Winter can be beautiful and a whole lot of fun at first. But, what happens when you’re snowed in, the temperatures and wind chill are just too low to go out, or you’ve got sick kids? It’s a challenge, right? Parents can only handle so many snow days before we start to lose it and the kids aren’t much different.
The kids and I compiled this list for parents looking to stifle the “I’m bored” complaints this winter. Obviously, some will be more appealing than others, but some will help Mom and Dad out a lot too. We will be sharing some of our efforts at these events over the coming months so look for that!
15 Winter Boredom Busters
If it’s not too cold, there are some fun things to do outside – especially if it is snowing.
15. Snow Challenge
Snow forts, snow angels, snowmen, snowball fights are all a lot of fun as long as it’s warm enough and the snow is packable. Even if it’s a bit chilly, go outside in short bursts. Bonus points if you create a list of challenges for your kids to compete. Have an only child? Invite some neighbor kids over OR compete with your kiddo yourself! This is great for school-aged kids and up.
14. Snow Shoveling Race
This is probably best for older kids and it requires two shovels. However, having your kids shovel the sidewalk is a great workout for them, gives you a little time to do something else, and making it a challenge is generally fun. Bonus: have your kids brainstorm alternative “shovels” to make things interesting.
13. Hot Cocoa Cafe
Perfect to follow up the snow challenge, creating a hot cocoa cafe is a fun way to warm up. Try making a cocoa bar with all the toppings – nutmeg, cinnamon, sprinkles, marshmallows, whipped cream and anything else you’ve got on hand. Get your kids into the fun by teaching them how to make hot cocoa from scratch (try this recipe from MOMables).
12. Indoor Olympics
Yep, it will make a bit of a mess, but there is a lot you can do here to expel the pent up energy from your kiddos. We try to incorporate steps as much as possible since my kids are in middle school but I vary things as much as possible and combine brain busters with more physical events. There are some good ideas at Parents Choice.
This works great if you have sick kids, worn out kids, or maybe kiddos struggling a little with language arts. If your kids aren’t down with sitting still for long, have them walk and read or read in short bursts to see how many minutes they can complete over the course of the day. Another option we’ve used is read a chapter then do a physical challenge (we like Wii).
10. Art Hour
Draw, color, paint, build a collage, or even try making a paper village! Have your kids arrange their pieces and give you an art show at the end of the day! Bonus: get really creative and have your kids make a comic strip, comic book, or graphic novel.
9. Game Day
We are suckers for board games in this house. From Monopoly to Catan, we could lose ourselves in board games for a day without feeling guilty. If you have more than one kid, let them take turns picking the game.
8. Card Sharks
Autumn and Maddox recently learned how to play Texas Hold ’em Poker and Euchre (a midwest card game). It’s fun to teach card games to the kids and what better day to learn than when your stuck inside anyway?
7. Clean the House
Okay, this isn’t so fun and you might get some griping but it has to be done, right? There are ways to make it fun and maybe a little reward at the end of a cleaning spree would sweeten the pot.
6. Movie or TV show Binge
No, I’m not advocating for an overkill of screen time but there are some great shows to spark conversation for families. Pop some popcorn and curl up for a fun day of binging. This is great for kids who are really active and could use a break from their overactive lifestyles. I don’t know about you, but between sports and extracurriculars, my middle schoolers and I can use the occasional day of binge-watching.
5. Indoor fort and camp-in
This actually goes REALLY well with number six. Use some tables, chairs, stools, and A LOT of blankets to create a blanket fort . Stuff it with pillows and it’s the perfect viewing station for that movie time.
4. Bake me a Cake
Okay, it doesn’t have to be a cake. Bake something though. Your house will smell amazing, using the oven will warm it up, and not only will your kids learn something new but they’ll have a tasty reward at the end.
3. Cooking Class
Remember how I mentioned that kids really need to learn how to cook before they move out on their own? Being cooped up during the winter is a great time to start teaching kids how to cook. Pick a meal (start simple) and take them through the steps. Even if you think you’ll get sick of making the same meal over and over, it might be worth the sense of accomplishment when your kid(s) can make it on their own!
As parents, we often joke about stepping on those darn Lego pieces but they really are a lot of fun to work with and piggy-backing off the Art Hour, your kiddos can create a museum of Lego sculptures. How fun is that?
This is a great way to tie in with what your kids are learning in school. Reach out to teachers to find out what the kids are working on, they may have some ideas for experiments you can do at home or head over to Pinterest for a plethora of options. We have this awesome Smithsonian book we purchased at a Scholastic book fair called Makers Lab. There are some FANTASTIC experiments in there that we will be sharing as part of one of our month long challenges. Of course, we’ll be starting the experiments before the actual challenge month which means we are starting NOW.
Here’s the link to the book we will be using. Note; this is an affiliate link. There is no extra charge to purchase through this link but we may receive a small commission for the referral. All proceeds go to operation of the blog!