Winter is here ... some indoor activities to occupy the kids
Although there are many winter activities to get involved with - such as skating, skiing, snowboarding, trail walks etc - there are times where the kids just want to stay inside. Especially as temperatures drop and weather becomes less ideal. So since we might be spending some time indoors together, we dug up some ideas that might help keep children entertained - and these will help since some of us area still working from home most days.
Kids Aged 2-6
Make a mural: (this might require more supervision for the young ones) Choose a wall that your kids can reach and cover it with paper. If you have paper in a roll, even better! Provide the kids with crayons and pencil crayons and let their inner Michelangelo come out (have a magic eraser on hand for the walls in case). This can also be a way to teach them about other famous artists around the world and show them some of their master pieces that they can try to replicate.
Dress up: If you have a dress-up box, pull it out and if not, create one with hats, socks, coats, purses, shoes, boots, kid glasses, costume jewelry, old dresses, jackets, mirror, brush, old cellphone, old keys (No long pieces or belts etc that could possibly be choking items). Getting a chest from a craft store or local hardware store should be fairly cheap and you can also invite them to decorate that box. Provide the kids with stickers and markers and let them fancy it up!
Kids Aged 7-11
Camp out: Treat them to an impromptu sleepover in the living room. Set up a tent or fort and fill it with multiple items for a game of camp. Let your kids get comfy with pillows and blankets, keep them fed with healthy snacks, turn out the lights, and give them flashlights for making shadow animals and telling stories into the night. Sometimes it is ok for them to have a late night and sleep in (gets you some alone time in the morning!)
Dance videos: Since our kids are much more technologically savvy that we are, you can set you child up with some music (that isn’t too loud to disturb your work), show them how to take a video (if they don’t already know how!), provide props or dress-up clothes and have them take dance videos (or other silly videos) that they can share with you (probably with much laughter) over lunch or dinner.
Get Cooking: Kids are always looking to help especially in the kitchen. So why not get them started. We found a great cookbook The Disney Princess Cookbook which has a variety of recipes and a menus section which shows how different recipes can be tied together to make a full meal. Recipes include inspiration from around the world as Jasmine is from the Middle East, Tiana from the French south, Merida from Scotland.
Henna Tattoos: Who hasn't gotten a tattoo that they don't regret … or is that just me? Either way, memories were made. And another idea to make memories with the kids is to get inked … but less permanently! Look for henna (also known as mehendi) and allow the kids to get creative (available on amazon.ca). It will last a couple weeks at the most and will let them come up with their own designs and some come with stencils. There are a few options that come in ready to use henna cones and are completely chemical dye free. This is also an activity older kids would love too.
Kids ages 12-15
Reading and Writing: I know, it can be hard on the best of days to get kids to sit and read. However, what if they had the opportunity to write their own story and draw their own illustrations. Making comic books can be fun. You can find examples and some tips here – they can choose to either draw everything out on paper, or use some of the digital tools available to them. They can pick their own character, think of a plot and bring their story to life.
Puzzles: Some love it, some hate it. Some love to hate it and hate to love it. Whatever way you look at it, puzzles can draw you in and challenge you. This is an activity they can do in their own time or as a family. Set out a puzzle you have all agreed on and place it in a common area (dining table or coffee table in the family room etc) and it can be a project that you can work on when you feel like it. However, if you are anything like most, it is hard to stop once you start seeing it come together.
Decorate/Design/Make it your own: As we are all spending more time at home and in our respective spaces when we need some down time, your kids are likely doing the same. So why not let them have a hand in making it their own. If your kids are old enough, why not them explore their creative side and rearrange their bedroom. Decide on what might make their space more them. They can even put together a vision board of what they would like their room to look like. Select paint colours, some furniture they would like to get, décor etc – then you can work together to have them save up and make it a reality.
Kitchen needs a new cook!: Next time you are making dinner, invite your child to help. Pick a simple recipe and if they old enough, make sure they are comfortable using the oven and other kitchen appliances. Show them the recipe and have them lead the charge. Then as you make a habit of this with different meals, you might be walking into the kitchen to a home-cooked meal without lifting a finger!
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