I don’t know about you, but when the seasons change, it gets COLD quickly here. We spend the entire summer outside playing and having fun, but when it gets cold and we’re stuck inside, we grow bored. Laying on the couch watching TV all afternoon isn’t something anyone in my family can do.
My 6 year old daughter will be bouncing off of the walls in no time with nothing to do. Now that she is in kindergarten its nice that she is out of the house for most of the day, although that makes me sad, she enjoys school. And when she went to preschool it was only 3 hrs a day, 3 days a week so that left plenty of time being stuck in the house. I had to come up with all sorts of things to do to keep her busy, and things that I enjoyed enjoyed as well.
Some of the things on this list may get your gears grinding and others may make you want to smack me for putting such DUH things on the list. But all of them will keep you and your kiddo entertained. I pinky promise!
1. Play games
Yes it sounds simple enough and I am sure you have plenty of games laying around that don’t get much use in the summer time. I love board games and we have a stock pile of them. The fact that it teaches her about winning and losing is also a bonus. I want to encourage her that if someone else wins that she should be as excited for them as she is when she wins. We have played board games since she was old enough to understand basic playing instructions.
We even played ones that were meant for older kids or adults so that she could watch her dad and I play and learn how to play with us. She loved helping us on our turns and got to see how we acted when we won or lost and it instilled great skills in her in an early age.
DUH, Right!? But really it is so much fun to color, at least I think so haha. From the moment they can hold crayons start coloring with them. They see how you stay in the lines and it shows them how to do it without having to tell them that they need to stay in the lines. And if all of your coloring books happen to be used up and scribbled on there are a bunch of great places on the web to print out coloring pages. Google it, see the crazy amounts of pages that pop up.
This would be great for the holidays, print off some holiday pages and then they can color them and give them as gifts to family members!! Not only are they having fun coloring something they get to learn how important homemade gifts can be. BONUS! My daughter constantly asks if she can make things for her friends and family members and they always love homemade gifts from her!
3. Make something
This kinda goes with coloring but now its time to get crafty! Maybe you are like me and have an entire room dedicated to craft supplies, or maybe you weren’t born with the craft bone..you know the one in your arm below your elbow, I think that is where it goes (haha). But either way get crafty! It can be something as simple as going to Wal-Mart or a craft store and picking up foam shapes and gluing them together and adding some glitter or pom poms.
It doesn’t have to be pretty, its just showing them that they can create things. Even if you didn’t get that bone, they might have it. So don’t brush off how important it is to let your kids make things with their own two hands. They may thank you for it someday!
4. Find local places to hang out
Did you chuckle when I told you to make something? Ok, I won’t hold it against you! But now its time to get serious! Did you know that Home Depot has DIY workshops on certain Saturdays for kids? No, OMG you are missing out! (side note they have adult ones too!) They do some pretty fun projects. My daughter has made a wooden car and monster truck, bird house and so many other projects. They get to work with wood and create something cool. So go to Home Depots website and check your local store too sign up for their next craft date. Spaces are limited so make sure you get in quick!
Other ideas..find a really fun store to take them to. We have a store called Play Things and its built like a giant space ship. But the best part is that inside of the store they have a set up for the kids to hang out and play. So on rainy days or cold days we like to go hang out and play. I have met some pretty awesome people there!
Look up historical places in your town or nearby and go visit them. Check google for crafts with kids days hosted by local businesses in your area. Find out who does holiday decor displays to go see..some stores do some awesome set ups for you to come check out, but it could also be a home in the area that sets up displays for viewing. Talk to your neighbors and friends and see where they like to hang out when it gets cold! Yes, another DUH but seriously I have found out about some awesome things just by posting that question on Facebook and even though I have lived in this town for 7 years I am amazed by the things I did not know happened around here!
5. Invite friends over
I mean the kids friends..not your friends. Unless your child loves playing with your friends then by all means invite the grown ups and have some play time lol. But if your baby is to little and has not attended school yet to make friends, then what? Simple…find a local MOPS group to join! You will meet some amazing ladies and the kids will make some great friends! But back to inviting friends over, the kiddos can play while you get things done around the house! Its a win win!
Another idea is to start a local moms group on FB. I did one for my town and have met a lot of people on there. Add people you know and then they can invite other moms and the list will just get bigger and bigger before you know it. Then you can schedule play dates or host get together to meet the other moms too!
6. Sign up for local events
You will be happily surprised to find out what kind of events or activities are in your area by calling a few places to find out! Here are a few places to start looking. Local Preschools. My daughters preschool hosts all kinds of craft days, sports activities like cheer-leading, t-ball, soccer, and so much more. So give them a call and see what they suggest for children the age of yours.
Maybe your local preschool doesn’t have any ideas…so then what? Call the school district because they always send flyers home with the kids about local events you can sign up for. Another place to call is your Library! Ours does reading/crafts on Tuesday mornings. Don’t stop there though, you can call your county office and ask them to refer you to any events going on in the area as well. I bet you will end up with all kinds of information in under 30 mins!
SHOCKER, right!? We may hate doing chores, but kids seem to like them. They get to help mommy and that is fun for them, so let them help you! You are teaching them life skills by giving them a chore. Even if it is standing beside you on a chair while you do the dishes, you get to teach them something and spend time together, BONUS!
When my daughter sees me getting ready to do the dishes she jumps up and grabs a chair. I dont even have to ask her, she just stands there and drys everything I wash. It helps me and she thinks its fun..FUN, I cant believe that I used fun and dishes in the same sentence. I DESPISE doing dishes and I cant wait until she is a little older so she can do them all on her own!
Read also: 4 Things Perfect Moms Never Do
8. Have a dance PARTY
I am not even kidding on this one. It is so much fun and we just bust out moves for no reason. We do it so often that we will dance to commercials. My daughter will here a song on a commercial and just yell “DANCE PARTY” and we get up and jam until its over. In the car, friends houses..it doesn’t matter we just jam. Some day I should record us…you would die laughing!
9, Get your science hats on
Not literally. But we have a great time doing science experiments! You can find a lot of cool things to do with stuff you probably already have in your homestead. So get your science hats on and learn something new! Try this book from Amazon. It is one of the many we have and we use it quite often. Great ideas and projects that are simple to do but really fun to watch!
Who doesn’t love baked goods!? Plus if you bake before Daddy comes home, he gets to come home to a sweet treat and I cannot even tell you how excited my daughter gets when she gets to give him food she made for him when he walks in the door. Its a beautiful thing!
What do you think? I am sure many of these things you already do which is great! What else do you like to do indoors when you are cooped up? I would love to hear your ideas too!