Snowing? Pouring? Being stuck inside can be boring! Whether you’re a parent or a teacher, when winter weather keeps kids indoors all day, cabin fever can make you ALL a little crazy! Next time you’re trapped inside, give one of these fun, indoor kid activities a go—and find a cozy corner to sip your coffee in peace (well, in an ideal world)!
Take a Guess—“Gumball Guesses” are a great way to work on estimation—fill any container with gumballs or candy (you’ll need to know the final count), then use a scoop to remove a small portion and count them in front of your kids or class. Talk about the portion of the entire container that scoop might fill, then help your kids estimate how many scoops might fit into the entire container by multiplying estimated scoops by marbles per scoop. The winner gets a scoop of what’s inside (or the whole container, if you’d like!).
Join the Maker movement and make a marble racetrack—Join the Maker Movement! Provide construction paper, scissors, a stapler, and duct tape, then watch your kids go to town, designing and constructing their own marble track! Check out our previous Marble Run post for detailed instructions.
Bring the outdoors in—Create some wintery crafts using natural materials like pinecones, leaves, and branches. Glue a pompom head and construction paper wings and feet and turn a pinecone into a penguin. Add a tail and turn it into a mouse! Bundle twigs into a homemade frame. Twist them into a wreath and wrap it with colorful ribbon or pipe cleaners. The possibilities are endless—and creative!
Sparkle slime—Squish and squeeze your way to indoor fun with sparkle slime! Follow these instructions to make the slime ahead of time, sprinkle with glitter, then pass it out and watch the creativity ooze.
Craft a card—Revive the ancient art of correspondence with some homemade post cards! Stock your table with markers (our new Rainbow Prancers™ Markers add an extra fun touch!), crayons, colored pencils, glitter, glue, fabric scraps, ribbons, buttons, and any other creative materials you’ve got on hand. Provide stock paper cut into standard postcard size (4”x5”) and encourage your kids to write a message to a friend or family member before decorating the front of their cards. Then pop them in an envelope, hand cancel, and off go your handmade holiday wishes!
Get moving—Too bad the energy doesn’t disappear when the sun does! To help kids get the wiggles out, try a game of freeze dancing! Just turn on some (kid-friendly) tunes an get the kids moving. Then pause the music—the kids who are still moving are out! A game of hot potato is another great way to burn a bit of energy. Kids pass a real potato (but not hot, please!) round and round; the child holding the potato when the music stops must answer a question. (Example: “What’s 2+9?”) There’s no right or wrong with hot potato-kids take a crack at the question, you respond with praise or the correct answer, turn the music back on, and keep on passing that spud!
Sock basketball is another safe way to release some pent up energy, at home or in the classroom. Bring a box or laundry basket and several sets of rolled up socks (crumpled paper works, too). Divide into teams, set the timer, and see who can make the most baskets before time’s up!
We’ve got a few more tricks up our sleeve, especially designed to keep a smaller number of kids busy and engaged inside. Why not:
Try a string challenge—Tack or tape string around the living room or classroom at various heights and distances apart and challenge your children to snake their way through the course without touching a string! Time them for extra motivation, then let them redesign and mount the next course!
Go on an ice excavation—Frozen fun for everyone! Fill an ice tray or several small containers with objects (small toys, coins, buttons, rocks), cover with water and freeze. Provide each child with a frozen excavation site, in a bowl, and a kid-safe chipping tool like a butter knife and put your future paleontologists to work. Freeze edible objects for an extra incentive!
Take a guess—Introduce the concept of estimation with a game of Treasure Hunt. The Treasure Hunt requires a bit of prep on your part; first you’ll need to measure several objects around your house and make a list of your measurements, without identifying the objects you measured. Make some copies and set your kids loose, looking for household objects they think might meet your measurements, and measuring them. The first child or team to correctly note the objects matching your measurements wins!