Creative Winter Activities
Get inexpensive disposable cameras for your kids and let them snap away! They can take photos outside, of family, or of things they like to do. After the film is developed, sit down for an afternoon of scrapbooking or putting the pictures into a cute photo album. School-age kids can get shots of people, places and things that start with certain letters and make an ABC Book with the final photos, incorporating stickers and journaling if they’d like.
Take this opportunity of a “captive audience” to teach your kids about different cultures and countries. Your library and the Internet can be a great resource in helping you with this. Read a story about a country one day, make a traditional meal or snack from that country the next. Have fun learning a few words or phrases in another language, or talk about changes in time zones. Remind your children that even if you’re isolated in your community during the cold weather, there is still a big world out there (and some of it is having summer!)
Use your imagination and help your children create their own games. Place two identical stickers on an index card and cut the card in half; repeat this with several cards and you’ll have a memory or matching game. Or make up a bingo game to play in the car, using familiar outdoor objects (a stop sign, a yellow house, a grocery store, a dog, etc.) Save up milk cartons (after rinsing them out!) and have your children decorate or paint them to make up their own giant blocks.
Other simple games kids enjoy are “I Spy” (which you can play just about anywhere), tag, Simon Says, hot and cold, red light/green light, or hide and seek. Try hiding a child’s stuffed animal and have her seek it out for a new twist to the game.
You can keep kids busy with old magazines for long periods of time. Kids can go on a magazine scavenger hunt—give them a list of things to find and let them cut out the photos and paste them on brightly colored paper. Young school-age children can try to find photos of items beginning with certain letters, or can look for numbers one through ten.
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