.
  • Have one person say a line to start a poem. Each person must add a line but it must rhyme with the previous one.
  • Invent your own monster or superhero. Let each child add a new characteristic and add to the description.

The key is to be creative, think outside the box, and let your kids be imaginative and creative!

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