Winter is here and while the snow outside may be pretty, it isn’t always possible to let the kids go outside and play. This often means more time being spent inside during the winter. Unfortunately, it isn’t always easy to keep kids busy and happy when they’re cooped up inside all day. If your kids aren’t part of the 6.7 billion kids who receive care from a non-relative regularly, you may find yourself scrambling for ideas to keep your kids occupied for the remainder of winter. So to help keep your kids busy and help keep your sanity intact, here are a few activity ideas.
A Treasure or Scavenger Hunt
A treasure or scavenger hunt is the ultimate way to keep the kiddos busy indoors. All you need is some goodies or prizes to wrap up and hide around the house. And with the average U.S. household having 300,000 things in it, there’s bound to be some items laying around the house that you can use as prizes. If you’re going the treasure hunt route, you’ll have to draw up a treasure map. At the first spot on the map, leave clues to where the next treasure spot will be and so on until you feel like it’s long enough. If you’re going the scavenger hunt route, make a list of clues or keywords that can help the kids find the hidden prizes. You can even search online for scavenger or treasure hunt ideas to use to make it even easier for you. These are great activities because they require fairly minimal effort on your end and they can keep the kids busy for hours.
Build a Fort
Most adults can think back and remember how much fun they had building forts out of couch cushions and sheets as a kid. Well, why not let your kids have the same fun? A fort can be built out of furniture, sheets and blankets, and even cardboard boxes. Once the fort is built, the play options are endless. They can play pretend that they’re in a castle or they can even turn the fort into an indoor obstacle course. Or if you’re looking for a pre-nap or bed activity, build the fort around the TV and settle in for a movie. With regular play being involved in the development of 400 genes in the cerebral cortex, it’s important to let your kids use their imaginations and run around. And there’s no better place to play like a kid than in a fort.
Arts and Crafts
And last but not least, you can never go wrong with doing some arts and crafts on a gloomy winter day. You can go with something simple, like coloring in a coloring book or making drawings with crayons, or you can go for a more structured project. Making paper snowflakes is always a good winter craft and your kids are sure to love seeing their snowflakes taped up on the windows. Or if you have some big cardboard boxes laying around, let the kids go wild and color the box however they want — whether it’s just scribbles or the exterior of a house, it’s sure to keep them busy for a while. Another great arts and crafts project for kids of all ages is decorating paper bags. They can decorate them however they want and they can even use them as puppets when they’re done. All in all, there is never a bad time to break out the crayons and markers for some good crafting time.
Winter can be a hard time of the year to keep the kids busy inside. But hopefully, these few activity ideas will help you keep them busy so you can survive the crazy winter months.