While the holidays and all the fun and distractions that they bring are behind us for another year, in many parts of the country, long winter months still loom ahead with bitterly cold days when kids are home from school, unable to play outside, and under parents’ feet.
On such days, it can be difficult to keep their children away from the TV or off their devices, leading them to be inactive and unstimulated for long periods of time.
To minimize the stress that can ensue from unplanned ‘snow days’ or days when it’s too cold to play outside, Sarah Baldwin, parenting expert, author and owner of Bella Luna Toys offers her top tips for keeping children occupied and active, and off screens, while cooped up indoors:
1. Keep a stack of board games for that appeal to different age groups: not too advanced for younger players, yet challenging enough for older children. Introduce different games each day, so the children don’t get too bored with one.
2. Encourage children to build a fort or ‘igloo’ using furniture and soft furnishings. Children love creating their ‘own’ space where they can say who can enter and not, and will often crawl into their space to read or play with their ‘stuffies’.
3. Have the children dress up and put on a play for you and an audience, even if the audience consists of their stuffies.
4. Get the children to play hide and seek; or hide a ‘magic penny’ and have them look for it.
5. Keep them engaged by introducing a ‘new craft’ packet such as knitting (e.g. Quick to Knit Scarf), origami, or baking a new cookie recipe.
6. Keep a box of art and craft supplies that only comes out on special days. Your box could include a variety of different kinds of paper for making collages, glue sticks, glitter, crayons, watercolor paints, markers, and so on. Keeping the box neat and organized will encourage a child’s creativity!
7. Don’t keep all of a child’s toys out all the time. Most children have too many toys. By keeping certain toys—like building blocks or Lego bricks–tucked away in a closet or in the attic most of the time, it will feel like a special occasion when they are brought out.
8. Invest in some toys that encourage indoor movement across different age groups, including:
(All toys can be purchased via Bella Luna Toys). I do not receive anything at all for clicking this link or purchases made.
1. The Yoga Garden Game $24.95
2. Solvej Swing $219.95
3. Walking Cups Block Stilts $12.95
4. Waldorf Wooden Rocker Board $149.95
5. Wishbone Flip Ride-On $149.95
6. Bilibo $29.95