Parenting can get a whole lot more challenging over the winter months. You’re stuck inside more often, it gets dark early in the evenings, and illnesses are often drifting around. I’ve put together a list of indoor winter activities that you can use to entertain your children during these cold days.
We also have a list of outdoor winter activities if that’s something you’re looking for.
Mini Trampolines: We actually have two of these mini trampolines for my boys to bounce on in the basement when they need to get out some energy. You can buy the small, round exercise trampolines instead of the ones marketed to kids (they are significantly less expensive).
Painter’s Tape: Painter’s tape can instantly create a whole new world right on your living room carpet. You can create race tracks, mazes, parking lots, hop scotch, rivers, or anything else your kid can imagine. When you are done playing, peel up the tape and throw it away – simple!
Pool Ball Pit: Most of us have kiddie pools laying around that we use every now and then over the summer. Here is a chance to get some more use out of it! Bring it inside and fill it up with ball pit balls. If you don’t have ball pit balls on-hand, then fill up the pool with normal balls or toys! Your kids will like the novelty of it regardless.
Toilet Paper: Hear me out… toilet paper can be a fun, inexpensive, novel activity for your kids! My boys like to make race car tracks and booby traps out of toilet paper. Hand each kid a roll and let them go to town. Just clarify that they only get to TP the house when Mommy gives the green light.
Cardboard Boxes: We do a lot of online shopping these days, which means that we have a lot of cardboard boxes stockpiled in the basement. Every once in a while, I let the boys do whatever they’d like with them. They can color them, cut them, tape them, etc. You don’t need a plan for this one – just let them use their imaginations.
Balloons: I have a whole collection of balloons that we get out from time to time when we really need a different activity to distract us. We have normal balloons, long balloons (that you can make balloon animals out of), and rocket balloons (where you inflate them, and then they fly around the room).
Old Toys: We don’t have enough living space in our house to have all of the kids’ toys out, all of the time, so we keep a lot in storage in the attic. It is extra exciting to bring a box of toys down that the boys haven’t seen in a while. And it usually keeps them occupied for a while.
Bubbles: Bubbles are not just an outdoor activity in our house. My boys are 6 and 3, and they still get the giggles when we blow and pop bubbles. I have even turned on the bubble machine in our house when I am really desperate for some entertainment.
Baths: My kids love to lounge in the bathtub. If we need to kill an hour or two, I let them use watercolor paints in the tub and let them use some of Daddy’s shaving cream on the walls. It is always amazing to me how long they will “swim” in the tub if I am not rushing to get them out and get them dressed. Also, look for non-traditional bath toys around the house that can tolerate water. Things like rubber animals, small cars, Legos, get creative – your kids will love it!
Tents: We have somehow gathered a hefty collection of those pop-up tents for kids. There are different character tents and different tunnels. We like to get them out from time to time. This way, we can set up a whole maze of tents and tunnels for the boys to play in.
Shari Medini is the co-author of Parenting while Working from Home: A Monthly Guide to Help Parents Balance Their Careers, Connect with Their Kids, and Establish Their Inner Strength. She is also the co-owner of AdoreThemParenting.com. The site strives to share actionable tips, heartfelt insight, and planning strategies to help you enjoy your own parenting journey!