Ready for spring even though it’s the middle of winter? Here are 9 fun ways for you and your kids to beat the winter blues.
I don’t know about you, but I’m already counting down the days until winter is over!
I know, I know… winter officially just began, but when you’re in areas in the U.S. where winter comes early and stays late, it can be LONG! Especially if you haven’t had much snow to roam around in because let’s face it…that’s the best part of winter when you’re a kid!
9 Fun Ways for Kids to Beat the Winter Blues
We haven’t been able to do a lot of fun outdoor winter activities this year yet but the weather is still cold, which has kept us inside. We have the winter blues and are more than ready for spring to start shining through and warm us up! So now my challenge in the house is fun ways to beat the winter blues with kids. It’s getting tough, but so far so good!
1. Play in the Sand
There is something about throwing on a swimsuit, getting out the sand toys, and pretending we’re somewhere tropical that just begs you to be in a good mood. What about the sand, you might ask? Well…I’m not quite cool enough yet to just bring in sand and spread it all around my living room floor. However, we do have a few sets of Sands Alive! that we set up on the coffee table (with newspaper on the floor underneath 😉 ) and the kids love it just as much! My son is super into sand castles right now, so anything that he can do to build one, he is on Cloud 9.
And me? Well…I set up a “picnic,” have some fun sunglasses on, and play some fun tropical music in the background. I don’t get the tan, and the kids aren’t exactly swimming up a storm, but at least it is a fun, carefree afternoon where we do something a little out of the box.
2. Go “Camping”
Another fun way to spend a cold, winter day is to “camp” at home. We are big campers, so it’s always a big summertime activity in our house. When winter comes, we go a little stir crazy without our fun camping traditions to tide us over. So yup…we pitch our tent in the basement! We set everything up for a few days, or make a “weekend” of it, and before you know it, the kids are having so much fun that it’s hard not to forget that it’s freezing cold outside!
And of course…that means s’mores! We obviously aren’t setting up a campfire in the middle of our house and unfortunately, our fireplace is gas, so we make due by using our indoor s’more maker, set the kiddos up with an ooey gooey chocolate marshmallow sandwich, and kick back in our folding camping chairs! And in case you’re wondering…yes we spend the night in the tent! OK, well, the kids do! And their Dad generally will rough it with them, too. I won’t lie…once the kids are asleep, I hightail it to my warm, king-sized bed. 🙂
3. Have a Cooking Class
If your kids are anything like mine, they LOVE helping out in the kitchen! Those cold, wintry days are a perfect time to whip up some yummy food while teaching your kids a few handy kitchen skills.
Of course you can just fly by the seat of your pants and teach your children what they need to know as you prepare recipes. Or, if you’re not quite sure where to start, what your kids can do, or how to get over their negative attitudes, I have to recommend the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse. In every video you’ll find fun phrases and simple strategies that are priceless (seriously – think sleep for you and life skills for your kids! Win win!).
Enrollment for the Kids Cook Real Food eCourse is only open for a short window and closes 1/18/17.
4. Build a Fort
Fort building is a huge winter activity in the house, too. All my son has to say to me is, “Mom… help me build a fort” and we are on our way to creating something epic that he’ll “move in to” before the fort is even complete! He’ll set up his pillows, a blanket, bring in his favorite books, and he is set to go!
There are also days when we’ll build the forts so the kids have a good view of the TV and make it a movie night in the fort. It’s such a fun way for them to do something creative and spend some time working on a project together as a family. And since both of my kids love it, they generally tend to work pretty well as a team to set things up in there how they want. It’s great!
5. Go Skating
Have you ever created an indoor “skating rink” before? I haven’t either… until this last week! I found this great article from ImprintsFromTricia.com about a pretend ice skating rink she built in her house with her kids, and I was totally inspired! I didn’t actually tape off the rink section, but we did make little booty skates that were slick enough on our hardwood floors to have the exact desired affect I was going for!
My little girl tends to do this on her own a lot with her socks, since she’s only 3 and not always the most stable on her feet, but my son got the biggest kick from going from one side of the living room to the other and “racing” his sister. Obviously, his sister wasn’t too much of a match for him, so he quickly started racing against himself.
It was great timing for our family, as we were just trying to talk to our son about taking some ice skating lessons at a local hockey rink, but he wasn’t too keen on the idea. Now, with his at-home skating rink fun, he’s super pumped to give it a try! I won’t lie…there were a couple times when I questioned myself and wondered if there would be any broken bones by the end of our fun skating adventure, but everything turned out great and they are both super excited to do it again sometime soon!
I love to do activities and crafts with the kids that have a little element of education in them, as well. When I saw this great Ice Art Balloon Science Project from MomTo2PoshDivas.com, I knew we were going to have to try it out! My daughter is a bit too young to really get into it, but she loved the part at the end where she got to help “paint.” My son, however, thought it was absolutely phenomenal!
To summarize, you fill balloons with water, measure them and weigh them to see how big they are, than let them sit in the freezer overnight. The next day, measure and weigh them again since they are now frozen and in a different state of water (see…there is that tricky science part you can throw in for the kids!) and record and observe the differences. Then the crafty part of the projects starts! Cut the balloon part off of the frozen globe and set the kids free with some paints, water with food coloring, or whatever else you have on hand and let them paint up their little frozen globes however they want. Now… they get to watch them melt throughout the day and record and observe how the ice moves back to a state of water. What a great indoor activity for a cold, winter day!
Puzzles are a big hit right now in my household. My daughter is in love with her little princess puzzles that she has and my son is starting to graduate to bigger puzzles with more pieces. I love watching my daughter reason her way into why a certain piece should go where it needs to go, where my son is so completely methodical on his placements. He studies that picture on the box and won’t give up until he’s done. Which sometimes, lasts the entire afternoon. Score!
8. Tea parties
My daughter got her first tea party set for Christmas and her and my son are CONSTANTLY “pouring” each other cups of tea and pretending that they have cookies on their plates that they are eating. And with the little fake conversations they have, I can’t help but die laughing! I happen to be a coffee drinker, so my son generally says that he is having coffee and my daughter is having tea, which I think is pretty cute, too. That being said, these small events have started taking up a lot of our time on cold and dreary days when the temperature barely rises above 0 degrees. One of these times, I’m going to set up an entire little “party” for them and make things a little more official, but right now, they are having a great time with their make-believe tea parties all on their own!
9. Educational Apps
With my son in Kindergarten, I like to make sure he is learning at home what he happens to be learning in school. He loves to work on different apps that he has on his Kids Kindle (supervised and for specific time durations, of course) and he also has different tools at his disposal, like our iPad.
I love sitting with him and practicing the different concepts, letters, or other items that he happens to be working on at school and more times than not, my daughter is right next to us trying to keep up. It’s such a boost of confidence for my son when he gets the different games right by answering questions correctly and it helps me be involved to make sure I know what he’s working on every week, too. I know there will come a time probably sooner rather than later when he won’t want me helping him with things like this, so for right now, I’ll take all I can get! 🙂
I feel like we are right on the cusp of finally turning a corner! Before you know it, spring will be here and the days are going to get longer. But for now, it’s still bitterly cold here and those winter blues are hanging around every corner! Hopefully these ideas will help you manage the kids who may have some serious Spring Fever…good luck!
Are you and your kids starting to feel like winter will never end? What are you doing with the kids to beat the winter blues? Comment below and let us in on your tips to successfully navigate these last few weeks of winter! 🙂
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