Winter Fun for Families

Colder weather has arrived in many parts of the USA and beyond! Whether you are bundling up to head outdoors or staying cozy indoors, we have some ideas here for entertaining all ages of your family during the winter months.

Mom and toddler playing in snowFinding Fun Outdoors This Winter

Perhaps your children are ready to get out of the house for some fresh air. Playing outdoors during the winter can be great fun for all ages, as long as you are dressed appropriately for colder temperatures. Consider the weather in your region and whether you should add extra layers, like a light fleece under a vest with a heavier coat on top. Hats, gloves, warm socks, and scarves can make outdoor playtime enjoyable. For babies, ensure that they have a blanket and a hat and are bundled appropriately. Baby-wearing can help keep their temperature regulated and allow for nursing as needed.

Toddlers and bigger kids may appreciate observing the ways that nature is different in winter time. Try asking them questions and taking notice of what you see together. What kinds of animals can you spot? What changes do you notice from the plants in different seasons? What kinds of sounds can you hear in nature at this time of year? During your walks, your older children might like to gather some items to create artwork with later or photograph the scenery to share and remember what they saw. Once you get back inside, you can offer your children opportunities to journal or draw what they experienced outdoors to keep the fun going.

Getting outdoors can also be a great way to help calm little ones of all ages and grown-ups too! A short walk can be a great way to reset, especially during fussy times of the day. Try taking some deep breaths of wintery air as a family. Play a calming game that engages all of the senses, like one of the following:

  • Try this five senses game. Ask your children to help you name five things you can see, four you can touch, three you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste (like crisp cool air!).
  • Try this calming rainbow colors game. As a family, find things you can see for each color of the rainbow. It may be challenging to find certain colors if you have a blanket of snow, so you could get creative and look to your clothing as items to list as well!
  • Try the classic game of I Spy! Take turns with your family members in naming an item you spied and let everyone guess what it is. For example: I spy with my little eye, something brown.

There are lots of benefits to spending some time outside all year round if you are able. Fresh air and sunlight can help prevent some of the winter blues. Bundle up and delight in the season!

Staying Cozy Indoors

Maybe there are some especially colder, rainy, or snowy days when braving the elements feels daunting. There are lots of ways to have fun indoors, right at home! Here are some ideas of snuggly fun for all ages:

  • Consider cooking or baking together! Even very young toddlers can help by stirring and mixing. Looking for some recipes and suggestions of how to get children involved in the kitchen? Check out this recent blog post.
  • Cuddling up in forts can be fun for everyone. Children or parents can build a fort with blankets and pillows in the living room for even your youngest family members to enjoy. Forts can become an exciting place for a snack, picnic, and reading together, too.
  • For toddlers, you can let them develop their scooping and pouring skills by offering a cup and spoons and some warm water. Tip: Try this over the sink or with a thick towel underneath to avoid big spills.
  • For older children, it’s a great time to practice their scissor skills by making paper snowflakes or other fun paper crafts. Simply fold and cut paper and they can make cutouts transforming the paper into beautiful creations. These can be beautiful decorations for your windows as well!

We hope these ideas help keep you busy and cheerful with your family this winter season. Let us know if you try any of these or if you have a favorite winter activity of your own to share.

Editor’s note: Please closely supervise your children with any activities you do. To ensure safety, consider the ages of your children and avoid choking hazards when selecting the materials you use in any craft or sensory activity.

Please send your story ideas to Kylie at [email protected]

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