Published February 1, 2024
It’s the dead of winter, and some days it seems the sun will never come out again. Especially if you have rambunctious kids getting restless at home. What can you do to keep them occupied when it’s too cold, gray, drizzly, or snowy to let them run around outside? Here are a few ideas that will keep your family entertained during the dreariest season of the year:
1. Build Your Own Blocks
Building elaborate creations with blocks seems to be something every kid can get into. But all those different sets can get expensive, fast. Making your own blocks can be a super cheap way to add to your kids’ toy chest—and a fun, easy craft to entertain them for hours. This article from Highlights has step-by-step instructions your kids can follow. All you need is a few cardboard boxes, some paint or markers, a ruler, and scissors…and your imagination, of course!
2. Get Scientific
Learning doesn’t have to be boring…and it doesn’t even have to happen at school. Science experiments are particularly good at teaching kids in fun, interactive ways. Have your kids ever done an Egg Drop? Built a DaVinci Bridge? Have they made a Carbon Sugar Snake? This article from We Are Teachers has 70 different experiments your kids can do from home with supplies you probably already have around the house. (For many of these activities, you’ll probably want to supervise to make sure your kids can do them safely.)
3. Write a Comic Book
Do your kids like Batman, Wonder Woman, and Spiderman? Have they ever wished they had a superpower of their own? Encourage them to explore that train of thought by creating their own comic book! We love this activity because it combines writing, drawing, and storytelling—all fun, sneaky ways to keep their little brains active. It also helps them to see the world from other people’s perspectives. They just need a few pieces of paper, a box of colored pencils, and a lot of imagination. And if they’re not into superheroes, that’s okay. Maybe they can draw inspiration from Calvin and Hobbes or Charlie Brown and make their own comic strip. For smaller kids, help them get started by drawing a few panels on the paper first. Need some guidance? This article from KidLit TV will help!
4. Make a Pizza
Cooking helps your child build healthy habits, learn lifelong skills, and explore their creativity in a unique way. Making their own pizzas is an easy, fun—and delicious—way for them to dip their toes into the culinary world. They can find a recipe they like online, or they can let their imaginations fly and come up with their own concoctions. Make it easy on beginners by starting with a loaf of French bread, pre-made sauce, shredded mozzarella, and toppings of their choice. Help them cut the French bread down the middle, assemble, and bake in the oven at 450°F until the cheese is melty and slightly browned (about 12-15 minutes). We like using French bread, because it makes smaller, individual pizzas, which means your kids can try out multiple recipes in one go.
5. Improve Your Drawing Skills
Do you have a mini Picasso on your hands? Most kids certainly don’t need help exploring their creative sides, but sometimes it’s nice to set them up with some skills and guidance so they can build on that creativity more easily. There are lots of websites out there that have drawing prompts and step-by-step instructions to teach kids the basics. Art For Kids Hub, for example, has tons of fun how-to-draw videos, like this Winter Penguin. They break the drawing down into steps to make the whole process super easy to follow along. After a few how-to videos, your kids might fall even more in love with drawing. But they also might learn an important life lesson: you can do some pretty amazing things when you break a project into smaller chunks.
6. Learn a Party Trick
Whether your child is super outgoing or a bit of a wallflower, making friends at social gatherings can be a bit easier if you have a party trick or two up your sleeve. Here’s an easy one that starts with a friendly bet: “I bet I can cut a hole in this index card, then fit my entire body through the hole!” People won’t believe them, but it’s actually very possible. Take a look at this video to see how it’s done. You’ll see that it takes a little finesse, but in five easy steps, your kids can do the “impossible.” They might also enjoy learning a card trick, a magic trick, or a couple of riddles or jokes. With a bit of practice, before you know it, your kids will be the life of every party!
7. Go to the Museum
Icky winter weather might have your family stuck inside, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay at home. For instance, admission to the Children’s Museum is FREE on Presidents Day! They also have reduced prices on the first Thursday night of each month. Your kids will enjoy learning about dinosaurs, treasure, space, and so much more. Or if you have a budding history buff on your hands, admission to the Indiana State Museum is also FREE on Presidents Day and will have lots of hands-on activities to keep your kids busy and entertained all day long.
Winter weather in Indiana can be pretty gross and leave your kids with a bad case of cabin fever. But there’s tons you can do to beat the February blahs in the comfort of your own home. With a bit of imagination and an open mind, there’s no end to what your kids can discover without even stepping foot out the door.Tags: activities for kids, family activities, Family Fun, indoor activities