Here we are in the midst of this cold winter we are experiencing. Some of us may be able to sit inside and relax. Children, on the other hand, have lots of energy. Some may want to run around the house, while others want to tune into screens or other forms of technology. Of course, screen time is not necessarily a bad idea when children are trying to wind down and relax, but what about other indoor activities you can do in the house?
During the week, it might be easier with extracurricular activities such as sports, after-school programs, and art classes, but how can we keep them busy during the evenings or on weekends? To some degree, this may depend on your child’s interests, what they like and dislike, and simply being open to trying new activities.
Children are often open to trying out new activities, especially if their parents join them. All children have boosts of energy and here are some activities you can do indoors. Not sure if you have ever heard of it, but you can try setting up an indoor scavenger hunt. You can start by leaving a series of clues around the house that link together to find a prize at the end. During the challenges of finding these clues, you can take time in between to do jumping jacks, touching your toes, arm circles, and so on.
Another idea you can try is to build an indoor fort and then play a game/do a craft inside it. Finally, you can try an easy-to-set-up game called jump the river for those with lots of energy. You can gather materials in the house; colored paper, tape, string, colored clothing, etc., and set up the materials in two parallel lines. You can be creative with this game by adding a story to set the mood, possibly a fantasy situation. The idea is to “jump the river.” Each time they do so, you move the lines a little more, so the river gets wider.
These are just some examples of ideas you can try with your children. Below is a resource that has 21 indoor activities for children. You can modify some of the activities using different materials if needed and take away the required materials if you feel they wouldn’t be suitable for your children.
Children and Sensory Needs
It is also essential to consider how each child is different. Some children have different sensory needs than others and may have these needs at different times. We should be aware of some behaviors in children, such as not listening, hyperactivity, or even a tantrum. It may be a good idea to do a sensory activity to help calm children through their sensory needs during these times. Playdough, kinetic sand, scratch, sniff painting, at-home ball pits, or even twister are all beneficial sensory activities. Each of these helps with visual, tactile, olfactory (smell), fine and gross motor skills. Below is an article with sensory integration activities that you can try out with your children.
The winter itself can be challenging to play with our children, especially indoors, and fulfill their needs. We don’t always have the time to set up these activities and play them, but as we start, children will learn. In the future, it could be possible for these winter activities to be done without parents but still having supervision.