Maybe you are like me and in these cold weather, snowy months it is hard to get the motivation to leave the warmth of your house. Sometimes it is utterly impossible when there are snow storms on the horizon. Kids can get stir crazy and it can sometimes be difficult to know what to do with them or how to keep them entertained. I put a list together of some ideas to do with your kids that can be fun, interactive with you or their siblings as well!
If your kids are like Bree, then they probably have a short attention span. They can't do the same activity all day so my thinking: stations! Yes, that is right. Set up different stations around your house and give them a certain amount of time at each station. That way it will keep them stimulated and busy. Maybe you want to alot an hour or 1/2 hour at each station. Obviously the younger the kid the shorter the amount of time because they often have a staggered attention span. Below you can find various station options.
1. Reading corner
This is something they can do alone or can include everyone. If your kids are able to read on their own then so be it. They can take the time to read but if you have kids that can't read or a variety then you can read the books to your kid(s) or have the older kid(s) read to the younger kid(s). Reading is so great. It really helps kids utilize their imagination as well as enhance vocabulary and grammatical skills. Plus, practice makes perfect and it helps kids perfect their reading skills by, you know, reading!
Bree loves to read. I try to read to her every day but sometimes Bree just looks at the pictures and tries to "read" herself, mainly just saying what she remembers would be there or by what she sees in the picture. It is so much fun to watch her try to read and develop her language skills.
2. Music corner
There are two options for this. You can do both or can do one or the other. One music option is to play different music and songs and have your kids sing along and/or dance along. This is something we do pretty much every day. Bree loves watching her videos and alot of videos play songs or music. She often sings along and I will sing with her. We also like to dance along to the songs too. Bree likes to dance! Music time is so much fun and so beneficial to growing minds. Bree really catches on to the songs and learns them very quickly.
Another option is having kids play music. This could be with actual instruments or makeshift ones. Maybe use a pot as a drum. You can make homemade maracas. There are instructions all over pinterest. Bree has a few Daniel Tiger instruments she plays with. Whatever you can find to help bring sound and music would be great. Have the kids pick out their instruments and be creative with the instrument process. Remember, the more the do and are involved with, the less bored they will be.
3. Cooking Corner
At our house, Bree has a play kitchen with alot of play food and play pots and pans. Bree likes to make different meals and we name the food. We play and cook together and I have to pretend to eat the food. Maybe you don't have a play kitchen. Bringing your kids in the real kitchen is a great idea. Have them help along. Have them stir items. Have them read the recipe aloud (if they can read). Have them take out the different ingredients. Maybe you can bake together and they can help decorate cookies or a cake. Whatever you can do to help include them in the process but introducing them to the kitchen is a great learning experience. One day they will need to find their way around the kitchen on their own so whatever little baby steps you can take now to help make this process easier is so beneficial!
4. Art and craft corner
This one might be my favorite because there are tons of possibilities. One option is coloring. Bree loves to color and it is so great to support children's creativity. You can have them use crayons, markers, colored pencils, or pick any of them.
Painting is another fun option, a bit messier, but still super enjoyable for the little ones. Little ones usually enjoy anything getting messy anyways. I recently found some $1 wooden statues at the Target dollar bin sections and it comes with the pain and paint brushes. Your local art store has varieties of paints, ceramic statues, or even ornaments for kids to pain. Even just paining on paper or a canvas is great. We did this one year for gifts. We had Bree pain on a canvas and gifted them out. It was a fun activity for Bree, fairly inexpensive, and grandparents love handmade items.
Playdoh is a great option, but keep it away from dogs. We have been learning that the hard way. The second Bree drops a small piece of playdoh one of my dogs comes and eats it and then gets sick. Anywho, Playdoh is usually less messy and help kids build and create. Bree loves Playdoh but only knows how to make "snakes". She is actually getting some sets for Christmas to help her cut the playdoh or make different shapes.
Blocks also help kids with building and hand dexterity. Bree loves trying to make tall towers out of almost anything she is able to stack. Setting up blocks, Legos or the game of Jenga are great options to help kids learn to build.
5. Game Station
This is my last suggestion but a game station is another great option. Games need more than one player (except solitaire of course), so it forms togetherness and bonding. It helps kids learn taking turns, being gracious losers and winners. There are tons of game options so fit one that works with the age group. I used to love Candyland, Uno, and Trouble as a kid There always seems to be some new game option for kids
Of course this is not an exhaustive list. There are may be other activities your kids or family love to enjoy together. Please feel free to comment any other ideas you have.