Winter finds us scrambling for things to do inside. Sickness means we can’t go out as much in the winter months, and cold weather means outside activities are limited. That means all the little people’s energy and boredom are unleashed onto our homes. It’s not long before the ideas start to run thin, and meltdowns start to happen (for the kids too).
Most of the crafts and table activities can be done while listening to an Audiobook! you can listen to them for free using Libby, or Hoopla. I highly recommend trying the audio version of Winnie the Pooh, Mrs. Piggle Wiggle, and Anna Hibiscus. I create a list of books at the beginning of the school year and slowly mark them off. Currently, I’m reading our boys “The Green Ember”.
- My plan is to turn this Art Lesson into a series, so click the link to get started.
- Create a construction paper view. A view out the window, or an underwater scene are my personal favorites.
- Paint –
- Kid’s Art Hub – to get their nature journal started. Things to start searching are “Kids Art Hub Bats“, Kids Art Hub Bee“, “Kid’s Art Hub Caterpiller“
- DLTKS will give you printables for patterns to cut, homemade storybooks, Bible lessons, ABC, and more
- Teacher Pay Teachers is another place to find free activities
- Make a monster– I know this is technically listed as a Halloween activity, but they are adorable and perfect for any season.
- Colored Bath – or really any bath is good for at least 20-60 minutes of fun. (Sink baths always make for cute photo ops too!)
- Trace their body on butcher paper or cardboard and decorate it.
- Get rocks and paint them with water.
Things to do Inside at a Table
- Playdough or Kinetic Sand – They are both a little messy, but a ton of fun. Kinetic sands sticks together like playdough, but has the texture of sand.
- Simple science experiments like mixing baking soda and vineager, pouring candles, melting ice with a spray bottle, or make fog in a jar.
- Board or Card games – Our favorites are Sight Word Bingo, Race to the Treasure, Outfoxed, and Sleeping Queens
- Stick Stickers into letter shapes.
- Convert your table to a train table for a day. Create and elaborate set up and let the kids add the details.
- Bake something – we are in love with these cookies right now.
- Play with soap foam or shaving cream. Practice letters in it our hide objects in it.
- Baking soda on a plate with vineager and medicine droppers.
- Play with a tray of snow inside.
- Dry Erase to decorate the sliding glass door.
- Build box forts and tunnels.
Large Motor Activities
- Blanket Fort – Crib matresses make them sturdier and more fun.
- Hide and Go Seek
- Indoor Scavenger Hunt – Sometimes we do I Spy to clean up an area.
- Hide the Candy
- A making tape highway – You can also do them up walls and on tables. I just advise taking them down at the end of the day or they become quite stuck with time.
- Turn on music and have dance party – Our babysitter is great at doing this with the kids and it gets raving reviews.
- Do a Kid’s work out with Cosmic Kids. The one I liked is Frozen them and my kid’s favorite.
- Small Trampoline and crib mattress tumbling mats
- Create hopscotch inside with masking tape
- Obstacle course with string.
- Use toilet paper rolls and a ball to bowl.
- Set up chairs in a row and let them play bus, airplane, or church
- ABC flashlight hunt- close the blinds, then name a letter. Let the kids look through the house with a flashlight to find something that starts with that letter.
- My mother in law has these scooters for riding inside. If you have open space it’s and option.
- Let them clean the bathroom with spray bottles (I’m serious my kids cheer when I tell them we are doing this), On this same note cleaning windows works.
- Play You’re getting hotter/colder.
- Make a marble run.
- Hardcover bowling – Stand books up in the floor and roll balls and try to hit them.
- Inside Picnic
- Use crib matresses or couch cushions as slides.
Games with Balloons
- Blow up Balloons – Extra points if you use paper plates to play badminton with them.
- Blow up balloons, but don’t tie them. Let go and see what balloon goes furthest.
- Bounce on a balloon – see who can pop a balloon by sitting on it and bouncing. Its harder than it sounds.
- Waddle Races – Put a balloon between your legs and try to run.
- Balloon Spoon race – perfect for inside because you can’t run doing it.
- Decorate Balloon People
A lot of this can be a hassle and a mess, but sometimes a directed play mess is easier to clean up than the bored mess-making that happens after several days of being stuck inside. The best advice I have also is to just get outside even if it’s less than 15 minutes. Bundle up and breathe a couple of gulps of fresh air!
A final note on Books
Some books will keep kids busy for hours on their own. I’m going to list a few to get you started.
- Where’s Waldo
- Starter I Spy book for little ones. I linked one that looks really similar to ours.
- These books on nature are mostly drawings, but they will flip through for a long time.
- This Richard Scary book is one that my kids spent hours flipping though.
- Also this Big Book of Science.
Okay, I’ll stop before the booklist takes over, but seriously books make a huge difference. If you have more ideas, feel free to drop them in the comments below.