Living in the Midwest, where winter is keeping us inside the house for the majority of the day, boredom is number one enemy. I have a 3 years-old and 6 years-old whom I need to keep pre-occupied with a variety of activities during the long winter evenings.
We play of lot with building blocks, magnet tiles, board games, and plenty of hide and seek. I have a blog about gift ideas for kids where I list all their favorite toys if you are interested. You can also check out Sara’s post on the best gifts for toddlers.
But today, I want to share some additional activity ideas to enjoy some quality time with your kids.
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Sometimes our house looks like we are packing to move. Our kids absolutely love playing with boxes. And when you use Amazon Prime, you have plenty of those in the house. 🙂 We usually come up with an idea of what the box will be. Then, I cut out any holes they need (for things like windows or door) and give them a box of crayons or markers to decorate.
When the project is finished we use the boxes to pretend play. Our boxes have been grocery stores, restaurants, and dog houses. These types of games keep them pre-occupied for a couple of hours. Of course, I have to give each child their own box to avoid crying and fights that someone drew something that does not belong. 🙂
My 6 years-old has a little obsession with the alphabet since pre-school. We have a lot of different alphabet puzzles and plastic letter,s and we found other ways to use them in addition to arranging them in order.
One of his favorite games is to play what we call ‘alphabet’ hide-and-seek . The way it works, is that one person goes around the house and places the letters next to the things that start with them. For example, he will put letter ‘c’ on the couch and letter ‘w’ next to the water bottle. The other person then goes and finds all the letters. We usually break it out into sets of 5 letters at the time because he insist of finding them in alphabetical order 🙂
Another alphabet game is choosing a letter and gathering items that start with that letter. We also play alphabet games when we are stuck in traffic or are shopping in a grocery store. We simply find things that start with each letter.
School play is something they really enjoy playing. Once my son entered kindergarten last year, he started giving lessons to mommy and daddy. Recently my daughter begun to understand the role of a ‘student’ in this game, so they like to play with each other.
They often use the easel and use dry eraser markers to give the lessons to each other. My son also likes to put four blocks with letters or numbers and quiz his sister on which number/letter is what. They have lots of fun as she is guessing most of the time, and they both find it hilarious when she gets it wrong.
Experiments are also fun and entertaining for those long winter evenings. We get ideas from Pinterest or YouTube videos. Some very simple ones are experimenting which things will sink and which things will float. We use the kitchen or bathroom sink to test things out.
Another fun one is experimenting with melting the ice. We put ice cubes in plastic cups and fill some with water and some without and see which ones will melt the quickest.
We also like to experiment with mixing paint colors to see what color combinations make what shade. You can make it a guessing game of what colors will make brown, and then kids start mixing different colors to get brown. It’s a bit messy, but so much fun.
We also test out which item will fall quicker to the ground. We use things like feathers and plastic letters or a piece of paper and a crayon. Pick things that are small and not very heavy. 🙂
Taking a different spin on typical activities
Sometimes when we are out of ideas as to what to do, I try to take a different spin on the typical activities. For example, instead of coloring the coloring books, I get the large paper sheets that are used for school projects, place them on the floor and let them color.
During summer, I let them use paint when we are outside, but I have not been brave enough to do that indoors. We also have two small dogs that I can just envision running through the paintings and leaving paw prints all around the living room.:)
Hope these activities give you some ideas for kids activities at your household. I invite you to check out my Imperfect Life Balance blog where I cover topics of productivity, motivation, career, and life balance.
Don’t forget to check out Sara’s guest blog post about Activities for Infants and Toddlers for ideas on fun activities for younger kids.