Wednesday, December 21, 2022, marked the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere and it is undeniably cold and getting colder. On the one hand, winter is a great time for bundling up with cozy blankets and a hot drink, but it can also be challenging for those of us who would prefer to live in a tropical paradise. Even more challenging, can be finding ways to keep kids engaged and occupied, without too much screen time, when it gets too chilly to venture outdoors.
It’s a proven fact that outdoor time is important for kids. But, what happens when it’s just too cold to go outside? Here are some tips for making it through these frosty days with your kids.
Bundle Up and Go Outside
This may seem counterintuitive to keeping warm, but sometimes it is fun to go play in the cold. Many people are afraid that being in the cold will make you sick, but in reality, we get sick from viruses and bacteria. If you want to go outside, just make sure that you dress your kids in layers so they can easily adjust if they feel too warm or cold, try to bring an extra set of clothes in case a hat or mittens gets too wet with snow, and don’t forget to plan a warm activity for after you come back inside.
Be Inspired by Storytime
Reading is great because all you and your children will need is a good book and a comfortable place to settle into the story. However, reading is not the only way to have storytime. You can also try telling made-up stories from your childhood, talking about last night’s dreams, using story-building cards, and/or taking turns telling a magical and fantastical story together. In addition to being fun, this is a great way to build creativity and sequencing skills for kids who are still learning to read independently.
Get Creative with Arts and Crafts
Making art keeps kids occupied, but it also has many developmental benefits as well. Crafts can foster creativity and help kids find a sense of achievement when they are able to take pride in their completed work. Even if your children don’t consider themselves to be artsy there are crafts for everyone. Some supplies to keep on hand are paper, crayons/markers, paint, glitter, molding clay, stickers, pipe cleaners, etc.
Have Fun Experimenting with Science
STEM activities teach science, math, and that learning has many real-world applications. And to be honest, mixing up “potions” and watching chemical reactions occur is always exciting, no matter your age. Planning these activities for kids can be as simple as giving them some ingredients from the kitchen to experiment with, or investing in a more structured science kit with detailed directions as well as some extra components to give your experiments an extra wow factor.
Work Together with Cooperative Games and Activities
Building forts, having pillow fights, and playing board games are also great indoor activities. Intense competition can be difficult for young kids to handle, but cooperative games are great for everyone. Doing an activity that requires teamwork, strategizing, and team brainstorming can help children learn about compromise and effective communication.
There’s no denying that when it gets really cold, it can be difficult to keep up with your normal routine. However, that doesn’t mean that you and your kids can’t still find exciting ways to stay occupied. Whether playing in the snow or opting to stay indoors there are plenty of things to do. Additionally, Childwatch is a great way for childcare workers and parents to stay connected and plan together for these wintery days.