Let it blow or snow outdoors and get busy inside instead with the whole family. Plan fun and engaging indoor winter activities to keep your kids delightfully entertained. They’ll love doing things that tie into the winter season — and you’ll love making meaningful family moments that you can remember for years to come.
Bring the Snow Inside
Instead of outdoor snow play, bring the snow indoors in a large, see-through, plastic bin, suggests Melissa & Doug, a company that manufactures innovative toys for kids. Sure, a bin of snow in your family room might get a little messy, but the mess will be worth it when you see your children’s delight as they scoop and mold the white stuff. Give your children a few measuring cups, sand toys and shovels to add to the fun. Suggest that they build snowy terrains for toy animals or action figures. If you don’t have snow available, fill the bin with ice cubes for an entertaining alternative. You can even get creative with the ice cubes by freezing toy figures in some of the cubes for surprise discoveries. Just don’t forget to remind your kids that the snow bin won’t last long indoors so they’re not disappointed when the snow or ice melts.
Baking cookies is a favorite holiday activity, but you can pull out the cookie ingredients even if the holidays are behind you. Kids often love the process of rolling out sugar cookie dough and cutting it into seasonal and fun shapes. Have lots of plastic cookie cutters on hand so your kids can make a variety of cookies. Keep in mind that large cookies are easier to decorate. Provide colorful frostings, bright sprinkles, chocolate chips, coconut flakes and other edible, fun treats for decorating. Once the cookies are baked and cooled have a family, cookies and milk party to celebrate your work.
Bring the beauty of snow indoors by making paper snowflakes. White basket coffee filters make ideal circles for cutting snowflakes. Keep the little ones away while you press the coffee filters flat with an iron set to low heat. Once pressed and flat, fold each coffee filter in half three times to make a wedge. Give your children safety scissors and show them how to snip along all sides of the wedge to create a snowflake design. When they open out the folded coffee filter, it should look like a snowflake. Suspend the snowflakes from the ceiling, each on a piece of string or ribbon to create your own indoor “snowfall.” You can also make a garland of snowflakes by stringing 10 to 15 snowflakes onto a string or a ribbon. Hang the garland on the wall, between windows or even on a tree.
Just because it’s not July doesn’t mean that you can’t have a picnic. Fill a picnic basket full of the family’s favorite picnic fare — sandwiches, cold chicken or even pizza. With a full picnic meal prepared and packed, spread out your picnic blanket in your living or family room. If you have a fireplace — a real one or a not-so-real-one — get a fire going to give your picnic a winter spin. Or, if it’s snowing outside, position your picnic blanket in front of a window, so you can watch the snow fall. Besides eating your picnic foods, you can read a book together, work on a jigsaw puzzle or even play a game of cards.