While most kids might choose to play outside year-round, every winter brings days when outdoor activities are just not in the cards. Unfortunately, that logic will never be enough to keep our families from getting a bit stir-crazy when they’re stuck inside.
Whether you’re looking for snow day activities or trying to keep your family occupied on some of the coldest days of the year, here are some of our favorite ways to pass the time when the weather outside is frightful.
An arts and crafts afternoon may sound simple enough, but there are a surprising number of significant benefits connected to this activity. Crafting helps kids develop their fine motor skills, increase dexterity, improve hand-eye coordination, and build decision-making skills.
Additionally, it can boost their self-esteem, relieve anxiety, and act as a healthy outlet for self-expression. And this doesn’t just apply to children. Therapists and medical providers often recommend creative activities to adults with anxiety or depression and those in recovery.
So, break out your finger paints and construction paper, pile up those pipe cleaners, and grab the crafting scissors and glue; cold-weather creativity can give the whole family a boost.
Board games are an excellent way to pass the time when you’ve got a whole day to fill. As far as snow day activities go, board games will keep you occupied for quite awhile. Break out a bunch to get a game night rotation going, or choose single games with long play times.
For example, if your children are old enough, one round of Monopoly could take hours. Scrabble, Dungeons and Dragons, and Risk are others with similarly lengthy timeframes. But if you’ve got younger children, you can take up just as much time by rotating between games like Guess Who, Mouse Trap, Yahtzee, and Candy Land.
Board games are a fun way to pass the time, but sometimes, they’re not enough to keep children from getting antsy. If that’s the case, it may be time to try a different kind of game. Throw on music and host a dance party, play a round of Twister, or put together your own game.
One family favorite is living room bowling. Gather up empty two-liter soda bottles, water bottles, or several rolls of toilet paper to stack up if you don’t have anything else. Grab a bouncy ball from the garage and bowl the afternoon away.
Kids of all ages love playing dress-up, especially when you join in and make a game of it. Whether you’re breaking out a box of old Halloween costumes or letting them raid your closet, imaginative games like this one can keep everyone occupied for hours.
If you can, try to establish a theme so that no one has to fight over one costume in a specific category. If everyone is scavenging for items that can transform them into an animal, they can get creative during the search and reveal their costume when they’re done.
When it’s cold and gray outside and warm and bright inside, few things are cozier than blanket forts. Use your fort as a cozy space for arts and crafts, popcorn and movies, or host a fun and age-appropriate family money meeting.
According to a recent study, nearly half of responding parents said they miss opportunities to talk to their kids about money and finances. While the parents reported that they were reluctant to talk about money with their kids, the kids reported that they wished their parents taught them more about money.
During your next snow day, take advantage of the opportunity to hold a captive audience. They will learn about money either way. Now is your chance to teach them what you’ve learned, help them discover important financial values, and set them up early for future financial literacy.