With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s all but impossible to prolong the reality of winter any longer. Snow is falling around the country already and temperatures are dropping right and left. But, with the holiday season upon us, there’s no better time to spend a long afternoon inside enjoying the whole family’s company! If you need some ideas for Saturdays spent indoors or for the upcoming holiday vacation days, here are some of my favorite fun winter activities for the whole family!
Indoor Fun Winter Activities:
Craft Door Draft Stoppers
This is my absolute favorite activity for the family because it’s also very green and gives you a chance to talk with your kids about conserving energy and keeping warm air in and cold air out. Plus, it’s just super fun and you can be as creative as you like! All you need are some long tube socks (or if you’re ambitious, you can sew your own); a filler like rice, sand, beans, etc.; and lots of good crafty stuff like felt, googly eyes, buttons, etc. Fill the sock with the filler of your choice, tie the end with a string, a rubber band, or even sew it with a quick hand stitch and then get ready to decorate. You can make anything your heart desires! Go digging in your closet for extra fun accessories like dad’s old ties or hairbows you can recycle! Bonus: if you make extra, these make fantastic gifts for aunts and uncles!
Build indoor forts
The imagination of a child is unparalleled, and as adults we tend to lose some of that innocent creativity. Channel your inner child and help your kids construct massive forts from sheets and couch cushions, and then spend the day embarking on crusades and exploring new lands, all from the comfort of your living room.
While you’re all inside trying to figure out what to do, why not write Christmas cards together as a family! Depending upon the ages, you can have them write their own individual notes to be included in the family Christmas card, sign their name, or even write their very own cards to their own friends! Gather around in the living room and make sure you have Christmas music on, popcorn on hand and maybe even some hot cocoa to go with! If you’re looking for a winter activity that isn’t Christmas related, take some time to write “thank you” cards for anything and everything. It’s so rare to actually send handwritten notes anymore, even rarer when no occasion requires it! Thank someone just for being special in your life.
Use recyclable materials for crafts
Before you chuck all that recycling take stock of what you have and what you can use to make crafts with the kids. Maybe its papier-mâché projects with old newspapers or bird-feeders fashioned from old milk cartons – there is an endless array of projects that you can fashion from materials that you might otherwise be throwing out. Plus you’ll be doing something good for the environment at the same time which can provide a valuable learning experience for the kids.
Volunteer Some Time
While there are never enough volunteers, even fewer of us venture out in the winter months. Bundle up the family and trundle off to a nearby nursing/retirement home to just hang out, play card games, sing songs, and maybe even deliver home baked goodies. See if there’s a local shelter or soup kitchen that needs some help. You might even be able to tag-along with a Meals-on-Wheels program so you can visit the elderly who just can’t get out and tend to get especially lonely during the winter months. If you’ve got some animal loving kids, check into your local animal shelter and see if you can take some cooped up puppies for a nice long walk!
Cooking & Baking Up a Storm
There’s much laughter and love to be shared in a warm comforting kitchen on a frigid day outside. Bring the troops in and pick a few things to make/bake. If you make lots, you can donate these to any number of places (like the ones you can volunteer at!) or send off goodie gifts to far off family members. Older cousins in college would really love some home baked goodness. You might want to bake my White Chocolate Cranberry Biscotti Recipe.
Have an indoor jam session
Bust out the pots and pans and throw some dry beans into an empty milk jug and have a good old-fashioned jam session in the kitchen. You can spend the afternoon with the kids pretending to be rock stars while you make lots of loud music. Sure you might have a headache afterward, but their looks of glee will make it all worth it.
Make your own paints
There are plenty of different recipes for creating your own finger paints or watercolors online, and once you’ve made the paints you and your kids can spend the day painting different pictures. Once you’re done painting you can put them all together into a book to commemorate the experience.
It’s the Family Time that Counts
What makes anything fun is the whole family together. Rather than mom in the kitchen, one kid on the computer, another in front of the TV and dad doing miscellaneous household stuff, put aside 4 or 5 hour block to just spend it altogether, doing something together- reading, playing board games, making a craft project, etc. You’ll soon find out that it really doesn’t matter what you do, so long as you’re doing it together. Smiles and happiness are likely to abound. It’s time to get those creative juices flowing and create some fun activities. And, I happen to think hot cocoa turns any gloomy winter day right side up! What are your favorite fun winter activities?