The new year is here, which means a fresh year filled with fun for the family. With winter in full swing, cabin fever can feel very real, and it can be challenging to keep kids entertained. Whether or not you live in a place where the weather is cold and snowy, we put together a list of activities so that you can keep your little ones entertained while also teaching them new skills all season long. Here are some of our favorite ideas:
Not only are sensory bins fun, but they are an important part of any early childhood learning experience and support skills such as fine motor, critical thinking, creativity, and imagination. A sensory bin is typically a plastic tub or container filled with materials and objects that stimulate the senses. Children learn best when they touch and feel something, smell, or even hear. Materials such as water, sand, pom poms, and colored pasta are great options to fill your bin. The possibilities are endless.
A popular winter activity is creating a snow sensory bin. Start by gathering materials such as pipe cleaners, sticks, buttons, bottle caps, gems, and foam snowflakes. For faux snow, mix baking soda and water together. Show your kids how they can pick up the snow with a small shovel or ice cream scooper, and have them build little snowmen and decorate with buttons, caps, sticks or whatever materials you have at your disposal.
Who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned blanket tent? Although your entire living room will be taken over by boxes, pillows, blankets, and chairs, a fort is the perfect cozy nook for reading, drawing, and playing, plus keeps your kids entertained for hours. Along with creating a sense of independence, fort building has benefits like cognitive skills, problem solving, and exercise from all of the building and playing.
Indoor play gym
When it’s too cold to play outside, but the little ones are going stir-crazy, an indoor play gym is a perfect solution to burn off that energy. They provide children with a safe environment, exercise, and enhance creativity. Choose a space, whether a guest room, basement, or playroom. From tumbling blocks to a small trampoline, slide, or even a ball pit, all are great options for endless stay-at-home fun.
Arts & crafts
Whether you create DIY bird feeders or projects with recycled materials, celebrate the season with simple crafts that keep your little ones' hands busy. Exposure to art provides kids with the tools they need to develop creative problem solving skills, self esteem and expression. Turn a boring, cold day into an enjoyable one with cute Egg Box Penguins, No Mess Paper Plate Snowflakes, or simple snowmen that kids can craft.
A great way to teach your kids about the changing seasons is by including seasonal books you can read together. Find a comfy corner, curl up under blankets, sip on some hot cocoa and choose from popular books, including The Story of Snow, The Last Marshmallow, Baby Penguin, and Can Bears Ski. Your kids will love these books about winter adventures, snow, wintery animals, and more. All books are available on Amazon.
Cooking with kids
It’s never too early to bring your little ones into the kitchen. Most toddlers love helping out in the kitchen but can lose their attention fast, so short quick tasks are best to keep them occupied and focused. Safety is essential, so make sure any sharp, hot or heavy objects are out of reach. Activities such as washing fruits and vegetables, sprinkling herbs, adding ingredients to bowls, stirring, and pressing buttons are great ways to start. The best part of cooking with toddlers is having them experience and explore their senses from taste, touch, and smell. Build a snowman pizza, a fun penguin theme snack, or frozen yogurt bark.
We hope our list of activities keeps you and your little ones busy and breaks up the indoor boredom this winter. If you’re bundling up and venturing out for a stroll with the family, be prepared for a frosty adventure with any of our winter essentials, including our Footmuff, Winter Cover, and Rain Cover for our Doona Car Seat and Stroller or our Rain Cover for the Liki Trike. At Doona, we believe that parenting should be simple. That’s why we’ve created a full line of products that will help you and your family get out and explore the world while, most importantly, staying close together. Stay warm!