Thursday, November 5, 2015

100 Indoor Activities To Do At Home This Winter

We live in Iowa. This means 3 things: corn, nice people, and harsh winters. I've always dreaded winter's arrival, but I dread it even more now that I have kids. We spend more time than we'd like indoors, but I'm always have ideas for those days or weekends we get snowed in or it's too cold to go anywhere. Here's our 100 favorite indoor activities that we reserve for winter time:
4.)  Cardboard playhouse (or make your own with large boxes)
5.) Obstacle course. Use pillows, Lego's, whatever to make a course
7.) Boxes. Stop by your local grocery store if you're in need of boxes (usually the larger the box the better according to kids)
8.) Movie theater in the living room

9.) Tea party

10.) Hot chocolate bar

11.) Soup day. Spend a day making and trying all kinds of soup. Let kids help pick out recipes and make them

12.) Kids yoga (or any other exercise "class"). Check out Youtube for the how to's

13.) Game day. Play board games all day. Some of our favorite: Don't Spill the Beans, Uno, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Connect 4, Don't Break The Ice, and Disney Hedbanz

14.) Over the door basketball hoop game.

15.) Indoor baseball. This is not for those with glass houses

16.) Bowling

17.) Bag toss

18.) Balloon/beach ball volleyball (see an example here)

19.) Playing with ice (see how we did that here)

20.) Baking soda and vinegar. Makes for some really fun and cool experiments

21.) Make your own Play Doh

22.) Stickers

23.) Puff Paints. Grab bags from Dollar Tree or cheap tees to use

24.) Sensory bins

25.) Tents. We've been known to set up our camping tent in the middle of the living room on long gloomy days

26.) Make a fort

27.) Dance party

28.) Hot Wheel races

29.) Dirty cars (Chocolate pudding and any little cars)

30.) Crayola tub paints

31.) Window markers

32.) Insta snow or Baking soda snow (find an example here)

33.) Balloons

34.) Potions Party

35.) Slime

36.) Play with shaving cream

37.) Goop

38.) "Find the...." game. Have one child hide a toy (of any size, of their choosing) and the other kids find it

39.) Make your own decorations (examples here)

40.) Gym day with mattresses. Lay mattress on the floor (we've been known to move our's to the living room) and let the kids jump around

41.) Books Day

42.) Kinectic Sand

43.) Create your own treasure hunt

44.) Hide n' seek

45.) Indoor ball pit (you can buy one or make your own with a kiddie pool and plastic balls)

46.) Cooking. Bake up your favorite goodies or try a new recipe for a meal

47.) Dress up

48.) Play restaurant

49.) Bake and decorate cookies

50.) "Lazer" Maze (get ideas here)

51.) Paint your own canvas

52.) Make noodle necklaces

53.) Lava lamp experiment

54.) Puppet theater (you can easily make your own with a cardboard box)

55.) Chalk drawings (use sidewalk chalk or classroom chalk and draw on construction paper)

56.) A slide inside (a Little Tikes slide works great)

57.) Water table/bin

58.) Bouncy ball paintings

59.) Make your own bouncy balls

60.) Make masks out of paper plates

61.) Lego's

62.) Hot potato

63.) Simon Says

64.) Cookie cutters. Paint with them, play with play dough, make cookies. So many options

65.) Puzzles

66.) Flour "sand"

67.) Muffin Party

68.) Pizza Party

69.) Pet Rescue Center

70.) Make your own games

71.) Chocolate sensory play

72.) Grow capsules

73.) Water beads

74.) Shaving cream paint

75.) Salt dough ornaments/3D figures

76.) Hatching eggs

77.) Painting bird house(s). Nothing like working on a spring project in the middle of winter

78.) Face painting

79.) Pudding painting

80.) Pillow fight

81.) Trampoline

82.) Magnets

83.) Photo booth

84.) Car wash

85.) Make your own wooden blocks

86.) Water bottle shakers

87.) Play grocery store

88.) Kool Aid snow painting

89.) Play dinosaurs (examples here)

90.) Bop Balloons. Dollar Tree has three packs

91.) Paper airplanes. Make them and have races

92.) Magnets

93.) Make your own music video/video/play/etc

94.) Make cardboard swords

95.) Play pirates with cardboard swords

96.) Make your own puppets. Use brown paper bags and decorate

97.) Crossword puzzles/word find/checkers (great games for older kids)

98.) Make your own crayons. Use up those half broken crayons, an ice cube tray, and the microwave

99.) Build things with mini marshmallows and toothpicks

100.) Fun with flashlights. Take advantage of the sun setting early (incredibly early) and save some electricity. Use flashlights to make shadow puppets (followed by a game of "can you tell what I'm making?") or play hide n' seek in the dark or my kids favorite (which always ends in someone getting hurt) is tag in the dark.
Still looking for ideas? Here's how I keep the daycare kids busy throughout the sometimes gloomy days of winter.