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The weather outside is frightful, and the kids are cooped up inside. It’s too cold to go out, and all you want to do is lock the doors, pull down the Roman blinds, and hibernate until spring.
Those winter months can drag on forever when your children catch the what-can-I-do-mom bug, and finding a cure can be next to impossible. Don’t stress. Next time your kids have nothing to do, try some of these indoor activities to entertain them.
Bake a Favorite Treat
Pull the kids into the kitchen, and don’t be afraid to make a mess!
Let them help you make a favorite wintertime treat like Christmas cookies or cinnamon rolls.
Little kids especially love to help measure ingredients, and bigger kids can take turns mixing the batter. If you make sugar cookies, decorating them together can be part of the fun.
Put Together a Puzzle
This activity can be tailored to children of all ages, with puzzles of various sizes and difficulty.
If you have older kids, pull out a more challenging puzzle and make sure it’s one they’ll enjoy putting together.
Turn on the music and challenge them to finish within a time limit—kids will be more involved if they’re competing against the clock!
Play With Window Markers
Kids who don’t usually like to color may enjoy something a little different. Get some washable window markers, pull up those blinds, and let the kids go to town on the windows.
Coloring in a book might not keep them entertained for long, but coloring all over the inside of the windows will be new, exciting and may just keep them busy for long enough for you to take a few minutes for yourself!
Do a Science Experiment
Who doesn’t like to make things fizz, bubble, or change color?
There are plenty of science experiments that only take ingredients you have on hand, such as vinegar, baking soda, and hydrogen peroxide. And this way, kids are having fun and learning something about chemistry at the same time.
Read a Good Book Together (or Write Your Own!)
Little kids especially love snuggle time with mom or dad. Choose some books they know and love, and maybe a few they’ve never heard.
For older children, challenge them to write their own book. Set them up with a notebook and pencil and let them be creative.
You could even start them off with a character idea, setting, and object and challenge them to write a story incorporating the three.
Tailor the keywords to their interests—if you have a Harry Potter fan, ask him to create a magical world. If your little girl loves Disney, have her write a story where she is the princess with a Prince Charming of her own.
Make Sun Catchers
Kids love to see their crafts on display, so make something that they can proudly hang up in the front windows of your home for the whole street to enjoy.
There are many simple, cheap ways to make projects that will catch the sun using wax paper, beads, colored film from notebook dividers, or tissue paper.
Just hop on the internet, find your favorite, and then let the kids decorate all the house windows for the holiday season!
Make a Fort and Play Make Believe
Couch cushions, pillows, and blankets are all you need to create a magical castle, cottage in the woods, outlaw’s hideout, or villain’s dungeon.
Kids can play for hours with nothing but their imaginations if you give them the proper tools.
Write Letters to Relatives or Friends
Haven’t seen grandma in a while? Pull out the stationary and let the kids draw or paint pictures or write letters for relatives or friends.
Getting paper mail might seem a little outdated, but everyone loves getting letters, especially grandma. And kids might just get a letter back.
Create a Home Video
Kids love to watch themselves on TV. Let them dress up in costume and come up with a play.
Clear out a spot in the front room and let them find their own props, and set up a scene. Let them rehearse, and then sit back and record them as they perform.
Grab a bowl of popcorn and let the stars enjoy watching their debut on the small screen.
Make Paper Snowflakes
This is a simple, fun craft that will keep kids entertained for hours. All you need is a pair of scissors and a stack of white paper, and kids can create a plethora of unique snowflakes.
Help them hang them up in their rooms or around the house—they look great hanging in windows, especially if they are decorated with silver or red and green glitter so that they catch the sunlight coming through the window panes.
What are some of your family’s favorite indoor activities?
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.