Winter break is such a great opportunity to spend quality time with the little ones, but it can also feel long when you’re running low on things to do indoors! Here are some ideas for activities with children the whole family can enjoy:
Indoor Camp Out
If the weather outside is frightful, set up an indoor camp ground! Make a tent with pillows, blankets and sleeping bags, turn off the lights, and create a “fire” with a pile of flashlights. Don’t forget to fill canteens with hot cocoa or cider and bring some of your favorite campfire snacks (s’mores, anyone?) and books or games for your “camping” adventure!
Photo by The Land of Nod
Play with Fake Snow
Living in Texas, we hardly ever see snow, which is why this craft is a huge hit in our house. To make fake snow, let the kids pour one pound of baking soda into a large bowl or plastic container then spray a handful of shaving cream into the baking soda. Next, have your children knead everything together by hand. If it’s warm enough outside, you might want to enjoy this as a backyard activity, so it’s less to clean up, especially if things turn into a “snow ball fight!”
Southern Snow Cream
If you live somewhere with weather wintery enough, whip up some snow cream! This is a family favorite recipe that my “PawPaw” introduced to Lolli as a child and also to us grandkids! You stir a bowl of fresh snow with a cup of milk (or a can of condensed milk works, too!), a spoonful of sugar, a dash of vanilla extract, and VOILA, YALL!™ It’s like ice cream meets Sno-cone, and it makes the best wintery sweet treat.
Photo by jfwanews.com
Start a Marching Band
As long as there’s not a baby sleeping in the house, put a band together! After watching the Thanksgiving and Christmas parades over the holidays, my boys loved marching around the house with conductor sticks (empty paper towel rolls!). Pull out some pots, pans, spoons, and whatever instruments you may have in the play room and create a family band! Take turns being the leader, choosing songs, and switching instruments around. This is a great way to get some energy out indoors and a fun musical activity to follow craft time (if your ears can bear it!).
Coffee Filter Snowflake Flurry
A simple yet fun seasonal activity for little hands is making coffee filter snowflakes. All you need are round paper coffee filters, kid-friendly scissors, and a little imagination! Keep folding the coffee filter in half until it’s a cone/triangle shape. Then, make little cutouts around the edges and sides. How great is it that coffee filters are tear-resistant?! Once you’ve cut out shapes, unfold the filter to reveal a beautiful and unique snowflake! This is such a great craft for toddlers who are just learning to work with scissors and developing fine motor skills. You can also watercolor the snowflakes to take this craft a step further. Hang your creations in the window for some seasonal decoration!
Photo by The Pink Couch
Make a Mini Snow Storm
Teach your little ones about winter weather while creating a mini snow storm! You’ll just need a jar, baby oil, white paint, water, glitter, Alka-Seltzer tablets and blue food coloring. First, you’ll add baby oil to the jar, along with a little bit of white paint and water. Next, have your kids add some glitter to the mixture, along with some blue food coloring, if you have it on hand. Once the glitter and water settles on the bottom of the jar, add pieces of Alka-Seltzer to watch the “snow storm” come to life!
Build Marshmallow Igloos
This fun winter craft is made with Styrofoam cups and mini marshmallows, items you may already have in the pantry. The best part for littles is that the main ingredient doubles as a sweet snack! To build igloos with marshmallows, cut a Styrofoam cup in half, turn it upside down, and glue it to a Styrofoam or paper plate. Next, glue a row of marshmallows to the base of the cup. Keep adding marshmallows row after row until the Styrofoam cup is covered. Finally, stack marshmallows together at the base of the cup to form a door. In addition to helping with fine motor skills, this is a great opportunity to learn about the arctic together!
Photo by My Little Me
Create a Spring Reading List
Around New Years is the time to make resolutions! Create a book list together that you can enjoy from the library over the next several months. Set a goal of how many books you want to read throughout the spring semester, and make a chart to keep track of your progress! This incentivized my family to read 100 books together last summer. We called it our “Summer Reading Rally,” and we designated a couch in the house as our “reading sofa,” where we read several books a day, usually around bed time, until we reached our goal. The kids earned a prize for achieving this milestone—a plush toy dinosaur they’d had their eye on in the toy store window for months! Now, the boys enjoy reading several books a day without keeping track. Let’s hope that continues!
Cheers to making more #intentionalmemories this winter! Don’t forget to tag #lolliandme in your posts if you give any of these ideas a try!