With the weather changing and getting much colder our outside time is well limited and will be eliminated heading into the Winter months. I love, hate the cold Winter months. Having kiddos cooped in the house for days at a time can be challenging on everybody. Let’s face it toddlers and older children need the outdoors to run, play, scream, and get dirty, but at cold temperatures or wind, rain, and snow that is not doable.
I have to constantly keep tricks up my sleeve so that we all don’t go crazy and everyone’s needs are being met to the best of my ability. Here are three indoor activities that my three and seven year old thoroughly find enjoyment in.
1. Create an indoor obstacle course. I will bring a few of the boys outdoor toys inside and incorporate indoor toys to set up the course. Our items include a tunnel, floor shapes from a game, balloons, small trampoline, cones, and a little basketball hoop. If you don’t have these items you can get creative and improvise by substituting or use toys that you all ready have. These are just toys that we have on hand. You can time the kiddos to see if they can improve their time which keeps it challenging and will tire them out (which is the entire point of the obstacle course).
2. Hide and Seek. My kiddos LOVE playing hide and seek and especially if I join in. We make rules like we can only hide in certain rooms so it makes it not so challenging and no one goes to far. We will play several times per day and the kiddos never get tired of this classic game. It also gives the little ones the opportunity to practice their counting to 5 or 10 which is a win!
3. Create a treasure map or mystery hunt. I haven’t quite mastered this one, but can see huge potential here. I recently created a treasure map giving the boys several clues before finding the big treasure. My seven year old will read the map and include his brother along the way. If you have kiddos who are to young to read you might try creating a map with pictures that they recognize for the clues and help them along the way to finding the treasure. I plan to create more elaborate maps in the future and making the hunt a bit longer since the boys were seeking more clues once they found the treasure. For example, I would write and hide a few treasures ( we used toy rocks from the boys campfire set) along the way, some clues had the “treasure” and some did not. Ex: You will need to check the car station to see if any hidden treasure awaits. You can be as creative as you desire which makes this game have tons of possibilities. My boys liked it and even created a treasure hunt for me to find which is another great way for them to be creative with their writing and drawing.
I would love to hear what indoor activities you do with your kiddos during the long Winter months.