With dark evenings and wet or snowy days, it can be far harder to find activities for your children to enjoy in the winter months. However, harder doesn't mean impossible―there is plenty for young people to do this time of year. If you're stuck for ideas, check out these fun winter activities for kids.
Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or another winter festival, one fun activity is to get your kids making festive decorations. The type of decorations you choose to make is up to you. Salt dough is an excellent medium for crafting tree ornaments or other three-dimensional objects. Paper snowflakes or paper lanterns are both simple and inexpensive to make.
Many parents feel stuck inside during the evening since it gets dark shortly after school lets out. Even when the sun has gone down, you can still enjoy some outdoor time. In fact, going out on an evening walk can seem like a real adventure for kids. Stick to areas with street lights, perhaps taking a stroll around your neighborhood to take in the Christmas lights and decorations other residents have put up. Alternatively, you can go out armed with flashlights for a walk in a local park or woodland. As long as you're wrapped up warmly, evening walks are an ideal way to get some fresh air and allow your kids to release some pent-up energy.
Curling up and getting cozy feels better in winter than any other time of the year. And what better place for kids to hole up than in their very own fort? Pillows, blankets, and sheets all make excellent fort-building materials—no need for any special equipment. Once the fort is completed, your kids can read inside with flashlights, play games, or enjoy a cup of hot cocoa with all the trimmings.
Of course this one is weather-dependent, but if there's snow on the ground, it's time to get that sled out. Younger kids might simply enjoy being pulled around the neighborhood, whereas older children will probably want to zoom down the nearest hill. While it's snowy out, other activities include family snowball fights, building a snowman, or making snow angels.
Winter is a great time to enjoy nature – just in small doses.
Snickerdoodles, cupcakes, sugar cookies—whatever your family's favorite sweet treats, you can have a go at baking them with your children. The majority of kids love mixing, measuring, and decorating, so baking is usually an easy sell, even if your children usually say "no" to every activity you suggest. To keep things festive, try making some Christmas cookies, decorating cakes with wintery designs, or even crafting a gingerbread house, if you're feeling ambitious. Not only is baking together fun, weighing and measuring ingredients can help with fine motor skills and basic math.
There's still plenty to appreciate about the great outdoors during the colder months. If you put your kid's hat, coat, gloves, and rain boots on, there's no reason why you can't enjoy a nature hike. Talk about the changes in the seasons and the types of plants you see in the winter versus the spring and summer. Collect some holly, mistletoe, and pinecones to decorate your home. Stop and see what wildlife you can spot, from birds to foxes to deer, and talk about those animals who are currently hibernating.
If your family usually enjoys al fresco dining on warm summer days, bring the fun indoors. Lay a blanket and some pillows on the living room floor and enjoy an indoor picnic when it's too cold or wet to go outside. Not only can this be an enjoyable way to eat a meal, it can help encourage picky eaters. Making mealtime fun and informal can take the pressure off and get kids to try more than usual.
As the holiday season comes around, you'll often find a whole range of festive activities in your local area. These may include (but are certainly not limited to) holiday parades, Santa's grottos, town Christmas tree lighting ceremonies, and caroling services. Take a look in local papers or online to find out what's going on where you live. You'll generally find both indoor and outdoor activities, so there's something to do, whatever the weather.