These long winter days can be tough for kids and parents. It only takes a few days inside for the cabin fever to set in, so getting through cold and rainy weeks with restless kiddos can be a bit of a struggle.
Challenging as it may be, it does allow for you to use your creativity in coming up with new ways to entertain those little balls of energy! Here are some of the ways that my daughter and I have found to have fun this winter. If you’re drawing a blank on a cold or rainy afternoon, hopefully one of these ideas might help you out, too!
Free and Creative Indoor Play Ideas
- Go “camping” by making tents or forts. Everyone knows how to make a good old-fashioned blanket fort, right?
- Have an indoor picnic, complete with a blanket and basket of lunch goodies or snacks. Spread out a blanket on the floor and pretend you’re picnicking somewhere warm and sunny. Spring will be here soon, right?
- Play “library” or “bookstore” by setting up a checkout desk. My daughter will gather her book selections and then bring them over to my laptop or her toy cash register to “checkout”.
- Make paper collages with magazine clippings, scrap paper, or cut out construction paper. This is a favorite for us, as it allows her to work on her cutting and gluing skills with my supervision. Crafts of any kind are always a hit, but this one happens to be especially easy (and cheap).
- Have kids help with simple chores, like folding laundry or making the beds. You can turn an otherwise monotonous task into a fun experience.
- Make cards for loved ones for upcoming birthdays and holidays.
- Create a “workstation” next to your desk or table, complete with envelopes, papers, stamps and an ink pad, crayons, etc., so that they can “work” alongside you. This is perfect for us, since I’m a self-employed freelancer staying at home with my daughter. I can get some work done, and so can she 😉
- Organize toy bins together and put away outgrown toys, either for donation or storage. Putting things away doesn’t always go over too well, but organizing seems to work!
- Get together some old scarves and fabric scraps and let them create “outfits”. My daughter loves to dress herself up, and it’s a great way to let kids be creative and silly.
- Play grocery store by setting out toy groceries and small items so that they can collect them in their cart or basket and then come to the “checkout”.
- Play beauty salon, complete with nail polish and hair accessories. My daughter loves painting our nails and “styling” my hair with her barrettes. We use a washable kid-friendly nail polish, so no worrying about major spills and stains.
- Have a dance party! Clear out an area in the center of the room, turn up the tunes, and let them get some of that pent-up energy out.
- Play “school” by using preschool workbooks. We got a ton of workbooks from the Dollar Tree. By turning it into a play activity, it may be easier to get them interested in learning.
So there you have it, some creative ways to keep kids entertained indoors. I’m sure some of these are not new to my fellow parents, but hopefully they can help give you an idea or spark a new one.
Do you have some ideas to add to the list? Please do share!