When the weather gets cold, many families with young children are stuck inside. To keep your little ones from getting cabin fever, keep a slate of winter bucket list “theme days” for those days when the temperature is just too low to bundle up and burn off energy outdoors.
Here are some of our best ideas for fun indoor activities for the whole family to try out this season. Many of these items you already have on hand, which makes planning easy when those surprise snow days appear!
Snow Theme Day
Children this age love a theme, and once you have an idea, it’s easy to plan a full day of activities around it.
Why not dedicate an entire day to snow? For example, a snow-themed day could include a storybook about playing in the snow. For craft time, practice safety with scissors and cut out snowflakes, or decorate a simple snowman with cotton balls and other supplies on hand.
In addition to crafts, here are a couple of activities for your snow day. Instead of a snow fort, make a fort indoors! It’s the perfect, cozy place to have a picnic, curl up with a book, or take a nap. You could also play a variation of Simon Says, and act out different snow animals. For example, “Simon says, waddle like a penguin!”
And of course, end the day with a snowy snack like ice cream and a viewing of Frozen! One of these hot chocolate recipes also makes for a yummy winter treat to enjoy.
Backwards day is also a fun theme! Everyone in your family can pick out their favorite t-shirt to wear backwards. Wear mismatched socks for extra fun.
An easy indoor activity you can do on backwards day is to arrange small cups like bowling pins and use a large ball like a beach ball to knock them down for some “backwards bowling.” You could even roll the ball while facing backwards. Just make sure you have plenty of space to play.
If you don’t already have the books Wacky Wednesday by Dr. Seuss or Silly Sally by Audrey Wood on your bookshelf, they make the perfect books for this theme day. Alternatively, have your children choose their favorite book that they know by heart. Instead of starting with the first page, start on the last page and read in reverse order. Everyone will laugh hearing their favorite story told in a different way.
End the day by having breakfast for dinner. Or if you’re feeling extra adventurous, eat dessert before dinner. Just make sure dessert doesn’t fill everyone up!
This is perfect if your little one loves Jake and the Never Land Pirates. Start the day with creating eye patches and pirate hats. All you need is some foam and string. In fact, the more creative the eye patches are, the better. Don’t worry about what they look like. That’s what makes it fun! The eye patches and hats will certainly get everyone in the pirate spirit. Try talking like a pirate during your pirate themed day!
For a simple indoor activity to get everyone up and moving, have a treasure hunt! You can hide a few things around the house and quickly make a map or provide clues for a fun, indoor treasure hunt!
When it’s time to wind down for nap time or independent play, grab a pirate book to read together.
Get creative at dinner with make your own pizzas! Everyone can arrange their favorite toppings to look like a treasure map.
Of course, these are just a few ideas to inspire some creativity. Theme days are a great way to incorporate your children’s interests into an entire day of fun and exploration. Get the family involved and have each of them come up with an idea for a theme day. On a cold or snowy day, pick one out of a hat! Chances are, your children will have a few fun ideas up their sleeves on how to make the most of their theme day.