The winter season after the holidays can feel long and dreary, especially if you live in an area with cold weather. Spring is on its way, but folks in the midwest or northern U.S. know that the weather can still be cold and gloomy throughout February and March. Children can build up a lot of energy during the winter if they cannot play outside. They may spend most of their time at school indoors and come home to stay indoors as well. With some creativity, you can help children make fun memories with indoor winter activities during these days.
No matter what new toys and gadgets come on the market, board games seem to stand the test of time and have fans from all generations. However, playing the same three or four board games can get repetitive. Consider creating a “fusion board game” by combining the pieces and rules of one or two games. Or, you could host a board game night where everyone brings a favorite game from different eras (lots of game shops have vintage games) or even in a different language.
Just like board games, puzzles in all their forms have been popular for quite some time. Younger children can start with simple puzzles made up of shapes, letters, and numbers. As they grow older, jigsaw puzzles can be introduced. Children can work on a more challenging, time-consuming puzzle for a few minutes each day during the winter, which can bring a feeling of accomplishment. Puzzles can also be educational, such as world maps or country maps.
Although it’s wise to keep a pile of physical activities ready for indoor play in the winter, sometimes the best games don’t require anything but the mind. Imaginary play is proven to help nurture creativity in kids. Imaginary play can start with prompts, like creating a story or pretending the house is on another planet, and then letting children run with their ideas. If a certain imaginary scenario seems to be especially engaging for the kids, this can become a recurring game.
One of the best parts about playing outside for kids is the space to run around and play in. This can be difficult to emulate indoors in smaller houses/schools/daycares/etc., so one way to encourage the use of space is to suggest an activity where the children build something. They could build forts out of furniture cushions, a tunnel system with chairs and blankets, and more. They could also build using their toys, like building a city with cars and dolls or creating a long train track system for trains and cars (might we suggest our Name Train?).
Arts and Crafts
As messy as they can be, arts and crafts are excellent indoor activities. Crafts encourage creativity, artistry, and fine motor skills. Planning out a craft with specific supplies and instructions for younger children can help them learn the importance of following directions to finish a task. Older children may prefer a more open environment with crafting and drawing supplies set out on a table without any expectations.
When you hear “indoor sports,” you might get a flashback to a parent yelling at you about a smashed window and a ball. Indoor sports at home can be safe with the right equipment and planning. Walk through an area with kids and ask them to clear out anything valuable or damageable before starting their game. You can also buy softer sports balls and cloth discs or use pool toys like beach balls and pool noodles. The children will be able to develop teamwork and athleticism while getting some exercise.
In the long winter months, it can be easy for children and adults to turn to screens for entertainment and relaxation. Nowadays, many households limit screen time on children to avoid them being on screens 24/7. Whether or not you have a screen time limit, video games can be a great indoor activity for the winter and will be a hit even if the child only plays the game within their allocated screen time. Video games help to develop problem-solving skills and logic in kids of any age.
Check out Hollow Woodworks
Here at Hollow Woodworks, we specialize in custom handcrafted gifts out of wood. We have a variety of puzzles, toys, and other products that will help keep the winter blues away and keep children engaged indoors. Get in touch with us today!