7 Great Winter Activities or Games for Kids

There is a peacefulness to winter. Something about the stillness after that first tranquil snowfall just makes you want to curl up inside, safe and warm. Gather the kids around for hot cocoa and Christmas movies and just enjoy being together… Then a few more rounds of those snowfalls hit and there is still no school for the kids and they’re “bored!!!”. Pretty soon the only tranquil time in your house is naptime and it’s for them, not you. You find yourself praying for an early spring and it’s only January. As a mother of two young children, in the midst of what feels like an eternal midwestern winter, there have been days I’ve given serious thought to relocating to the Bahamas. That’s when you have to think outside the box, try something new, and maybe show your kids that when the going gets tough, the tough get creative. Here are a few memory-making ideas that should get the kids excited and hopefully, give parents a little time to catch their breath.

7. Homemade Drive In

A few weeks back, after a busy morning in our household, the kiddos were a little draggy and I was feeling guilty for the business of our past few days. So we flipped my son’s playpen on its side (don’t worry, he wasn’t in it), filled it with fuzzy blankets and propped pillows inside. With one more blanket draped over the top for ambience, and the kids tucked safely inside, the afternoon showing could begin. Drive In snacks and warm drinks completed the set-up, and with everything in place, there was only one thing left to do: I told the kids to make room for Momma and crawled in beside the two cutest movie dates a girl could ever ask for.

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6. Library

Our local library’s schedule is filled with activities and events for children of every age. There is also a learning center with computers, a play area for toddlers, and a hang out zone for junior high and high school student’s. Special Events are held throughout each month, and various authors are highlighted. Should that still fail to interest, there are a world of adventures to be had in the pages lining the shelves. My daughter was so thrilled to get her own library card that she considered that an adventure in itself.

5. YMCA/Gym

When summer seems as far away as the moon and kids have been cooped up inside for too long, the local fitness center can be a lifesaver. It presents an opportunity for children to stretch those legs and take part in their favorite physical activity, whether it be basketball, gymnastics, or swimming. The YMCA offers several programs tailored to children of all ages, including extra activities on school breaks and weekends. Moms and Dads can enjoy some time by the pool, or workout while kids are in supervised programs.

4. Abstract Art

Maybe you’re just not that art project Mom. I can identify. My artistic abilities end at glue and glitter. Don’t let that hold you back from creating with your kids. There’s no pressure to teach them to make intricate glass art or basket weaving. Spread out your oldest tablecloth and give them a stack of colored paper, safety scissors, glitter glue, markers, paint, cotton balls, etc. and tell them to create a new display for the museum on the fridge. This gives parents a chance to watch their children express themselves and it’s fun to see what they come up with.

3. Kitchen Dates

Sometimes the only answer is food. Yes, your kitchen will get dirty. Yes, the kids will be covered in everything gooey. Do it anyway. There are so many opportunities to learn through cooking. Measuring, recipe reading, and kitchen safety, are all valuable lessons, but the most important thing kids learn is that Mom/Dad is taking time to be with them and not worrying about a mess. Oh, and you get to eat whatever sweet concoction they dream up.

2. Indoor Scavenger Hunt

This is a favorite in our family. The object being hunted matters little, it’s the search that makes this game exciting. We’ve used fun snacks, favorite movies, homemade gifts and even coupons for a day out with Mom or Dad as the final prize. Parents can create challenging clues for older kids and fun, educational clues for younger children. Create obstacles with pillows, chairs, play tents, etc. and tell your kids they are on a great adventure. Each time they make it through an obstacle, they are rewarded with another clue that ultimately leads them to their reward. This activity gives children a chance to problem solve and partake in physical activity, while also giving them a sense of pride upon completion.

1. Church Activities

When I was a child, I thought all churches were closed every day, with the exception of Sunday. I used to wonder what preachers did all week and thought that their sermons should be pretty impressive with all the down time they were given. My kids have never wondered those same things due to the full list of activities available through our church. Between youth groups, bible camps, lock-ins, trips, and preschool, there is something for the children nearly every night of the week. There is no need to be a church member to partake, so if your own church is lacking on this front, perhaps consider exploring the opportunities offered by the other churches in your area.

Final Thoughts

We can do this Parents. When you’ve broken up another silly argument, baked every cookie, and read every book, I hope the ideas above will give you a little inspiration. Winter can seem long and unending, but maybe it’s God’s way of forcing us to slow down a little. Maybe the lights sparkling off the snow are reminders to take a breath and see the world around us in a fresh way. To enjoy a temporary cool down from all the heat of life’s daily pressures. Because we know that the God we serve never keeps us in the cold for too long and Spring is always just around the corner.

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