Whether the weather outside is frightful or mom’s fraying temper is far from delightful the winter months can be a boring time for kids. You can prevent cabin fever, however, by planning a little ahead.
Whether the weather outside is frightful or mom’s fraying temper is far from delightful the winter months can be a boring time for kids. You can prevent cabin fever, however, by planning a little ahead. If you have some activities ready for the inevitable moment when a child opens his mouth to say, “I’m bored,” you can cut him off before he’s begun. Some of these activities are indoor, and some are outdoor, thus giving you different options should the weather be agreeable.
Have a shoveling contest. If your kids are big enough to wield a snow shovel, get them each their own small shovel and encourage them to help you shovel the driveway and sidewalks. Not only will it help you get some household work done, it will be great exercise for them.
Create paper penguin puppets. The instructions can be found here. The puppets can be customized depending on the preference of the creator. Provide material to create a backdrop and props and encourage your kids to come up with mini plays to perform with their puppets for further entertainment.
Invent a winter scavenger hunt. This activity works indoors and outdoors. Write up a list of items easily found in your area that have to do with winter. For instance, an ice cube, snow, a shovel, a coat or other winter clothing, a depiction of a snowman, a Christmas, book, etc. The kids have to collect these items and show them to you.
Start a paper snowflake competition. You can look up snowflake patterns online or just find pictures of snowflakes to show to the kids for inspiration. Have them cut out the snowflakes, write their names on the back, and hang them up around the house. You, or some other designee, can act as the snowflake judge with some small prize for the best snowflake.
Design a snow maze. All it takes is enough snow to cover the grass. Take a shovel and carve trails over your lawn through the snow, making sure to have the paths loop back on each other and occasionally lead to dead ends. Mark a start and finish and tell the kids they can’t step outside the trail.
Make winter scenes in shadow boxes. The background can be made of construction paper and the bottom ought to be filled with cotton balls or some other type of snow material. If your area doesn’t experience much snow during the winter, allow your kids to come up with their own ideas of how to create a “winter” scene.
Look for tracks in the snow. They might be animal or human tracks. Help the kids identify what might have made each type of track. If it was obviously made by human footsteps, see if they can figure out whose pair of shoes might have made the track.
There are several ways you might choose to present the activities to the kids. You can let them choose from the list, write the options on popsicle sticks and let them pull a stick from a jar, or have a different activity chosen for each day or week which is only revealed when that day or week arrives.
Winter doesn’t have to be a time of boredom for the kids, it can actually be a time to encourage their creativity and get them interested in new interests and pursuits.