By: Stephanie Shabangu, Penfield Children’s Center
While it’s great to get kids outside every season, the long, cold wintry months can force us to spend more time inside than we’d like. The snow and ice can be fun for awhile, but once fingers get cold and feet get wet, it’s time to head back inside. But, the winter fun does not have to end! Create a winter wonderland inside for your little ones that gets them moving and keeps them warm. These three activities are also great for increasing fine and gross motor skills and keeping minds engaged throughout school breaks.
1. Cotton Shoveling
Children love to help mom and dad shovel the snow. Bring the snow inside and put the kids to work.
- Cotton filling from a local craft store (often comes in large bags and is used to stuff pillows, stuffed animals, dolls)
- Child-size shovel
Pull apart the cotton stuffing and place in piles around the room. Ask your child to shovel all of the “snow” into one big pile. It’s great exercise and doesn’t create too much mess!
2. Present Wrapping Station
Time to recycle old newspapers and magazines!
- Wrapping paper, newspaper, magazines
- Empty boxes
- Child scissors
Set up a small table complete with materials. Let your child cut, tape and decorate to their heart’s content! This activity is great for fine motor skills and teaches little ones how to cut safely. Wrapping gifts also teaches early math skills of measuring, folding and comparing shapes and sizes.
3. Snowball Fight
Get the whole family together for a good old fashioned snowball fight!
- Socks or stuffed snowballs
- Small and medium size boxes
- Empty milk cartons
Enlist the help of everyone involved and ball up two piles of socks or purchase stuffed snowballs from a toy store. Divide your group into two teams and tell each group to build a “snow fort” wall with the boxes and milk cartons. When each wall is built, see which team can knock over the opposing team’s wall first with their snowballs. This activity is fun for even the youngest member of the family.
Beat cabin fever with these fun, winter-inspired activities. As the seasons change, you can also update the activities to include raking felt “leaves,” an indoor camp-out and more!
What fun indoor seasonal activities do you enjoy with your child?