I grew up in the Midwest. We had all 4 seasons. Summer is my favorite, if I’m being real. However, there’s positive traits and special moments in every season. I feel like the summer positives are obvious – sunshine, beach parties, flip flops. Springtime brings a wonderful sense of renewal as if the earth has just woken up from hibernation. Fall brings beautiful colors and those wonderful days where it’s cold enough for a hoodie but warm enough to skip the jacket. Then, there’s winter. Winter is most magical the first few times it snows. The blanket of white covering everything and bedazzling the leafless trees is my favorite part of snow. The only problem I have with winter is that it seems to last way too long. It’s too cold to do a lot outside and, especially where we live, it gets windy sometimes and cold + wind is just the worst combination.
My husband, son and I have been trying to make winter memories. My son, RJ is 19 months and this is his first true winter experience. Last year he was too little to really be into much of it. This year, he can giggle and yell as we pull him around in a sled. He can enjoy things much more. But, I still find that we cooped up inside most of the time. Sometimes it can feel like we’ve done all the things we can do during winter and just have to anxiously await warmer weather so we can go on walks, go swimming, take bike rides, etc. So, I thought it might be helpful to throw together a list of winter activities to do with the family. Here is the fruit of my efforts:
1. Go To A Museum
With an 18 month old, my preference for this one is a children’s museum. RJ gets to frolic about and get into all the things. I enjoy watching him interact with different items and try to figure out various things. Kids are so curious at this age and watching them learn is so fascinating. If you have older kids, you might be able to branch out a little bit from the Children’s Museum. You could visit a science and industry museum or a historic center in your town. Winter is the perfect time to do some educational, but fun things like this with your kids. You could even make it a game and try to identify every red thing in the museum, or find every square shaped object. The winner gets to pick where you go to lunch!
2. Get Crafty
Crafts with kids can be super fun. Pinterest has an infinite amount of craft ideas that you could do with your family. They range from super simple to very intricate and you can pick anything you want to do. I usually try to pick craft projects that involve things that I already have around the house. That way it doesn’t feel like a big undertaking. Personally, I love a good keepsake craft. So, generally it involves lots of finger paint and cute hand print and foot print stuff that I can look back fondly on in the future and remember how little RJ’s hands and feet were. Older kids might be able to make something cool for their friends. You could make ornaments for your tree, or to give away. You can get as creative as you want! It’ll be fun for all of you to marvel at your creations.
3. Hit Up Your Local Library
Libraries are pretty awesome. Most of them have kid-centered activities that they organize and your family can enjoy for free. My local library does story-time weekly where they engage the kids in a “circle time” atmosphere with activities related the book being read. They do play times with educational toys and give a safe space for your kids to interact with others. Our library also does things that appeal to older kids, such as painting parties and book club. They even do more adult activities like making a vision board. Take advantage of these free programs, the price is right!
4. Have A Theater Day At Home
Watch some of your favorite family movies and act out your favorite scenes. Assign each family member a role to play and have fun with it! Imagine your daughter acting like Marlin in Finding Nemo, or your son doing a fantastic impression of Mrs. Doubtfire. This is a family activity that’s bound to be full of laughs and good memories. If you want to get really creative and make it a day-long project, you can even create your own script and performance!
5. Enrich Your Minds
There are some great tools you can find all over the internet to help your kids work on their spelling, reading, and math. You can find stuff for all ages. For my fellow parents of toddlers, you could use flash cards to help familiarize your kiddo with shapes, letters, colors, and numbers. You could ask them to find the letters they know and help them get more familiar with these items. If you have older kids, your options are basically limitless. One of the best resources I’ve been able to find is education.com. They have all kinds of word searches, math worksheets, mazes, crossword puzzles, etc. It is a great resource when you want some printable educational fun. Warm up your child’s reading skills with this fun word search activity! Visit Education.com for more language activities. (Answer key for the word search is here.) For parents of kids that won’t need your help with these tasks, you can sharpen your mind too. Research something you’ve been dying to learn about. Get caught up on your favorite blog. Take this time to enrich your mind too!
6. Go Bowling
In this day and age, I think a lot of people forget about bowling alleys. They used to be hot spot to hang out on a Friday night. OK, maybe only in the Midwest. But still, they’re underrated and often overlooked. Bowling is a great family fun activity. You can teach your kids about taking turns – waiting for the person on the next lane to throw their ball before your throw yours. You can show them teamwork by creating a goal for the family, like all of your scores should add up to at least 100 or something like that. Usually you can enjoy some food and arcade games too!
7. Build A Fort
I have so many fond memories of fort-building in my childhood. There’s just something magical about creating your own little special room within a room of your home. It feels like your own little clubhouse. You could pretend it’s a castle and engage your kids imaginations. It could be the town hall where you’re discussing how to eradicate the slush and snow on sidewalks. Or, you could build it for your kids to hang out in and allow them to have a special place to go away from the adults. The possibilities are endless!
8. Bundle Up And Go To The Park
Park play equipment goes pretty much untouched all winter. But, how fun would it be to slide into a pile of snow at the bottom? Or, even if there isn’t snow, it can be a nice change of pace for your kids to still be able to play at the park. They can run, climb, slide, swing, and play while you enjoy watching them navigate all that in all their layers. Added bonus: if they fall down, they have tons of padding to prevent owwies! Follow up your trip to the park with a trip for hot chocolate and you could have a pretty great time.
9. Admire Holiday Light Displays
Holiday light displays only happen during one time of the year. So, I think it’s good to go admire as many as you can at some point during the winter season. There’s something magical about light displays. Think with your kids about all the hard work that went into creating it. Enjoy the light displays that are timed to music. Pick out a few different light displays in your area and have a light display holiday tour with the kids.
10. Attend A Winter Family Festival
A quick Google or Facebook search can find you a fun family festival near you. Our local festivals are seemingly endless. Winter carnivals can be held either indoors or outdoors and usually involve some form of ice skating, face painting, and hot cocoa or apple cider. I don’t know if I can think of anything more appropriate for the season. These types of things typically don’t disappoint and all you have to do is go there, which is the best part! No prep!
I hope you found this list of winter activities to be helpful. Feel free to refer back here when you’re feeling those winter blues!
*Thank you to Education.com for providing the word search activity and answer key attached to item #5.
Much love and productive vibes,
Momma Caped Nerd ❤
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