1. Get out of the house each day. Run errands, go play at a friend’s house, take a short walk, go to a museum, or go sledding…a simple change of scenery can make a big difference!
2. Get crafty. Take advantage of the extra indoor time to bring out the artist in your little ones. Stock up on paint, canvases, paper, glue, and markers. When they get bored, pull out the supplies and let their imaginations run. When I was younger I would spend hours making paper dolls with my mom and sister. I didn’t ever play with them, but I loved designing their clothes!
3. Try some experiments. I love the book Glues, Brews and Goos! There are recipes for all kinds of fun and easy experiments for kids. You can grow crystals or make your own non-Newtonian matter (the stuff that seems to be solid when it is still but it drips like a liquid when moving). Or try your hand at cooking and baking. Make things you normally wouldn’t, like homemade pasta noodles or bagels, just to see how they turn out. You might find a few new skills yourself and your kids will love to help pour and stir!
4. Imaginative play. Find some fun ways to play make believe inside the house. Here are some our favorite inside games:
Make a fort
Turn cardboard boxes into cars, airplanes, space ships
Pretend a closet is a secret hideout
Or, take advantage of a box full of packing peanuts...
5. Exercise! Kids need to burn off energy and that can be much harder in the winter months. Think about how much they unknowingly exercise in the summer- my kids ride their bikes and scooter everywhere, we swim at the pool several days a week, we go on family walks around the neighborhood, and they play outside with friends for hours. In the winter, we don’t do any of that. Here are a few ideas to get your kids moving so they can burn off all that extra energy and stay healthy:
Kid’s exercise DVD’s- check your local library for these. Let your kids pick what they want to try: yoga, martial arts, aerobics, etc. They’ll be more inclined to do it if they choose it.
Turn exercise into a game. We have races up and down the stairs when we start to feel ‘crazy.’ Or we crab walk from one room to another. Measure how high your kids can jump by putting a piece of masking or painters tape on the wall. Have them jump and try to touch it. Keep putting the tape higher and they will keep jumping to touch it!
Have a DANCE PARTY!
How do you keep your kids from ‘bouncing off the walls’ during the winter?