February is right around the corner, but the winter is far from over. In many areas of the country, the cold and snow has settled in and won’t be leaving for a while. Thankfully kids are in school and most of their time is taken up by being inside. But what about the weekends when they have a ton of energy and inside just doesn’t seem big enough?
We all know that we want our kids to get out some energy so that they can concentrate on other things, and sleep at night, but we also know that exercise is extremely important. Even when the winter months are getting everyone down, there are always things to do inside and out that can keep your kids entertained and having fun! We’ll give you a few ideas here, for both inside and out.
Build a Snowman
This is a great activity for a few people, whether it be you and your child, or just your children. Be creative and dress him or her up with a hat, coat, shoes and scarf. You can make a family of snow-people if you have enough snow, or maybe even snow-pets.
Bundle up the kids and head out to the nearest park. Most will have at least one hill available to race down, some more than one. Afterwards stop and get some hot chocolate, and chat with the kids about their school week. Make sure to bring a sled for you too!
Cross Country Skiing
Cross country skiing is a great way to get in a great workout, while teaching your kids a life-long sport. Craigslist is a great place to look for used equipment if you don’t know if your kids will enjoy skiing. Once you have equipment, all you need is open space and snow.
Kids learn in school that every snowflake is different. Why not show them in real life? Bring out a magnifying glass and start inspecting. If you really want to get fancy, take pictures of the magnified flakes and redraw them inside. Or if you get some nice ones, print them and frame them for your kids to hang in their rooms.
If you live out in the country, you might do this already, but if you live in a city you probably don’t. If that is the case, pack everyone into the car and go for a drive. Find a large park or national forest and take a long nature walk to enjoy the wildlife. If you live in areas with bear or other large predators, make sure to carry a large stick and even pepper spray.
When a winter storm rolls in, or it’s just too cold to go outside, there are still plenty of things to do in the comfort of your own home. Here are a few new ideas that you may not have tried yet.
Rolled Paper Coloring
If you have access to a roll, grab some 3 foot packing paper and lay it out across the floor. Let your kids go crazy with designs. They could draw an ocean, a mountain with prairie animals or really whatever they want.
Build Car Roads
Grab some colored tape, and help your kids make roads for their matchbox cars. You can use different colors for slow or fast lanes, and at the end of the day there’s no mess. Just pull the tape up and you’re good.
If you recently bought a TV or refrigerator, why not reuse that box for fun? Tear it apart and place it the long way down the stairs in your house. You may need two boxes if you have a longer set staircase. Make sure to supervise your kids while they use it, and take it down right away once they have moved on to the next thing.
What better way to make it feel like summer than to set up a tent and camp indoors? You can help your kids cook s’mores over the stove and tell scary stories. The best part: you won’t have to wander into the woods in the middle of night to use the bathroom.
Teach Them to Sew, Knit or Crochet
If you are an avid sewer, or you knit or crochet, the winter is a perfect time to teach kids how to do this as well. A craft that many do throughout their entire lives, sewing and knitting can also come in handy when your kids are adults and are doing DIY work in their own homes. Try to keep it simple at first, and move at a pace that works for them. Don’t get too discouraged if they don’t stick with it, you can always bring it back up when they are older and better able to focus.
We hope these activities will keep you and your kids entertained throughout the long winter months. If you live in an area where there is snow throughout the winter, you probably already take advantage of all the winter has to offer. But maybe we gave you a few new ones to try. If you’re a new parent, hopefully these come in handy. Enjoy the snow now, and look forward to the warm weather that is just around the corner.
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