In most places in Australia, there are at least some days in winter when the sun is shining. It can be nice to get out to the playground or for a walk in the neighbourhood on these days. However, if the weather is too awful, and you are not feeling adventurous enough to go outside and play, we have some ideas for indoor winter games. These games and activities will entertain your child and some will even help to burn off some of that excess energy and stave off cabin fever.
1. Bake some gingerbread or snowmen
A great, interactive winter activity is to get into the kitchen and bake. The oven will help to warm up the room, and your kids will have a lot of fun. There are numerous benefits to cooking with kids. These include spending quality time together, the development of numeracy skills, when your child learns to measure out quantities, as well as learning about healthy ingredients and where food comes from. Cooking with your child will also encourage them to eat healthy food that they help to prepare.
Winter is a great time to get into the kitchen. It might be fun to bake some gingerbread men or snow men and to decorate them with your child. However, any kind of cooking activity would be fun and educational.
2. Play ten pin bowling at home
Ten pin bowling can be a lot of fun, and is a great indoor winter activity. Unfortunately we have run out of stock of these beautiful Moulin Roty skittles, but you can line up some empty bottles and use a sock or ball to try and knock them over. If you want to increase the difficulty, you can fill the bottles with sand or water.
3. Make an indoor cubby
This was my brother and my favourite activity when we were preschoolers and playing at home. It can be a lot of fun to construct a cubby out of chairs turned on their side with blankets over the top. Your child/ren can then experiment using a torch when they are playing in the cubby. It is a game that your children will love to play over and over again.
4. Scarf or soft ball play
Another great indoors activity is to encourage your child to throw a scarf up in the air and to try and catch it on their arm, leg, knee, foot or head. It can really help to develop their sense of coordination, and will help to use up some of that excess energy.
5. Put on a puppet show!
Our shadow puppets are a wonderful winter time indoor activity. Using the shadow puppets and a torch or lamp, your children can project images onto the wall and develop their imaginations and verbal skills by narrating stories. These hand shadow puppets are made out of laser cut cardboard and make the shapes of popular animals. The shapes of the hands will also teach your child how to arrange their fingers to create the animal shadow shapes on the wall.
As an alternative, you could use a shadow torch in a darkened room to get creative with story telling and shadow play.
6. Balloon tennis
A great way to burn some excess energy indoors, is to play with a balloon. A balloon is a great choice for active indoor play, because it is so light and therefore is less likely to damage anything in your living room. Encourage your child to throw or kick the balloon as high as possible and then play by swatting the balloon with a fly squat or bat of some kind.
7. Crafty things
Winter is a great time to get crafty and to engage your child’s sense of creativity by making things. This jellyfish that swims around on a plate is a great activity that will delight your child and be interactive after they finish with the craft activity.
Of course it can be fun to get dressed up in gum boots and raincoats and go out and jump in puddles on a rainy day. Children will also enjoy walking around the neighbourhood or a local park in winter and seeing the changes in their environment. However it can also be fun to stay cosy indoors. We hope that you enjoy some of these fun activities and games, and have a lovely, memorable winter.