While stuck in doors during the swift change of seasons to the cold, snowy, blowing winds that are starting to settle in for the winter, it can become a TV marathon watching session - not the best habit to fall into. I've fallen into this trap enough to pay extra attention and be prepared with a list of fun indoor activities when my routine is still entrenched firmly on the beach. Because I assume I am not the only Mama who falls prey to 'can I just watch a show?" requests, here is my list of beat the boredom activities that are great for Mama and wee men [and ladies] alike!
Break out the play dough! Check out this recipe for homemade play dough, or pull out your name brand stash! I like to use colouring paste for the colour so its bright and vibrant like the store bought variety.
Seasonal Crafts - Christmas here we come! For lots of ideas for Christmas, check out my pinterest board devoted to it, and above is one of the crafts I already have on my creating list! When its a sewing project like this, I let Darius [my four and a half year old] help with the pinning, and stuffing, but he plays with toys during the other steps. We tackle these activities while the wee man sleeps :)
Indoor playground in your basement - a.k.a obstacle course. Darius set one of these up today as I was sewing up a little project. I stopped every couple of steps to go through it with him, and filmed him as well - but he set the entire thing up HIMSELF! It was a mess, and yes I ended up cutting the yarn as we cleaned it up, but if you want to reuse your yarn all you would need to do is be involved in the construction phase, then let your kiddos play!
Read, read, read! Books are a fabulous way to encourage language skills, teach, and strengthen the imagination. We read everyday, and my boys will often bring me a book if I happen to find a moment to sit.
Work up a sweat. Whether baby is rockin' it out beside you to the exercise video, or is the wee little weight you are lifting, working out with your children is setting a fabulous example for them. Let them see you sweat! Let them see the daily commitment to fitness, and make sure your language is positive and reinforces the fitness habit. If you are entrenched in negative self talk before, during, or after a sweat session you will be sending your sweet ones the wrong message. Physical activity is about being healthy and happy!
Start a gratitude journal! Not only is it a great thing for you to do, but for your children also. Darius draws a picture in his journal, then I write in the header what he is grateful for as he dictates it to me. Helping your children focus on the good from an early age with develop healthy patterns that will pay forward long after they have moved out and ventured on to others things.
Dance it out! Have you ever tried to frown while dancing? Its impossible I swear! So if the cold weather has driven you inside the house, and inside your shell, turn up the tunes and dance it out with your kiddos!
Bubble baths are a great way to entertain and warm up sweet little toes! Eli will ask for a bubble bath at any time of day, and really I'm good with it! It makes him happy, its sensory play, and he gets clean - win, win, win!
Colouring pages, and free hand drawing are great ways to strengthen hand eye coordination without breaking a vase - or picture frames in our case.
Painting projects, and pictures keep us busy, as washable paints keep me happy. Our latest painting project landed just before Halloween, and was a simple enough project but with great gains! Darius was thrilled with his end result, and Eli only ate paint once - huge success!
Dress up as superheros, mummies, princes [or princesses], knights, ninjas - anything! Simply changing clothes into something different can change the game completely!
Make cards with your sweet ones to send to others and brighten their day. Personalised art and a sweet message from the heart can go a long way to lift another; and creating this gift goes a long way in teaching about the joys of service.
School Work is something Darius and I do daily during Eli's nap time. He will be entering Kindergarten in the fall, and I want him to feel confident and comfortable in the classroom setting - and a big part of that comes from having somewhat of a clue about what the teacher is talking. It needn't be a long lesson, we spend anywhere from 10-30 minutes working in the work books [most often 15 minutes] and yet I am seeing a vast improvement in only two months! The compound effect holds true in everything - exercise and learning included.
So there you have it - a round up of some of our favourite activities that don't include a screen! If you and your kiddos enjoy activities not listed I'd love to hear them! We're always looking to broaden our activity list!
*******UPDATE: Submitted in the comments were a couple of ideas I needed to add to the list! Thanks Jenn for the wonderful additions!
"Not sure if Darius is into Lego yet, but that is something that can occupy Spenser for quite a while. We also got him a skipping rope that counts the number of times he skips. He does that in the basement and it keeps him active when it is too cold to go outside."