Is it just me or does the weather this winter seem incredibly bizarre? Last week we were living through an intense deep freeze and this week we are getting pelted with freezing rain! I can hardly keep up! No matter the weather, though, our kids get outside at least once (typically twice) every single day. Rain, shine, snow, sleet, wind… it doesn’t matter, they are getting out there (we are big believers in the long list of benefits that come from spending time outdoors and the saying “There is no bad weather, only bad clothes!” – more on that another time though)! With that said, we are mindful of their ages and limitations, so the length of time they spend outdoors in bad weather is typically decreased, which means there is more time in the day to fill with indoor activities! Given all the crazy weather we have been getting the past month, the kids and I have spent more time indoors than we usually do, so I have had to come up with some fun activities to keep them from getting too stir crazy. Here are a few of my favourite ideas so far (my favourite parts about all these ideas is that they can be done with very little prep and using items you likely already have in your home!):
Footprint Snowmen:Aren’t these little guys just too cute?! We had a blast making these – the kids helped me find the stick arms in our back yard during our afternoon outing and then squealed with delight when I painted their feet to make the footprints. Once dry, I assembled the snowmen using a hot glue gun and the kids help me hang them on our “art wall” in their playroom. Inspiration for this idea can be found here.
DIY Bird Feeders:
These DIY bird feeders were SO much fun and incredibly easy to make! The instructions and ingredients can be found here. As I am sure you can imagine, it includes peanut butter, so the kids had a blast playing with the sticky (and yummy!) peanut butter while putting these together! During one of our afternoon outings, we spent some time picking spots in the trees in our backyard to hang them, and the kids enjoyed going back afterwards to see how the seeds were (quickly) disappearing!
DIY Oatmeal Sensory Bin:
This activity required a bit more prep time than the others, but nothing outrageous. I simply filled a few small bowls with rolled oats, added some vegetable oil and food colouring, then mixed until the oats were colors I was happy with and set them out on parchment paper overnight to dry. The next day I set the oats out on a large plastic sheet I use for messy crafts and activities (it is actually just a shower curtain from the dollar store!) with measuring cups, spoons and some construction and farm vehicles then let the kids go wild! I’m not going to lie, this stuff was EVERYWHERE, but they had a blast and the Roomba did most of the heavy lifting on the clean up, so I am not complaining! 😉
This activity was SO easy and the kids LOVED it. We did this on one of those really, really cold days when we couldn’t stay outside very long; I figured if the kids couldn’t play outside in the snow, they might as well play inside with it! Prep time for this activity is barely worth mentioning: 1. Gather fresh snow in plastic containers and bring inside; 2. Fill up paint tray; and 3. Set out paint tray with brushes, scoops, etc. on large plastic drop cloth with bins full of snow. So easy! My kids played with this until the snow started to melt and I had to start cleaning it up before it got too messy (which actually took longer than I had expected), so time spent playing far outweighed time spent prepping (which is a big win in my books!). Inspiration for this idea can be found here.
What sort of fun indoor activities have you been doing with your little ones this winter? Please share below!