The season of cold weather and snow days is well underway. As anyone who’s around young children knows, their energy levels don’t drop when the mercury does. Winter’s chill can be stressful for adults and children alike when it leaves everyone cooped up indoors. But don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to have fun (and learn something at the same time) even when you can’t go outside. Here are four activities you can do indoors to keep kids engaged while keeping your sanity intact.
1. Indoor Obstacle Course
Bring the playground indoors by setting up an obstacle course. Rearrange the furniture or add new items to create tunnels, turns, and hurdles to jump over. Place tape on the floor to make an indoor hopscotch, or create a maze for kids to find their way through. If you still have some holiday decor on hand, string up Christmas lights around the room to add color and make it feel like a party.
Have children use different moves to get through the course — running, hopping, crawling or “wheelbarrow-style” (with children walking on their hands while another holds up their legs). Set a timer and make it a race. Feel free to get creative, because there are infinitely many possibilities for this activity. Plus, it’s a great way for kids to boost their motor skills (not to mention release all that pent-up energy, too).
2. Freeze Dance
Although kids can enjoy this activity year-round, it’s aptly named for wintertime fun. And thankfully, it has nothing to do with being out in the cold. All you need for “freeze dancing” is some music and an energetic group of children. Start playing a song and encourage kids to take on funny poses or make silly faces, then “freeze” when the music stops. Switch up the music to add a little variety to the game. If you have older children on hand, let them take turns being in charge of playing the music while you dance along with the preschoolers.
3. Scavenger Hunt
For an especially one-of-a-kind activity, you can pair this with the obstacle course idea…or not; it’s up to you. This is a great way for kids to practice their letters, numbers, or colors without making it seem like work. Hide objects around the room that correspond to the letter or color your kids are working on.
For a lesson on numbers, hide different numbers of the same object and have kids find the count that matches what they’ve learned. You can use small objects or playing cards for this. For the number three, for example, place different cards around the room and have kids find the one with three of something (hearts, spades, etc.) on it. Another idea is to hide wooden blocks with different letters or numbers on them and then call out which one children are to look for.
You can make a whole list of objects and check them off as they are discovered. Consider choosing a theme for the hunt and include objects consistent with it.
4. Crafting Extravaganza
As with the other activities mentioned, there are a plethora of possibilities with this one, too. Provide children with crafting materials, such as paint, pipe cleaners, and popsicle sticks. If you’re short on these, everyday objects — cotton balls, pictures clipped from magazines, pieces of tissue paper or fabric — work well too. Invite kids to arrange the materials to make a collage. You can either give them reusable items that they can arrange multiple times, or use glue to make permanent pictures. Have children work on one collage collectively, or let each child design one individually. Use poster board for larger projects, and a placemat, tray, or letter-sized sheet of paper for smaller ones. Take photos of the artwork or display individual pieces throughout the room. To really get them engaged, invite kids to make up stories to go with their creations.
The possibilities for indoor wintertime fun don’t end here. With Go2s, you can quickly and easily connect with your network to share these ideas and ask your members to contribute their own. Don’t wait until you’re “snowed in” to streamline communications with your community. Sign up for a free account today and join the Family Engagement group for tons of additional ideas.