Fun Activities For Kids When It’s Too Cold To Play Outside

 

It’s cold. And you know you can bundle up the kids to play outdoors even when it’s cold. You can go on nature walks, play ball and more, but not everyone enjoys that and outdoor time has to be limited when temperatures drop. So let’s dream up some ways to get the kids engaged indoors instead.

 

Go Camping!

Indoors, of course. You can convert most any room or spare room into a really great camp for the kids using your own camping gear from storage or making it up as you go along with blanket forts. While not as great as a camp fire, Netflix has Fireplace For Your Home so you can somewhat experience a crackling fire indoors from the safety of your television or laptop. Make modified S’Mores indoors, and hang lanterns or hand out flashlights while you shut off the lights too. A modified version of this is to host a family picnic in the living room.

 

Get Crafty or Experimental

Often craft kits or science experiments are just the things to waste an hour or three. You can put your own together or search craft shops and Groupon.com for craft kits that are sometimes deeply clearanced. Easy, kid-friendly science experiments can be found online or at the library, instructing your kids how to use things you probably already have at home. This is also a great time to do some advanced holiday planning too since you might run out of time when the actual holiday comes around. Search craft shops, dollar stores, and online for goods to help you get a jump on Valentine’s Day, Easter, and July 4th crafting. Learning origami, coloring eggs and making egg salad, or making paper airplanes are other great ideas. With the airplanes, you can host a competition to see whose flies furthest too.

 

Library Workshops, Story Time, Movie Nights

Libraries aren’t just for great books and some computer learning time. Often they host various art exhibits, cultural awareness activities, crafting, movie nights, used book sales, story time and meet-the-author activities, workshops, and more. You might even be lucky enough to have a library with a small play area indoors where the kids can burn off some energy with others.

 

Indoor Playground, Jump House, or Family Rock Climbing Center

Many malls and cities have play areas for children, family rock climbing centers, YMCA and Community Centers, Gyms with indoor pools, or Jump Houses for varying entrance fees or monthly dues or memberships. Get your kids out to another warm building where they’re free to explore, jump, investigate,

 

Museums, Ceramics Centers, & Science Centers

Kids can explore, learn, create or experiment with other children their age for hours upon hours of fun. There are plenty of options in some areas like science museums, children’s museums, discovery museums, art museums, dinosaur museums, historical museums, etc.

 

Family Bowling & Sports on the Wii

Get a rousing game going with all the kids on Wii Sports or Playstation 3. If you don’t have one, use empty toilet paper rolls to set up in a pyramid of 12, grab a ball, and knock ’em down. Make it fun and competitive because kids love both of those things, especially put together. Perhaps there’s a family trophy you’ve grabbed off the shelf or created with the kids that is passed around every time there’s a new winner.

 

Redecorate a Room

You might even be so motivated to paint the walls or furniture. Or you might not. But moving things around can be just as fun. Get the kids involved in designing a new layout for their bedroom or playroom, or even your living room, and then put in the work together and see your results!

 

Scavenger Hunt or Guess What?

Kids love this one! You get to make clues and hide things either with them or independently, then they search their little hearts out. A modified version of the full-blown scavenger hunt is to play a game called “Guess What?”. Take a paper bag with something secret in it and the child reaches in with their eyes closed to guess what’s inside.

 

Get In The Kitchen

Bake, cook something, make up new recipes, plan next week’s meals, learn how to make a new cookie, try homemade pizza dough, bake cupcakes, make pancakes, and tons more. There are thousands of tutorials online to show you how to make something new and that’s part of the fun! Look up a new idea together and then get to work.

 

Stop Animation Movies

Kids are loving this idea these days! You can make stop animation movies out of toys you have at home like Legos, blocks, figures, etc. Look up a tutorial online and pretty soon three hours have already passed while the kids are creating a cool movie you can share on YouTube or social media.

 

Take a Picture, Make a Picture, or Skype It!

Take a whole bunch of pictures of each other and then use a photo editing software to have hours of fun with them. If you have some long-distance relatives or friends, try Skyping with them. Kids also find it fun to Skype with their school friends on cold days.

 

Get Dressed Up

Create new costumes together and take official or goofy family photos. Get the pets involved too. Another great idea is to get completely dressed up for a formal family dinner with candlelight and maybe even the fine China. This is something completely out of the norm, so it’s fun, and it consumes extra time and energy while not making a huge mess, so it’s the perfect mix of what you need as a parent and a kid — easy, clean, and fun.

 

Play Date or Sleepover at Your House or Theirs

See if you can hook your kids up with a friend, grandma, a neighbor or relative for some time away from home. Or call around and see if you can get one of their friends to come over for a few hours of fun or a sleepover if age-appropriate.

 

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