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Staying Sane in the Winter – Activity Ideas at Home to Keep Your School-Aged Children Busy and Happy!

Winter days can be long – it gets darker earlier, and the bitter cold forces us to stay indoors. Snow and ice can inhibit our ability to go out on some days, leaving us to get creative and find indoor activities to keep the kids from demolishing your possibly newly cleaned and organized home. Here are a few ideas to keep you and your kids busy and happy on those long, winter days. (These ideas are best suited for school-aged children)

  • Bake something – Nothing says winter like the smell of freshly baked cookies! Have your kids gather the ingredients and practice reading and measuring. While the cookies are baking, make a list of other foods and goods you’d like to bake in the future.
  • Jigsaw puzzles – Whether it’s 50, 100, 500, 1000 pieces, puzzles are sure to keep everyone busy. If your kids don’t seem into it, set a timer and have them count how many pieces they can find before time’s up. 
  • Have a board game competition – Pull out all the board games and keep score of who wins the round (or two or three) in each game. Have the winner pick the activity following for motivation.
  • Complete a scavenger hunt – These can take a bit of preparation, but the result will be kids moving around and staying away from screens. Sit back and have a cup of coffee while they hustle around completing the tasks. Here are some examples already made for you:  30 Best Scavenger Hunt Ideas {Free Printables} – Play Party Plan
  • Create a vision board – Pull out the old newspapers and magazines and create colorful and exciting posters containing cut-out images and words of things your child likes or wants to accomplish in the future. When it’s done, help them hang it in their room for daily inspiration
  • Building challenge – have the kids create different objects using their preferred building materials (legos, lincoln logs, blocks, etc). Have them then create a story about their masterpieces and tell the whole family

Give your kids household tasks, but with a twist! – Want to create little helpers? Give the kids daily household tasks, such as folding laundry, setting the table, organizing the toy closet, etc, and allow them to earn tokens for each task they complete. At the end, add them up and let them earn a small prize. You can also create a colorful visual to depict the tasks and check them off as they go.