Jan 082014

Winter Activities Kids Will Love

It’s -15°C outside, feeling more like a frigid -25°C with the windshield, the children are trapped inside and painfully bored. Why not try some of the following winter activities to get their minds and bodies moving?

While the winter months can be long and sometimes force us to stay inside, they can also be a great opportunity for parents to engage their children in fun indoor activities that keep their minds and bodies active.

Some Winter Activity Ideas

Thematic Scavenger Hunt

A fun thing to do with kids while they are home on a wintry day is a scavenger hunt that promotes literacy and numeracy skills. Rather than just hiding random objects, try to make it thematic based on your child’s interests (e.g. horses, ponies, dinosaurs, etc.). Tell them how many objects they have to find before letting them start.

Once they have found the items, get your child to organize them on the floor/kitchen table. Make a game of counting the number of objects they collected. Then let them try and figure out what the theme/connection between all the objects is. This not only develops their literacy skills but it also helps them practice numeracy skills such as problem solving and categorization.

Interior Decorator

A great way to get your children to develop their fine motor skills, logic, and spatial sense is to have them redesign the layout of their room. With a piece of paper, get your child to draw their room as it currently is (bird’s eye view). Then have them redesign their room they way they would like to have it. Let them apply their design. Of course, if it is not possible to move large furniture or other staples in the room have them redesign a small portion of the room such as their shelves, toys, or even their clothing.

Another fun idea is to have them arrange their clothes in their closet according to color. Keep in mind, if you just ask them to “hang up their clothes” then granted, they will not be overly excited. However if you spin into “let’s create a rainbow wardrobe in your closet,” you will likely spark their imaginations!

Sorters (A classic, but very effective)

Using household items you would usually throw out or recycle, you can create fun and developmental activities that will have your children busy for hours. Using a muffin tin or egg carton, create a sorter with which your child can collect items around the house to fill it up with.

For example, label different sections of an egg carton with the words “hard”, “soft”, “light”, “heavy”, “round”, “square”, etc. and have them walk around the house finding objects that will fit into each category. For each category you can dictate how many objects they need to find according to your child’s age, interests and your house layout.

With a little creativity on parents’ part, the above ideas can be easily adapted for age and skill level.

Take Advantage of Every Wintry Day

Overall, while winter can be a great time for outdoor activities, the fact is that chilly temperatures and severe weather conditions sometimes force us to stay indoors. Winter activities you can create using items you already have which align with your child’s interests can make staying inside fun too.

Sometimes we, as parents get caught up in consumerism and feel that the only fun activities/toys for our children are those that we must purchase. However, many of us know that our children can have just as much fun with a “cardboard box” as they can with the latest video game. The key is to get them using their minds and bodies in ways that further their overall development. It will not only do them a ton of good, but it was also help you keep your cool. No pun intended.

Mary Elizabeth Fam