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  • Leah Tanner

8 Simple And Fun Indoor Activities To Get You And Your Kids Through The Winter

We are outdoor people through and through. Coming from a generational farming and ranching family, I guess you could say it's in our blood to be outdoors! There's just something about being outside in the fresh air with the sun on your face that just feels right. Playing in the grass with the kiddos, fishing with dad on the lake, swimming at Lake McConaughy , camping in the mountains, gardening; man, I could go on and on.


But then October comes, the leaves begin to fall and the temperatures drop and it's no longer fun or safe to play outside all day, day after day. Don't get me wrong, I'll never pass up a good snowball fight when the opportunity comes. ;) This list is for those who want to curl up on the couch with your loved ones, a good book, a bowl of chilli or some yummy hot cocoa.

  1. Build a Cardboard Fort........ You can typically find a large box from a local builder, wholesale distribution warehouse, furniture store, etc. (usually they are happy to give away big boxes). Tape one end shut and reinforce the sides with duct tape, then help your child cut a door maybe some windows in the sides. Encourage your child to add control panels if you build a Dome or Rocket, you can use generic household items like toilet paper rolls, bottle caps, string, or other recyclables. You can even get some sticky glow in the dark stars to stick to the "ceiling" of the fort and spend the night "under the stars". Get creative and fun, the possibilities are endless!

  2. Edible Play-Doh......... Make this fun and easy recipe with pretty generic household staples, such as flour, sugar, and Koolaid. After nearly 10 years of nannying, activities like this were always my go to. Not only did the kiddos love being apart of the "cooking" process, but it was added playtime for them. I didn't have to worry about toddlers sneaking a bite of harmful playdough. The great thing is, there are so many different recipes to choose from ranging from gluten free to peanut butter playdough.

  3. "Mad Scientist" bathtime.......Oh, man! Talk about a life safer with the kiddos. I can't tell you how many tricks I had to pull out to get bath time fun for the toddlers I nannied. This was always their favorite, though. Gather up different sized plastic cups, containers, spray bottles, funnels, spoons, spatulas, and set up a stool in the bathtub. Let your child take a bath in the middle of the day WITHOUT the goal of getting clean, though it's a great plus for the parents ;). Let your child(ren) use the stool as a table to line up the "experiments". Add soap and bubbles and let their imagination take you both away.

  4. Indoor Scavenger Hunt........This.... This right here! It is so fun to watch the kiddos search through the house for all the different items and it's something they can do on their own or you can go on the adventure with them. Indoor hunts are THE best for smaller kids with shorter attention spans; easy clues can take them from room to room with a final treasure waiting at the end. Hide clues around the house for a hunt that will keep them busy solving riddles and working as a team. Leave a "treasure chest" at the end with a few treats for an additional special surprise.

  5. Make a Reading Nook.......You can A L W A Y S turn to books. I know the kiddos might not always like it, so try, try as you might, to make it fun. Let the kids crawl into their newly built fort from above with a flash light and go to town on a new book. Make it comfortable with pillows, blankets and favorite stuffed animals. Check out a big bag of books from your local library, build your fort or reading nook and join your child for a reading marathon. Children love challenges or races, so make it fun and get creative!

  6. Learn + Celebrate the Holiday Season......To celebrate Christmas make gingerbread houses, decorate stockings, read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" and watch "The Nutcracker" ballet. To celebrate Hanukkah decorate dreidels, make veggie latkes and read stories about Hanukkah. The possibilities are endless.

  7. Host a Kid's Joke Contest......You can always count on a good competition to get the kids tired and create lots of laughs! It doesn't have to be a joke contest.. talent shows are always fun!

  8. Play Hopscotch With Masking Tape..... Using masking tape to create hopscotch on an indoor floor is a great way to tire the kiddos and can be used for tic-tac-toe or anything else you can think of.


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