The long, dreary days of winter are here which means we’re in full hibernation mode! Aka, spending lots of time inside.
And more time inside means the kiddos are going a little stir crazy.
Okay, okay. . . more like a lot stir crazy. But we’re here to help!
Here are a few fun activities you can do to keep your kiddos from bouncing off the walls this winter.
1. Arts and Crafts
If there’s one thing your kiddo has, it’s a sparkly imagination. And what better way to put that creative brain power to use than with good ‘ol scissors and glue. (With your supervision of course!)
All you need are a few art supplies and your little one will stay busy for hours.
But if you’re feeling a little more artistic, then give this cool craft a shot - DIY White Play Dough. Add a few cookie cutters and your little one will create a winter wonderland in no time!
2. Build a Pillow Fort
Sure snow forts are great, but an awesome alternative is the classic pillow fort! And it’s way warmer too! All it takes are some pillows, a few blankets, a chair or two, and a spark of imagination.
While your kiddo is having fun in their “castle” or “rocket ship,” the pretend play is doing wonders for their brain development! We’d say that’s a win-win!
3. Bathtub. . . Or Waterpark?
If your kiddo already loves splashing around at bath time, a bathtub “water park” will be a home run.
A few bath toys and some bubbles is really all a kid needs to have a ton of fun! Dress them up in their bathing suit and tell them it’s time to play “water park.”
This is an easy go-to when you’ve run out of ideas and need something super simple. But don’t forget that non-slip bath mat. Safety first!
4. Have a Scavenger Hunt
On those days when the sun is shining, a Nature Scavenger Hunt is a great way to spend the afternoon. And get some much needed Vitamin D!
All you need is a simple checklist of outdoorsy finds for each of your kiddos. Here are a few ideas:
You’ll also need a bag or container to store all their discoveries. Then it’s off to the park, trail, or even your backyard.
Do you already have an expert nature explorer on your hands? Then liven up this scavenger hunt by making it more challenging. You can do this by having them look for objects that are a certain color, texture, or shape. Like a smooth rock vs. a rough one.
5. Play The Floor is Lava
Okay, Picky Parent, your kiddo has probably already played this one. But you can always join in on the fun! You can play at a park or in the backyard by setting up stones, sticks, etc. to walk on. Tell your kiddo that the floor is lava and you have to find a way to get across.
Thinking of how to get across will require a little bit of problem solving - a perfect way to get those brainy engines turning.
If you need some ideas, here’s a video from a popular Family Youtube Channel. They play this game all the time!
6. Set up an Obstacle Course
When your kiddos are really bursting with energy, set up a backyard obstacle course. You can use cones, toys, stones, and sticks as obstacles to get over, under, or through.
Or, here’s another idea. You know that sidewalk chalk thrown at the bottom of the toy chest? Well, put it to use this winter and make the entire course out of sidewalk chalk. This will take a ton of creativity on your part Picky Eater Parent, but you got this!
We might not be able to get outside as much as we’d like, but let’s keep our little one’s imaginations active this winter. And on those sunny days when the weather is nice, make sure you get your kiddos outside! Winter can keep us cooped inside without the adequate sunlight we need on a daily basis.
And if your little one is spending more days in than you’d like, then consider adding Vitamin D3 to their daily routine. This Sunshine Vitamin, as we call it, will ensure they’re getting all the support they need to build strong bones and teeth. Super important during the winter when they can’t get outside to soak up the sunlight!