Cold weather can bring unique outdoor play opportunities for your snow angels. However, when it's too cold, wet, or snowy and they're stuck indoors, they can easily become anything but angels. To help you entertain your preschooler when the weather isn't on your side, I've gathered some terrific indoor fun ideas from Circle of Moms members. Enjoy!
1. Inexpensive Crafting Concoctions
Crafts don't have to be complicated or costly to be fun. As Circle of Moms member Michelle M. suggests, "Glue different things onto paper — use leaves, pasta, color some rice, small rocks, buttons, glitter, or whatever you can find."
Other members point out that recipes aren't just for dinner; a few simple ingredients can go a long way in the toy and game department too! With just three kitchen staples: peanut butter, honey, and powdered milk, Andrea L. makes homemade play dough that doubles as a snack (Mix 1 18-ounce jar of creamy peanut butter, 6 tablespoons of honey, and 3/4 cup non-fat powdered milk.)
Finger painting is also a favorite. Ashley T. makes homemade finger paint out of corn starch and dish soap: In a saucepan over medium heat, stir together 3 tablespoons of sugar, 2 cups cold water, and 1/2 cup cornstarch until the sugar dissolves. When the mixture gets gloopy and clear, take it off heat and cool. Stir in 1/4 cup liquid dishsoap until smooth, then a bit of vanilla extract for smell, and food colouring.
2. Scavenger Hunts and Fashion Shows
When you can't take any more hide-and-seek, put a new twist on it and create a scavenger hunt in the house. You can tailor it for a single child, or use the game to build teamwork when you have a house-full of kids. Vickie B says: "I draw what they need to look for so the younger kids can be independent too."
Another Circle of Moms member suggests turning your living room into a catwalk. Randi A.'s homemade "fashion show" was a big hit. She let her daughters and their friends raid her closet and "parade their favorite outfits."
3. Forts, Pillow Mountains, and Mazes
Every old blanket in your closet suddenly has a purpose. It's amazing how long preschoolers can be entertained when they have their own little play space, whether it's a full-blown fortress of solitude or a makeshift nook fashioned from a sheet tossed over the breakfast table. A Circle of Moms member named Kelly has some great ideas: "Take the cushions off the sofas and chairs then drape sheets over the tops of them. You can pile the pillows in the middle for bouncing, or stand them up to make mazes and rooms."She adds that a fort or club house is also a great reading corner: "For some reason, my little guy would sit and listen to books for hours under the "tent" . . . I kept a basket in the living room with spare sheets in it, so when we were done, all I had to do was wad them up and toss the pillows back on the right places."
4. Board Games
It can be tough to hold a preschooler's attention with traditional board games. Circle of Moms members suggest memory games and basic card games instead. Age-appropriate games that have stood the test of time, such as Connect 4, checkers, and Candyland are just as fun now as they were when we were kids... and not just for rainy days. As Circle of Moms member Kelly says, "...we love game night! We've been doing it with J since he was about 2 years old . . . We feel it is important for J because he is an only child and they are a great way to teach about taking turns, sharing, sportsmanship, and other social skills he might miss out on being an only." (Related: How to Start a Fun Family Night Tradition)
What are your kids' favorite indoor activities?
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