Winter Indoor Activities for the Kids
Winter can be a bit of a mixed bag in Australia with a mix of cold, wet days and crisp, clear days. And while getting outside to enjoy fresh air is an opportunity that should be taken at any possible moment, sometimes it’s just a bit ick and indoors is where it’s at.
But with all these little bodies in the house, what does one do to entertain them all without resorting to the iPad or computer? We’ve pulled together our top list of old faithfuls and new ideas for entertaining the kids on those dreary winter days.
Mini Golf Course
Using tin cans or cups for holes and cardboard for the club (if you don’t have access to a mini putter), help the kids design their own mini golf course throughout the house utilising various surfaces and accessories to create obstacles along the way. The process of designing and setting it up, and then playing on the course should while away a fair few hours of the day.
Set up Camp / Fort
We all love camping in the outdoors but not so much when it’s pouring or blowing a gale. So set up camp inside, where you’ve got insulation and solid walls to protect you! Get the blankets, pillows, chairs and whatever else you need to create an awesome fort / tent and enjoy storytelling, card games and staying warm and dry!
While you’re ‘camping’ or when you’ve got an afternoon that needs filling, pile up the cushions around a low table for a memorable living-room picnic – who needs a park? Spend some time together beforehand creating all the yummy picnic snacks to be enjoyed together. When the eating is done, clear a space in the living room (reminder to put valuables away) and play a few games.
Indoor Obstacle Course
The kids will be desperate to let out some energy so give them an indoor agility challenge to complete. Set up couch cushions as barriers to jump over, hang swinging toys from the ceiling to dodge, and tape string back and forth across hallways to create a laser maze. You can even ask them to invent their own courses to keep both their bodies and their minds busy.
Make this kid-friendly with lots of pillows and a couple of dad’s t-shirts to turn the kids into soft sumo wrestlers. Clear the lounge of any hard edges and create an area for the kids to play with plenty of pillows on the ground to provide a soft landing. There’ll be giggles abound (plus they’ll work off a bit of excess energy).
While, ideally we would try to keep technology to a minimum, sometimes quiet downtime is needed and this is when a movie marathon for yourself and the kids is a winner. Do this right, the old-fashioned way, with popcorn, milkshakes, blankets and lights out/blinds closed to create the scene.
If your kids secretly want to be YouTube stars, this is a great way to get them started on their road to internet stardom. They can write scripts or improvise, play pranks, open gifts—whatever theme interests them. Then you can use an app like VivaVideo or iMovie to cut and paste it into a viral-worthy clip.
Using paper plates and balloon to turn your living room into a badminton court. Simply tape popsicle sticks to a paper plate as your ‘badminton racket’ and then your balloon is the ‘birdie’. For an added activity, have the kids decorate their paper plate (racket) before they start playing. Then watch as the kids try to keep the balloon afloat with their interesting rackets and the balloon’s unpredictable movements. Ensure there is plenty of clear space for them to move about.
Open up the craft box to let the kids’ imaginations run wild. Whether they create their own board games, or props for their movie, or wall paintings for their bedrooms...leave them with the crafts, a bit of time and watch the magic happen! Sometimes the kids might need a little nudge for inspiration, so set them up with some projects to work away on and see where they end up!
Make & Cook Your Favourite Foods
Winter is all about your comfort foods so have a go at making some of your favourites from scratch instead of buying made from the store. Some favourites could include different pastas or noodles, yummy breads, hearty soups or delicious baking. Not only is it fun and educational to learn how to make food from scratch but the enjoyment of eating the results of your afternoon is so much richer when you know you’ve created it.
The beauty about kids, is that you can often throw an idea out there and they’ll take it, run with it and turn it into something more than you might’ve imagined. So with all these ideas, they’re likely a starting point to something far more creative. So we hope you and your little cherubs get hours of enjoyment this winter from some or all of these ideas.