Bitter cold winter and several days in a row of being cooped up indoors makes for wild and irritable children. A few simple suggestions of activities from Mom often starts a full afternoon of imaginative play.
Since I work from home, I’m always looking for independent indoor activities for kids that will keep them happy and occupied on cold winter days. Today I’m sharing some of my children’s favorite activities this winter.
Independent Indoor Activities for Kids on Cold Winter Days
Create a puppet show – Make hand puppets with paper bags, then make up a puppet show to perform for the family after dinner.
Listen to audio books
Play balloon volleyball
Build a fort with sheets and blankets
Use blocks to build a zoo for plastic or stuffed animals
Create with playdough
Pop bubble wrap – Save bubble wrap from packages in a large box for days like these.
Have a dance party or contest
Play with a sensory bin – Fill a large container with rice or beans. Children love to pour, dig, and play in sensory bins! Plastic animals and toy construction trucks are also fun to use in the bins. Lay out an old shower curtain or large picnic blanket to keep the mess contained.
Make art – lay out only a few art supplies to keep the mess easy to deal with. Just stickers and a pad of paper, or construction paper and scissors. Don’t give free run of the art supply cabinet unless your children are old enough to clean up after themselves.
Build a road or train track
String beads (for little children) or make jewelry (for older children)
Water play – put children in an empty bathtub with a large dish tub of water, mixing spoons, measuring cups, and a few small bowls.
Do a yoga for kids video.
Have a tallest tower challenge with your favorite building blocks – we love Keva planks.
Put a puzzle together
Make toy kitchen play fun and different – Give your children something new to play with in their toy kitchen such as a bag of craft pompoms in the toy kitchen area, you might be amazed at how long a child will ‘cook’ with pompoms. Give your child old spice bottles. Use pieces of felt for a cookie making station.
Have a stuffed animal or baby doll picnic
Pull out toys reserved for special days like this. Some of our favorites:
- magnetic tiles
- pattern blocks
- magnets – a tray and several magnet sets are great for kids of all ages. Older children can use words to create stories or poetry, while little ones can make scenes with magnetic shapes and objects. I love this magnetic drawing board!
- Snap Circuits
With a few suggestions of fun indoor activities, your stir crazy kids will be playing independently all afternoon!
How do you keep your kids busy indoors during the winter?