4 Ways to Keep Kids Entertained Inside This Winter

Whether it’s a school holiday, snow day, or sick day, if you have little ones at home, there is a good chance you will you need to find some fun activities to keep the boredom blues away. Thankfully, you don’t have to spend a lot of money or have a fully stocked craft area to maximize the fun—nor do you have be a creative expert to keep the kids entertained at home. If you play your cards right, you might even be able to sneak in some extra learning and family bonding time!

It’s that time of year again, when we hear those dreaded four letter words: cold and snow. While the kids hope for snow days away from school, our inner parent starts to panic with dread at the prospect of being cooped up in the house with kids telling you every 5 minutes that they’re bored. Luckly, you won’t here too much of that with these four ideas for keeping the wintertime boredom blues away while the family is stuck inside due to incliment weather.

To help keep boredom at bay, try the following ideas and fun ways to entertain kids this winter:

Get In the Kitchen

Take advantage of the time at home with the kids and teach them how to cook. Learning to cook teaches valuable life skills while also providing math, reading, science, and health lessons. Have your sons and daughters help read the recipes. Teach them how to read measurements and carefully follow the recipe. Explain how heat can change a solid to a liquid and talk about the science that goes into cooking and baking by making your own homemade ice cream without a fancy maching. Discuss the nutritional benefits that different ingredients provide and what constitutes a healthy meal. But, don’t forget to make it fun for them! Start by making a sweet treat to draw them in—like a delicious batch of hot chocolate to warm up on a chilly day—and build your way toward simple items they’ll be able to prepare on their own before you can blink an eye like the Elvis Sandwich from Peanut Butter & Co. Or put together a batch of homemade mac and cheese for family dinner. Once you have them hooked in the kitchen, they’ll want to come back for more cooking fun.

Engage DIY Talents

Not only are at-home arts and crafts fun, they are great for developing fine motor skills, sparking creativity, and bolstering self-confidence. What better reasons to make some art to brighten the day. Work together to build a simple birdfeeder to keep our feathered friends fed and happy during the winter. Hang them outside your window and watch the birds together. Or if that’s too ambitious, paint rocks. Big ones, little ones, whatever your child finds in the yard or neighborhood can become a piece of art. Display them in your fairy gardens, make patterns with them, or make story stones to guide your imagination during story time. If you need more crafty fun, you can always decorate mugs with permanent markers, make toys for the beloved family cat or dog, tie-dye with food coloring, or whip up some homemade slime. Be creative and let the kids use their imagination.

Create an Indoor Fairy Garden or Grassy Gnomes

As the winter winds howl, playing in the garden is the last thing on our minds. However, just because it’s dreary and cold outside, it doesn’t mean we can’t grow our greenthumbs inside. Hunt up a bunch of old containers, small toys, little figurines, shiny knicknacks (after all, it’s common knowledge that fairies love shiny objects), small river rocks, potting soil, artificial flowers (no judgment here, do what works for your family), or easy to grow indoor plants like succulents—anything that your kids think will make for a homey fairy house. Next, craft a magical terrarium so you can enjoy greenery year-round. For added fun, during the evening when the kids are asleep, sprinkle a little “pixie” dust (I like to use simple sugar) around their gardens to make it look like the garden had visitors during the night. Alternatively, try your hand at making a Grassy Garden Gnome, which you can keep inside all year, or move outside for a whimsical addition to your family’s garden. As you work together, teach your kids about the different parts of the flowers and their functions. Talk to them about the life cycle of a seed. Define what “healthy” means and how eating fresh fruit and vegetables from the garden are part of a healthy diet. As our plants grow, continue to build on this knowledge and keep the magic of plants alive.

Host a Family Book Club

family reading in fort

Spending time inside provides us with a great opportunity to read together as a family an promote literacy at homereading to kids from the time they’re infants does lead to numerous benefits down the line after all. Whether it’s the classics, the latest children’s series, or a favorite author’s recent release, find books the whole family can enjoy together based on everyone’s age and maturity level. Create a reading fort or cozy reading nook with pillows, cushions, blankets, and snuggly stuffed animals to get comfy in, then have everyone choose a book, read each one, and discuss them together. This doesn’t have to be formal, let it be relaxed and fun. The key is spending quality time together and exploring books. By encouraging reading for fun, you can open a whole new world to your children without ever leaving home!

To put it simply, family time is important. The busier we are and the older our kids get, the more challenging it can be to have fun spending time and staying engaged. By planning fun activities we can do together, even during the winter, we’ll be creating many happy memories, building strong family bonds, and teaching our kids important lessons along the way.