11 Winter Activities for Kids to prevent Cabin Fever
When you are in the middle of a cold, dark winter, it seems like you’ll barely see the light of day any time soon. And if your kids are restless, you have double trouble. You need to find something that will break the boredom and frustration. There are tons of activities that you can plan for you and/or your kids.
If you are outdoor people, the best activities are going to be outside. And many of them are low cost or free. You can go out and get some fresh air, even if it’s really cold and snowy, and even if it’s only for a few minutes. Make a snowman, build a fort, and snowball fights always work. And your kids will be tired and maybe want to do something quieter when they come in. Don’t forget the hot chocolate!
Dance your Heart Out
Yes, you heard me, Dance! Clear some space, blast your favorite music, and dance. Try “September” by Earth, Wind, and Fire or “Stayin’ Alive” from the movie Saturday Night Fever. There are unlimited songs out there for you to choose from. You probably know of some great ones yourself. Or let the kids choose some songs. They always come up with something, don’t they?
Over the Hills and through the Woods
How about a family vacation? If you can’t be gone for a week or two, how about a mini-vaca just over the weekend. There are plenty of resorts to stay at. Or maybe just a hotel with a pool will do. The rooms often have plenty of space for indoor activities.
You and the kids can spend two days in the pool room, splashing away and playing games. After swimming, relax for a bit, then go out for supper or order room service. End the day with a movie. Take lots of pictures, and you have a vacation.
Bath time for the Sake of Relaxation
Ok. So you have to stay home. You can always use indoor space creatively for play. If your kids love water, put them in the bathtub to just lie in the water and relax. That will take all of 5 minutes, then they will be splashing each other and having fun making a watery mess. That’s ok. Make it day where splashing is allowed.
Let’s Build a Fort
Other ways you can use space to break winter doldrums are: make a fort under the table with blankets and boxes, use a box to move around the room and find plushie toys. Make it a game with a goal. Let everyone have a turn pushing themselves around in the box. Or make it a team game where one rides and one pushes. Toys are allowed in these spaces.
The Wii is a Must Have indoors that Will Get You Moving
You could break out the Wii, whether it’s an older one that has not been used much or a surprise new one. Some the games revolve around tennis, guitar hero, baseball, mario bros., and more.
Make something Great
Kids crafts: Help the kids make something. Use wooden pieces, paint, glue or anything you have on hand. Got macaroni? Try stringing them together for a necklace. Make a puppy out of toilet paper tubes. Provide paper, paints, and stickers and let the little artist go to work.
How about paper owls? Use a small cardboard tube for the body and a cupcake liner cut in quarters to make the wings. Cut round paper for the eyes. Push in the top of the cardboard tube to make the ears. How cute would that be? Make enough so everyone has one and use them as decorations for the dinner table.
Use your Imagination and Go Places in Your Living Room
You can create living room activities. This is a choice of two. You can camp or have a beach party. You need blankets and pillows. And the items that fit with either camping or fun on the beach. Got beach towels and music? Then this is easy. Just add drinks and snacks. Then add toys and you’re good to go. And of course, the kids can help clean up when done.
Legos and Building Blocks
Bring out the Lego building blocks or make a space and work on a puzzle together. There are plenty of activities to engage the mind, and using building blocks and putting puzzles together are just two of them. The Lego building blocks are great fun for the kids. Most kids love them and have or want all of the sets. Both the blocks and the puzzles help develop kids cognitive minds and strengthen little muscles, encouraging both to grow. They are fun and can help adults, too so join in the fun with the kids.
Origami and Other Paper Activities
Do paper crafts like origami, or use paper and cut, color, and paint to make paper roll houses, kitties, or create paper bowls with coffee filters. You can use any other random items you have in the house.
Do you have anything left over from summer walks in the woods such as leaves, acorns, stones from the beach? Use these items as ears and noses on faces you might create. Or make a board game and use them as the pieces. There are so many possibilities you can’t even count them.
Let’s Make it a Date
Take your kids on a date. Make it special with corsages and boutonnieres made up ahead of time. They can be made out of paper or anything you like. Expensive flowers aren’t necessary. Let the kids help you plan the date days in advance. This way, they will have something to look forward to. Anticipation helps break up winter monotony. But you have to keep your promise and follow through.
Campfires out Back are Great in the Winter
Build a campfire outside and tell stories and have hot chocolate. You can bring the warmth outside. Lots of people will do some skiing or sledding. There is always someone who would rather build a fire in the pit than roll in the snow, so they can build the fire.
After sledding, come and warm up. Maybe someone had the foresight to make hot chocolate. If you’re lucky, your mom would rather be cooking than sledding. Gather around the campfire, drink hot chocolate, and tell stories. This is another way to burn off winter energy.
Bonus tip 1: Your kids have decided to help you cook dinner. Let them! They learn new skills and aren’t watching TV. What could be better? Match their skill and age to the job. Give them a tag they can wear that tells them what job they have. You can say, “Veggie Chopper,” “Sous Chef,” “Chef’s assistant, or “Kitchen Manager.” Have fun with it, and your kids will have fun too. Don’t forget to let them sample the goods.
Bonus tip 2: Did you know you can grow plants even in the winter? If you have large plants, let the kids help with feeding and watering. If you don’t, then use plastic egg cartons as seed starters. You can put in the dirt, plant the seeds, and water them.
The children will have fun watching for the first green of each seedling to show through the soil. This is a good learning opportunity as well, as they can learn words associated with plants and growing them. Being able to see the seeds and dirt and seedlings make the words easier to remember, and they are learning an activity that will serve them in the future.
We hope you enjoyed these ideas and that they give you the spark you need to come up with more ideas for breaking up with the winter doldrums. We understand that sometimes parents have so many things going on that to try to think of something new is like looking at a desert. You just can’t think anymore.
So we hope that giving you these great ideas will help you think of even more. Make it fun so that the kids want to participate. When they want to be active, they will help you get set up. And that’s easier for you. So dump the winter boredom. Jump into these activities and have a great time. And if you can’t think of anything in the moment, Just Dance!