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Winter means cold weather. Cold weather brings snow. Snow brings snow days for kids! I grew up in Minnesota and currently live in Ohio where we get snow days! I don’t want to allow my child to watch TV all day, but he needs activities to keep him entertained! Fun, indoor activities are easy to plan, and, usually, you have the equipment lying around the house!
Kids can still learn while playing fun activities. My child plays these activities while we’re working on his home school preschool program. He also plays them just for fun! I like to use hands-on learning tools to make boring learning, more fun! All the activities listed can be adjusted for skill level, age, or supplies available. Throw these activities together without planning ahead of time!
Hide and Seek
Don’t underestimate the amount of fun kids can have playing hide and seek! My child began understanding the game at about age 3. But began having some skill at it around age 4. We hide all over the house! Kids come up with some pretty creative spots! Just make sure your kids know what’s off limits and not safe in the house to hide in! You don’t want any accidents that could be avoided! (I remember when I was young playing hide and seek, I stepped on a nail in a place I probably shouldn’t have been hiding)
2. Dice Game
Tape some pictures or words of different exercises onto one block and numbers onto another block. (I used some soft foam blocks that I got for my son’s first birthday) Roll the dice. Whatever picture the block lands on, is the exercise you have to do. The number is the number of times you have to do the exercise. Vary the exercise by skill level of the child or make modifications if you have a range of ages.
3. Bean Bag toss at sight words/numbers/letters
I made flash cards of sight words for my child to use but you can vary which flash cards you use. The child throws a bean bag at each flash card and reads what the card says. With letters, you can have the child work on the sound each letter makes. We use bean bags from our corn hole set, but I’ve used small stuffed animals when I don’t have bean bags.
4. Hit a balloon with a paddle
Make a paddle by using a short stick/wooden dowel/or a paint stir stick. Tape a paper plate at one end of the stick and you’re ready to go! You can have each child decorate their paper plate before taping it on the stick if they would like. Have kids work together to set the rules. (Write them down on a white board so there’s no argument about rules) And then play!
5. Scavenger Hunt
Pick items to search for (i.e. blue lego, green car, pink sock, ect.) Make a list either with photos or write it down and look for those items around the house. You can also search for items that belong with a certain letter, or rhymes with a certain word (i.e. given the word cat, look for hat). I made a print out (Scavenger Hunt), laminated it, and put Velcro on it. This way I can use it over and over and switch up the hunt each time. My son got bored finding items on his own, so we did teams and raced each other. I would highly suggest buying a laminator with laminating sheets if you are planning on making activities for your kids! It’s much easier using laminated activities over and over again!
6. Sensory Bin
Fill a storage container with dry beans/rice/corn kernels and use little toys that your child already has. Dump trucks and any plastic containers work well so the child can pour the beans around.
7. Cardboard box slide
If you ever get a big shipment that comes in a huge box. Cut the box down flat and place it on the stairs. Turn your stairs into a slide! Luckily, the box flaps will flip-up so your child can still climb back up the stairs to do it again! Pillows might be required at the bottom so it’s not so hard on the bum!
8. Skee Ball
With smaller cardboard boxes, cut them flat and make a ramp with another box. Tape the flat box onto the bottom box, otherwise you’ll have a frustrated child with the ramp slipping off! Set up laundry baskets, storage containers, other boxes, whatever you have to “catch” the ball you roll up the ramp! Roll balls up the ramp to try to get into the targets! Give point values to each target so you can turn it into a math problem!
9. Ball Toss
Same concept as the skee ball, but throw the balls instead of using a ramp! You can also assign sight words or letters to each target and have the child identify what they landed in, or spell out a word!
10. Snowball Fight
Crumple up pieces of paper into tight balls. Have each team build a fort out of pillows/blankets to keep their backup snowballs and shield them from incoming snow!
Adjust the activities for your own kids’ abilities to turn them into learning activities. Or just play the activities without any sort of learning involved! Kids learn from just playing too! Make sure to check out the article on Indoor Obstacle Course ideas for more indoor, energy burning, activities for kids!
If you’re looking for other ways your child can learn while stuck inside, ABC Mouse is a great, online, program for your kids to teach them skills from pre-k to 2nd grade. ABC Mouse has lessons for kids as young as 2 and goes all the way up to age 8! They offer a FREE 30-day trial to try it out! See if the lessons help your child, if you aren’t happy with the results, you can cancel anytime! Otherwise, ABC Mouse offers a monthly subscription to their service online. They have a special offer happening right now for 38% off an annual membership!
Are there any other indoor activities you suggest for kids? Or adaptations to the activities listed?