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Toronto, Canada

312 Adelaide Street West, Suite 301
Toronto, Ontario - M5V 1R2
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Indoor Activities for Those Gloomy, Not So Nice Days

Written by Robyn Eidinger

Brrr… almost the entire country has had at least a taste of winter already and I don’t know about where you are but around here it’s been a gloomy and wet last couple of months with many indoor days. Our writer has some fresh ideas to get you through the winter (in case, like me, you’ve used up your go-to activities already).

Now that the sunny days are numbered and the cold, wet and gloomy days are upon us, staying indoors with the kids has sadly become the norm. Finding fun ways to entertain the children can certainly prove to be a challenge at times. There are a multitude of indoor activities such as a movie day, climbing structures or amusement centres, bowling etc. which can be great alternatives. However, they can become quite costly and repetitive.

So, if you are anything like me, leaving the house is the last thing you want to do on snowy, wet, and cold days.  I try to take advantage of those stay at home days and use them to have some good, old fashioned fun and get my fill of cuddles, smiles and some much-needed quality time. Indoor days are the days where I not only allow myself to revert back to being a child, I also allow my creativity run wild. My goal is to show the kids that we don’t necessarily needed to be constantly entertained, that there are plenty of ways to amuse ourselves. So, turn off those televisions, put away the laptops and tablets, and give one of these fun activities a try!

Let’s Make Cars

If you have car loving children in your house, then this activity is perfect for them. And parents, it’s pretty simple for you as well. Not to mention, an activity that does not make a huge mess.

What do you need? A large cardboard box (I use old diaper boxes) and anything you might have around the house in terms of art supplies. For us, we typically use colour paper, crayons, markers and stickers. I let the kids go to town decorating the box and while they do that, I take coloured paper and make headlights, wheels and a steering wheel to add on at the end.

This is an activity that can either take a lot of time or not so much depending on the child but regardless of how long it takes, it is lots of fun and allows their creativities to sore. At the end, they will have their very own masterpiece on wheels!

Scavenger Hunt

Pretty simple, yet tons of fun for both parents and the kids. Basically, you provide a list of items that can be found in the house, or outside if the weather isn’t so bad. You can either create your own list or they can be easily found online and printed.

Here are some fun examples to put on your list: coloured sock, a puzzle piece, a book, a teddy bear, a bug, a shoe, a spoon, a ball and so on. Scavenger hunts are great and can be done with one or more child. They get to run around, burn off steam and have fun while doing it. Plus, mom and dad can get a quiet moment to themselves while the kids are off searching or they can choose to join in on the fun.

Keep in mind that the longer the list, the longer it takes. I like to give my kids a treat at the end of the game to remind them that it isn’t about winning, it’s all about the fun. I do have some competitive little ones on my hands that often need a reminder!

Moon Sand

No matter the weather or the season, moon sand or as some call it, homemade snow, keeps the kids busy and allows them once again to use their imaginations.

All you need is half a cup of conditioner and 3 cups of baking soda (there many other recipes out there as well). Homemade snow is one of the preferred activities in our house. My daughter likes to use the snow to practice her letters and shapes, while my son likes to take different tools such as spoons, measuring cups or anything else that can be manipulated to build and play with the snow. I  put a plastic tablecloth on the floor and let them do as they please. I warn you, it is quite messy but well worth the mess and quite easy to clean up.

Obstacle Course

Staying indoors on bad weather days often leaves the kids bouncing off the walls and probably grumpy and agitated from feeling cooped up. Can we blame them? I try to think of ways to put all that energy to use in a positive way, because, let’s face it, no one wants to spend the day fighting and having to deal with temper tantrums.

A great option is to build an indoor obstacle course. Find a large, safe space where they can be free to move, jump and possibly climb. I then take tape (usually green tape or masking tape) and on the floor, I make different lines and shapes that they have to jump over or avoid stepping on. I will often add in different obstacles such as laundry baskets and other household items I have lying around. This is one of those games that allows you to join and for the kids, having mommy and/or daddy acting silly makes it all the more enjoyable.

Arts and Crafts

There are many different things that can be done but I like to keep it simple. Most importantly, I like to allow the kids to use their imaginations and be creative. Life is full of rules and we are constantly given guidelines to follow. This is one of those time where I just let the kids do as they please, with my help of course.

I simply take coloured paper and cut out random shapes of all different sizes. With those papers they make whatever their hearts desire. Once they are done their masterpiece, I give them stickers and glitter glue and allow them to put the finishing touches. Like I said, so simple.

Snow Art

On the days where we are able to get outside for even just a little bit, you should try your hand at making snow art. Another fun and simple activity that allows the kids to freely decorate and be creative using what mother nature gave us as their canvas.

Just take squirt bottles of any kind and fill them with water and food colouring. I like to give each child a different colour and then just let them squirt away! This activity can prove to be more on the messy side and doesn’t necessarily last long but they are sure to have fun!

So, there you have it! Just a few simple but yet creative ways to keep the kids busy on those gloomy, not so nice outside kind of days. I can assure you, my list of indoor activities is never ending but I have shared with you some of our favourites. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do and when you can get outside, make snow art!!

What are your favourite indoor activities that your keep in reserve for when the rain or the polar vortex settle in? Tell us below!

*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.