Baby it’s cold outside in the Hudson Valley!! Brrr! I would almost rather be shoveling snow than feel the frigid whip of wind on my hands and face. Allllmost.
This is the time of year I think we all go a little stir crazy inside the same four walls, yet no one wants to go outside to play. Some towns offer indoor play spaces to let the kids run around in, but what if you live too far, or your town doesn’t offer a play space? Well, I’ll share with you some of the fun things we do indoors during the winter!
Age 6-12 Months: babies love stuff that enlists the five senses. Think, colors, textures, shapes and sounds. You can crinkle pieces of colorful paper and let them pull apart, or stuff inside a box. No need for bells and whistle toys they are already bored of. Go green and recycle some of the stuff you already have! Babies love to see things in action like rolling balls and opening boxes.
Age 12-36 months: This is your busiest (and most exhausting) age group. Their little bodies drive them to keep moving. They want to explore with their feet, hands and little mouths. It may be tempting to put them in front of the TV for some peace and quiet, but that many not be enough to get those wiggle impulses out. Creating an indoor obstacle course where they can burn off energy climbing over and under things, running around, bouncing and dancing. Get messy with the couch cushions and pillows to make a blanket fort, or take them for a ride in an empty cardboard box (or empty laundry basket). Make art out of edibles like Cheerios, or pasta. Ignite the senses with sensory play. Look around the kitchen for what you already have so you don’t have to brave the cold to go out. Young kids of nearly any early stage will enjoy painting themselves with yogurt, or pudding (also safe for kids who still taste test everything).
Preschool age (3+): these kids are a double whammy of energy! They have busy minds and busy bodies! Typically by age 3 you can cook up some simple things in the kitchen with them. Think stirring and pouring. Save the elaborate and multi-step recipes for later. You want to use pre-made, or store bought cookie dough, or a mix you add a few simple ingredients to before baking. Trust me, it will SAVE you both a lot of frustration. This is a great time to introduce some kitchen tools such as wooden spoons, spatulas, mixing bowls and measuring cups. Be patient and remember this is about the process and developing skills, not mastering the perfect recipe.
Activities like sensory boxes, and a picking up pom poms with tweezers like in our pom pom game, help develop the find motor skills. End the day with some fun and make bath tub paint with shaving cream and food dye. Let them get creative (while you enjoy the quiet!).
School age (5+): Board games! These have become my go-to sanity saver on days it’s too cold to go outside! Pull out games that allow kids to get up and move! We recently picked up a Cat In The Hat game that has my girls doing silly things like walking backwards with a toy on their heads. We also bought the new board game of the year- Pie Face! It is hilarious! If you don’t own either of these games go check out my Pinterest board with Minute To Win It games. Pin them to your own page so you can pull out when needed!
Get right in there and enjoy these things with your kids. Not only does it beat the winter boredom, but it’s a great way to connect without electronics.
What kind of fun things do you do inside with your little ones during the cold winter weather?
The Whatever Mom is a full time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.