Whether you live in a snow filled climate or in a warmer area, the winter can be a tough time for your children. Being cooped up inside for long hours can result in a lot of inactivity and crankiness. After Christmas is especially hard on children, and their parents, as the after holidays let down can make it even harder. While you could put on a video and let your child watch it while you surf the net, why not get involved with them and keep their brains and bodies active? Here are several ideas for fun activities to keep your children from driving you crazy this winter.
Shaving Cream “Snow” Play
This is especially fun for toddlers but even older children can have a blast making their own “snow” pictures. Dress your child in old clothes and put an old sheet or tablecloth down on the floor below your play area. On a clean table, place several cans of shaving cream. You can also get scented bath foam for children that is basically the same thing. Allow the kids to spray the “snow” all over the table in drifts. They can then spread it out and play with it. Encourage them to draw pictures in the “snow” or make a “snow” man. The feeling of the shaving cream will make them giggle and it is so easy to clean up that you won’t mind it at all. This activity could keep your toddler or younger child busy for quite some time!
Snow Spray Paint
Take a pitcher of water and add several drops of food coloring to it. Any shade will do, but the brighter the better! Then, pour the colored water into a container with a spray nozzle. Make up several different colors and then head outside to the snow. Your child, and you, will have a blast “painting” the snow. Paint pictures, write words or just go crazy. Have a colored snowball fight! The “paint” will wash right away with the next thaw that you have.
Movie Theater Fort
Make a blanket fort in your living room. Get the kids to help you plan and create a full room fort. Use blankets and drape them over furniture. Anchor the blankets with pillows. Make sure that you can view the television from within the fort. When you have completed construction, make a pillow nest inside the fort. Make some popcorn and hot chocolate, put on a great movie and settle down with your kids for an afternoon of snuggle time.
Pick out an inexpensive “treasure” that your child would love to receive. Stickers, candy, coloring books or matchbox cars make good prizes. Find about 10 good hiding places inside your house for clues. Write out clues for your child based upon their level of problem solving. Use codes or riddles and make them so that each clue leads to the next. The last clue will lead to the prize. You can make the clues read so that a certain activity must be completed before they can locate the next clue as well. What a great way to get them to help with chores! A small prize could also be hidden with each clue with a larger prize at the end. This could keep your children busy for hours depending upon how hard the hunt is!