As most Canadian parents know, winter can be a lot of fun but it can also bring on severe bouts of boredom. As we move into mid-February, and closer to March Break, parents may start running out of ideas for things that they can do with their children. These five fun indoor activities you can do with your kids should help banish those winter blahs.
1. Get Crafty
Now, you don’t have to be Martha Stewart to get into this one. All you need is a few dollars and a bit of imagination (or a Pinterest account!) to create a fun activity.
If you aren’t very creative, take a look at Pinterest to see what people are pinning craft-wise. When we do this, we usually line up our crafts to an upcoming holiday. However, you can simply search Pinterest for ‘fun crafts for kids’ to see plenty of craft ideas that are good for any time of the year.
Once you find one that your children will enjoy, check out what you’ll need in terms of material and make a list. Head on over to your local dollar store or Dollarama and let the fun begin! You can get most of the craft supplies you need there and the best part is that it will cost you next to nothing.
Once you’re stocked up, head on home and lay out the craft. Make it inviting and fun and let your child’s imagination run wild – even if it means deviating from the original craft idea.
2. Forts and Boats and Sharks, Oh My!
One of the things our family does often, to stave off boredom, is create things with the couch cushions, pillows and blankets. We take everything off the couch and arrange it into boats and forts and whatever else we can come up with creatively.
Couch cushions are arranged into a square, which acts as a boat, while one of us pretends to be a shark. The shark circles the boat and if the people on the boat splash the water, the shark attacks. This creates a whole lot of fun and lots of screams and giggles.
Cushions and blankets are stacked precariously using chairs and other props to create forts with hallways and little side buildings. We pretend to be people living in caves, dogs hanging out in their doghouse and more. Lots of imagination and creativity in use here.
3. Putting on a Play or a Concert
Another great thing to do with your kids is to put on a play or a concert in your living room. You can hang blankets or curtains to act as the frame of the stage and set out a blanket to act as the stage floor. Pull out some of your own clothes or your child’s dress up clothes along with some of your accessories (the inexpensive ones!) to really let their creativity flourish.
If you get them involved with the entire process – picking the music or setting the tone of the play, choosing what they will wear and how the performance will go – you’ll empower them to make creative decisions and time will slip by quickly.
4. Baking and Cooking
One of the things that we do often in our house is involve our daughter in baking and cooking. She’s only two but that doesn’t mean we can’t get her to help us anyway! Pull up a chair to your counter and let your children help you with the things you do in the kitchen.
If you’re nervous about them doing specific activities, get them to do simple things like stirring a mix in a bowl, dropping cookie dough onto a sheet or pressing a cookie cutter into your dough. As they get older and gain confidence in the kitchen, you can let them do different things.
A fun tip: get some sprinkles and icing tubes and other fun decorative goodies and let them decorate finished cookies or cupcakes. This is a really great way to get them involved and the sugar high will be worth it!
5. Create a Storybook
Children of all ages can participate in this one. Work with your children to create a storybook. Depending on their ages that might mean writing some of it or it might mean simply drawing the scenes for different pages. If they are really little, have them simply stick stickers or drop glitter onto pages with a bit of glue.
Creating a storybook that involves your child is even more special so come up with a storyline that makes them the star and you’ll see them glow with pride when it’s complete.
Erin is one of the co-founders of Ottawa Valley Moms. She is a work-at-home mom with a 20-month old daughter named Willow. She and her husband Steve have been married since 2005 and they live in the suburbs of Ottawa. Erin is a CHEO Moms & Dads blogger, a Kellogg’s blogger, a YouTube partner, the founder of a virtual assistance company and the founder of an online marketing firm. When she isn’t working she enjoys reading, couponing, going to the movies and gardening.