Kids Indoor & Outdoor Activities for Winter Break

Hello my fellow Northeasterners —  or as I like to say, “people who love to act surprised when it snows!”  It is not a surprise my friends.  It is winter and snow happens here in our northern locale. Once every single year.  I happen to love having four seasons, even if I don’t love driving in it, and the winter storms have been exciting, if not inconvenient, lately, creating some great outdoor fun for my kids that I don’t have to plan at all!  With the school closings and winter break upon us next week, I thought I’d put together a list of activities to do at home just to just give you some ideas other than just turning on the television until they start whining for food!

Making a stay-cation seem like a vacation is half of the challenge for parents.  Just plain out faking it, I guess, but playing-pretend and making memories is how I like to look at it.

Example#1:
Instead of just playing with LEGOs, have a LEGO day: “Lego my EGGO” waffles for breakfast, Compete for best LEGO house with kids, watch the LEGO movie, themed coloring pages, buy LEGO-candy and do a LEGO dessert of some kind.

Example#2:
Barbie breakfast- dress-up for a Barbie-themed breakfast, set up the Barbies at their own table, do a Barbie fashion show, themed coloring pages or fashion craft, watch Barbie movies, make a Barbie house and play Barbies with the kids! (harharhar)

I think just theming-out a day is so fun for the kids.  Generic themes to do are camping-day, pajama-day, teddy-bear picnic day, winter-day, summer in the winter-time day (go to the local indoor pool), or anything else that you can think of makes the time different than their normal lopping around routine!

Here are some ideas for play:

Outside Activities:

      • Sledding
      • Building a snow fort
      • Snow family building
      • Target practice with snow balls: not the sisters…an actual target!
      • Blow bubbles outside
      • Coloring in the snow: fill bottles with a water/food coloring mixture. This is fun.

From SITSGirls :http://www.thesitsgirls.com/diy/diy-snow-paint/

Pin the above picture from the source .

Inside Activities:
Fun in the winter, as they lend well to making a new and different theme-like experience:

  • Fort Building
  • Flashlights/camping indoors
  • Sleepovers in a tent…inside!
  • Playtime with friends- always easier than you think!
  • Spring-time thinking: make tissue-paper flowers and crafts for spring
  • Playdoh- homemade.  See the recipe below!
  • Make a bird-feeder from pipecleaners and cheerios:
Can you see those little hands stringing the Cheerios? So stinking cute!

Can you see those little hands stringing the Cheerios? So stinking cute!

 Food

During the winter break, food can be summed up for me in one word: SNACKS.  I literally will make popcorn probably every day of school break.  I don’t know why, but adding M&Ms makes it vacation popcorn, and they loooove it.  Easy to make them happy with this one. Done!

  • Popcorn with M&Ms
  • Put the fire on and do inside s’mores
  • Hotcocoa & popcorn goes from being just a snack, to being the best way to “warm-up”!
  • Snow-cones (with REAL snow!)
  • Baking cookies: kids love having a hand in their own snacks and special treats
Peanut Butter Blossoms

Little Hands Moving Fast

I know you want a recipe too , so here’s an EASY, No Cook Playdough Recipe, adapted from Mom’s Who Think website;

No-Cook Playdough

Ingredients

  • 1 cup iodized salt
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • few drops of food coloring of choice, as needed

Instructions

Mix all ingredients with your hands until completely combined and store covered in a jar or ziplock bag.

This makes ONE color, so you need to do this amount for each color you are making. I vote for blue, red, and yellow primary colors as they all tend to be brown by the end of the day!

http://hardlyagoddess.com/indoor-outdoor-activities-for-kids-during-winter-break/

The final strategy that I use during school-vacations is to physically move the toys’ locations from their normal places.  I will probably move the trains to the downstairs, where the kids never get to play with them.  The Barbie collections will go to the girls’ room where they never really play.  The crafts that I have stored away in the basement, will just stay out on the “craft table” {read: dining room} for the week.  I will set-up a card table in a corner with a big puzzle that will stay out for the week too.

Yes, my house will be a disaster, but I fully expect it to be! Maybe letting the kids dust and vacuum will be an activity toward the end of the week!

So now there are absolutely no excuses for boredom!! When all else fails, hope or plan for a playdate at someone else’s house!  Or go for a walk, to a museum, out to lunch somewhere that kids eat free or at a discount, see a movie at the discount theater, or other things that cost a minimum amount of money.

What are your best boredom busters for the kids?
Any great activities that are out-of-the-norm and low-cost?

Let's Chat!