What do you do with your kids when it’s too cold for them to go and play outdoors?
It can be a challenge to keep children entertained when they’re stuck indoors and full of energy. But rather than whiling away the hours in front of a screen, you can help them get creative.
Fun winter indoor activities for kids
Get some inspiration from these seven winter indoor activities to keep kids busy.
Help them create artwork for their bedroom walls
Kids love to decorate their walls, don’t they? To keep the crayons off the actual walls and on paper, you can download some free coloring pages online.
Colouring in improves young children’s motor skills, and it’s a fun way to keep younger kids busy when you need to stay indoors.
To make it even more exciting, you could reuse some old picture frames. Older children can paint the frames in colours that match your little ones’ bedrooms. Once they’ve completed their colouring in, simply pop their new ‘artworks’ into the repainted frames and hang them up.
Who says you need to be in the great outdoors to go camping? Delight your toddlers and tweens with an indoor “campsite”.
Bring in your patio chairs that currently aren’t getting much use, or use dining chairs, and let the kids drape old blankets or sheets over them before crawling inside.
Make some healthy snacks for their “camping trip”, and encourage them to lie in their makeshift tents telling stories. You could even let them sleep in their indoor tents – just make sure you provide some torches for when it gets dark, so they can navigate their way to the bathroom.
Make homemade gift boxes and cards for Christmas
With the festive season looming, rope the kids into creating homemade cards, or a decorative box for Dad’s Christmas gift. This is a fun activity for kids from toddlers right through to teens.
Personalised cards always go down well. And repurposing old boxes with old gift wrap and leftover arts and crafts scraps is fun too – plus it’s a great lesson on recycling and sustainability.
Knit scarves for the winter
This is not only a great way to keep tweens and teens busy, but it’s also really useful too. If you or someone else in the family is a keen knitter, you’ll probably have some old balls of yarn and knitting needles somewhere. A scarf is one of the easiest things for a beginner to knit, and they’ll adore wearing their new creations.
Knitting can also be done while watching a movie or some cartoons. So if your kids insist on watching TV, you can keep them productive while they do so.
A knitted scarf would also make a great gift for a relative; they can pop it into that homemade gift box we talked about earlier.
Encourage little green fingers
You don’t always need to go outdoors to enjoy nature. Indoor gardening – whether that’s houseplants or herbs – is an easy way to get kids into gardening. Most herbs and many other plants will grow quite happily on a windowsill, as long as there’s a bit of sunlight.
You don’t even have to go out and buy anything new. It’s easy to propagate plants by taking cuttings from old ones, and create new plants for free. Kids can also have fun decorating any unused pots you have lying around, or better yet, repurpose old containers from the recycling bin.
Start a treasure hunt
All kids love an adventure story, so let them be the stars of their very own adventure with a treasure hunt.
A treasure hunt is really easy to plan. Older children can help you hide ‘clues’ around the house for the younger children to find. Once they find each clue, it leads to another one.
Use their toys as clues, by following a theme – for example, all blue, or all superheroes. Give them some verbal clues to get them started searching too. Once they get to the last clue, surprise them with ‘treasure’ in the form of a treat.
Toddlers, and even some tweens, love playing dress-up. So instead of telling them to stay out of your wardrobe, give them clothes they’re allowed to play with. Use this as an opportunity to declutter. Once you have a pile of garments and accessories destined for the charity shop, you’ve got a dressing-up box.
Let your little ones dress up and make a stage play for you. This will keep them entertained, but also do wonders for their early childhood development. Imaginative play through dress-up is considered beneficial to developing social skills.
Hopefully these simple ideas for winter indoor activities have given you lots of inspiration, and help you to keep the kids active and entertained in all weathers. Do you have a favourite indoor game to add to the list?