Winter is coming – and I am not only saying that as an excuse to randomly quote the famous line from the Game of Thrones series. I am saying it because, as the bad weather comes upon us, there are fewer and fewer things that our kids can do. Or at least that is the impression we have, because they stop being able to spend as much time outdoors as they did over the summer or when the weather was better.
But the bad weather and winter itself don’t have to be mean that your kids will spend all day long inside playing video games or watching TV all day long, getting bored and out of shape. On the contrary, there are a ton of things that you can do inside and keeping your children entertained during the winter will prove to be not so difficult if you put some energy into it. And since you’re reading this article, you are definitely ready to do it!
Of course, I will start by telling you what we do here in our family – things that have worked nicely over the years and kept the kids happy. They are growing older and we have to come up with new ideas, but this is one of the challenges of parenting, and this is something that we absolutely love doing. There are many things that people know – which I consider common sense things and I won’t share them here – but some really work in our case and they’re definitely worth sharing!
So here are a few suggestions of my own on how to keep your children entertained during the winter:
1. As soon as fall hits, we start spending as much time as possible outside gathering fallen leaves. We try to get as many colors and shapes as possible and stockpile a ton of leaves. These will be extremely useful during the winter, but they also keep the kids entertained when collecting them. It’s slowly becoming a favorite activity, allowing the little ones explore the world, make decisions and then see their choices turned into entertainment later on (as we paint the leaves, glue them onto pieces of paper and create funny characters and use them to build mini forts or houses for fairies).
2. We consider winter to be a great season for expressing one’s creativity, so we use everything that we have on hand: from paper mache to drawing, painting, building (Lego or anything else), our home becomes a workshop for their creativity and they absolutely love it.
3. It’s also a good time to help them socialize while keeping a closer eye on them. We like hosting parties (nothing fancy at all, it’s basically just kids coming over to play). Let them spend as much time as possible in the company of their friends, and they will absolutely love it!
In our case, it’s getting a bit difficult because two groups are formed, since our daughter is 7 and our son is 5 and they usually prefer doing different things, but eventually the groups join forces and play together. It’s a joy to watch the young ones interact and learn together!
4. Family bonding time is also increased during the winter. Although I’m not usually the kind of parent that enjoys encouraging their children to watch TV (since I want them to be as active as possible), I can’t ignore the bonding time that it offers. Since during the winter we like just being lazy on the couch watching a family-friendly movie, we get the kids close, tuck them in and watch the movie together. It’s absolutely beautiful and we all love it, so one day per week is reserved to watching a movie. It’s easier as they grow older, since they actually start to show interest in these movies. Love it to bits and I’ll miss it so much when they’ll grow older!
In case you want some more actual ideas and all sorts of great suggestions, you can check out a couple of articles that are filled with activity ideas that you can perform with your kids during the winter: this article of Artful Parent (my favorite) lists 89 activities for kids, while Buzzfeed comes with some interesting suggestions of their own in their article.
So don’t let the bad weather keep you bored and upset. There are a ton of things that you can do, things that will prove not to only keep the kids busy and entertained, but the adults as well!