Winter weather often means spending the day inside. Save some special activities and games for days when venturing out is absolutely out of the question. It’ll make kids a little more excited to spend the day indoors, and hopefully help the day go by quicker, especially if they’re used to playing outside every day. Wind and cold and rain and snow have the power to induce cabin fever, so we came up with a list of 9 fun activities for making the most of your day inside.
Make the Most of Mealtime
Think of a special treat to serve and get kids excited about it. We love anything DYI: like hot cocoa bars or make-your-own trail mix. These are both pretty easy to set up and kid-approved. For lunch or dinner, consider setting up plain pizzas, tacos or baked potatoes and letting kids pick their toppings.
At-Home Movie Theater
Extra screen time on a snow day is pretty inevitable. Take it one step further by building a pillow fort in front of the TV, serving popcorn, and settling in for a movie. This way, you’ll feel a little less guilty about extra time in front of the TV.
Use painter’s tape to map out a racetrack on the playroom floor. We like this one because it can stay up for a couple days, so they’ll have something to do for the rest of the week, too!
Have kids go through their arts and crafts supplies and pull out broken, super-small, or otherwise less-than-perfect crayons. Sort them by color and break them up into smaller pieces (if necessary) and place into silicone molds. Bake the crayons in the oven so they melt down into the shape of the mold, cool them off, and enjoy! If you’re looking for something to do with older kids, try taping crayon pieces over a piece of cardboard or canvas. Use a hair dryer to melt them and create a drippy masterpiece!
Grab that stack of Amazon boxes you’ve been hiding in the garage, a roll of packing tape, and some markers. Set them up in the playroom and let kids create a castle, a rocket ship, or a house! Let their imaginations run wild.
Kids love play dough, Moon Sand, and slime, so why not make some of your own at home? Set up a tub with scoopers and molds on their playroom table and keep them busy for hours. See below for easy DIY recipes:
- Stir 2 cups flour, ¾ cup salt, and 4 tsp cream of tartar in a large pot
- Add 2 cups lukewarm water and 2 tbsp vegetable oil and mix
- If you’re only making one color, add liquid food coloring now. If you’re making more than one color, don’t add they dye just yet.
- Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the dough has thickened
- Remove from heat, cool slightly, and knead until smooth
- If you’re making more than one color, divide the dough into quart-size plastic bags, add food coloring, and knead until you’re happy with the color
- Combine 8 cups of flour with 1 cup of baby oil
- Add liquid food coloring if desired
- Stir until completely combined. That’s it!
- Measure ½ cup of glue and pour it into a bowl
- Add ½ cup of water to the glue and mix well to combine
- Add liquid food coloring or glitter if desired
- Stir in ½ cup of liquid starch to activate the slime
- Mix well and enjoy!
Get a balloon and make a net with some string and two chairs. Have kids divide into teams and hit the balloon back and forth across the net. For more competitive kids, make a scoreboard or set up a tournament. Just make sure there isn’t anything sharp or very fragile nearby that could interfere with play.
This one is an all-time classic indoor game. Take tunes hiding things around the house, or write down a list of adjectives (sticky, loud, wet, orange, etc.) and find things that match those categories. This is easy to modify for kids of differing ages because each kid can get their own list.
Pictionary Power Hour
Another popular, and competitive, activity for the whole family! Set up an easel at the front of the room, put some words in a hat, and start guessing! Much like the other activities listed above, Pictionary is very easy to modify for different ages and abilities, making it fun for everyone who’s stuck inside.
What are your go-to indoor activities for toddlers and preschoolers? Let us know in the comment section!