Cold weather and snow on the way, here are some indoor play activities to help you survive. We’re sharing our version of The Educators’ Spin On It Survival Guide for Indoor Cold Winter Days.
The forecast calls for extreme cold in much of the USA and other places around the world. Although I am a huge advocate for playing outside in all sorts of weather, there are times when it is NOT SAFE for outside play. When schools are canceled due to the extreme cold temperatures you need a plan. This means kids are having indoor days, even trips out of the house can pose safety risks in some areas.
So how do you survive these indoor days?
Indoor Activity Ideas for Cold Winter Days
Here are some indoor activity suggestions for cold winter days.
1. Plan for some learning activities.
Explore with books, make giant felt pattern blocks, or use the toys you have to teach academics. Here is a free printable weekly preschool lesson plan for you to download to give you an idea of the things I do with my preschooler. NOW, although this seems great and all, these kind of activities will not last all day long. You will be a burnt out parent if you plan and prepare lessons for all day long. TOTALLY unrealistic. We just blog about them, we don’t do them ALL the time either. So what else can you do?
Yes, it will mess up your house, but allowing your kids to do structured crafts like this SUPER FUN apple stamping starry night craft , re-use cardboard boxes to create costume accessories, use multiple mediums over big surfaces for long projects like making your own wrapping paper with recycled art or have unstructured art exploration time such as making your own paint with materials from your pantry will keep them entertained and exploring their creative side at the same time.
There are so many reasons why we get to baking and cooking on a winter day. Having your kids in the kitchen can be a geography, math, and life skill lesson all in one, not to mention that this activity will take care of meeting your kids basic need for food! My kids enjoyed helping me make a Russian Soup called Borsht and thought it was really funny to see my hands turn pink! I want to make these Celtic cookies Kim wrote about. Not a baker? Try a build your own sushi bar, assemble a world snack, or make noodles from scratch. Want to connect your cooking project with a good book? Try these Teddy Bear Biscuits!
4. Play forts and Pretend Play.
Yes, these are my go-to activity for indoor days as they are easy to set up and the kids end up playing with them for 2-3 hours minimum. Make your own with blankets and sheets or set up a pop up tent. Let the kids drag all their kitchen pretend play inside for a full out camping adventure. We push our couches to the edge of the room to give them more space to play. Get creative and make smores for snacks complete with a sing along! Interactive storytelling, dress up, Yoga, puppets, and building blocks are also great activities at our house.
So this may not sound like a great activity for an indoor day, but let me tell you. Going through our front hall closet and trying on coats is WORK. The kids try on all their coats and we organize the ones that still fit, put the ones that don’t into a donate box and all the while getting a little bit of movement in. Bonus is that our home is more organized afterwards. Playroom restructuring is a great thing for indoor days too. Sometimes just moving my play kitchen to a different part of the room creates a new way for the kids to play. Kim has awesome bins for her toys and here is a post on toy organization at my house for inspiration.
6. Get connected with others.
Whether you are a full time working outside of the home or a stay-at-home parent, it is important to stay connected to family and friends. Host a play date at your home (when the weather warms up a wee bit), have a MNO – like the one we did at a paint your own studio, call a friend, write a letter or send a card to someone you love, visit an online community, comment on blogs like ours (pretty please, we really LOVE hearing from you). In a nutshell – reach out to those people in your life who will be the ray of sunshine on a cold day.
7. Make time for the things YOU enjoy.
I really like sewing, especially when it comes to making things for my kids. Completing a simple project like this owl headband and seeing my kids playing with it, warms my heart! Some of my favorite sewing projects I’ve completed are; a gruffalo storytelling apron, an owl quilt for baby, a monster quilt for my middle kid, fabric number and felt food gift for a friend, and baby gift sets. I’ve even started the kids sewing on simple projects as well. It may be knitting, reading, painting, drawing, writing or something entirely different that makes YOU happy. Whatever it is, make the time to do it!
Hope these ideas get your mind spinning with things to do indoors with kids on a cold winter day.
What are your most successful parenting tips for indoor days???
Comment below to share your awesome ideas!