I can handle the cold during the holidays – White Christmas and all that business, but come January 1st, I’m OVER IT. I know, I know, its the California girl in me – but living in the Midwest, we sometimes have the pleasure of the cold lasting in to late April or early May. Not a fan.
And yet, I clearly want my small people to enjoy all the seasons. Even this cold one. Yes, the holiday break is over, but there are weekends, a few days off school coming up and I’m confident a snow day or two is in our future.
As I have I’ve forever banned the phrase “Mom….I’m bored’, I’m happy to offer a few options to keep these small people happy and busy.
8 Ways to Keep Your Kids Busy (and Happy) over the Winter
Play in the Snow – For us – especially the last few years in the Midwest, we’ve had plenty of opportunities to don our heaviest coats, mittens and snow boots and head out to PLAY. You can sled, create snow angels, build a snowman or even have a snowball fight. If you are a wimp about the cold as I am, you simply bundle up, head out for a bit, and then make your way back inside where it’s warm and monitor from the window. For those of you without access to the snow, (dare I say I find you lucky?) I highly suggest you get outside and organize a game of kickball, soccer, hide-and-go-seek, or if your sweet ones are little, grab the chalk and get to drawing. The fresh air is good for all of us.
Family Game Time – You don’t have to reserve this option for only Friday nights. Consider breaking out the board games on the weekends or a late afternoon or early evening when the holiday dust is settling, but your family is still together. Let every member of the family choose their favorite game and reserve a family time slot, so you can enjoy a variety.
Bowling – Bowling is easily one of my children’s favorite activities….why, you ask? Not only because they have always loved to play, but because it is something the entire family can do (this non-athletic mom included). This means setting up teams, friendly competition and a ton of laughter. There is a Brunswick Bowling Alley just minutes from our house and it is always on top of the kid’s list of ‘things to do’. Whether you have young children or teenagers, bowling falls in to the ‘a fit for everyone’ category as the smallest of your bunch can push that ball down the alley with two hands and dad can show off his once-epic-but-now-rusty skills.
Library – As a family, we can (and have) spent hours in the library choosing books, pausing to read and just wandering the shelves. Yes, I have two readers, though one’s passion is great that the other’s. However, it is still a beautiful way to spend a morning or afternoon – and this has the added bonus of being an activity you can continue at home. Consider creating a friendly reading competition (mom and dad play too) that rewards the person in the family is reads the most over the break.
Indoor swimming – Baby, it may be cold outside, but that doesn’t mean a dip in a warm pool is off-limits. Grab your goggles, put your bathing suit on and head to your local indoor pool. Not only is it great exercise, but it will allow for a lot of laughs and help both you and the kids to burn off some of the excess energy that comes from being cooped up indoors.
Ice Skating – I must confess that I was terrified the first time we did this as a family. I was so afraid I was going to fall and break a hip, but even hanging along the outside with the less experienced skaters is so much fun. The rinks near our home all have ‘walkers’ or ‘trainers’ for anyone afraid of making the laps on their own and after a few rounds, we all felt a bit more daring. We won’t be heading to the next Winter Olympic Games, but it is a wonderful winter time activity.
Explore Local Favorites – for us in St. Louis, this means heading to favorites like the Science Center, the History Museum, the Butterfly House or the City Museum, a giant indoor playground area filled with opportunities to run, jump and explore. On a ‘warmer’ day, we can tackle some of the outdoor options like the St. Louis Zoo, the Arch, or the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I have no doubt your city has some amazing options as well.
Movie Day – Now with movie day, you have two choices: head to your local theater for a ‘rush hour’ showing of the latest movie – assuming you can all agree on one, OR declare the day ‘PJs and Movie Day’, allow every family member to grab their favorite movie, keep your PJs on, pop some popcorn and curl up on the couch together for a marathon.
What did I miss? What would you add to the list? I look forward to hearing from you.