8 Indoor Activities for Preschoolers This Winter
Do you dread the winter like I do? Are you already thinking about how you are going to survive with your little kids with the amount of snow we are expecting this year? Here are some ideas that we are already trying at our house that seem to be a success.
- Indoor Play. We recently acquired a bouncy house that is just for preschoolers. We are fortunate to have a large basement so we have room for this contraption and our kids LOVE LOVE LOVE it. They play on it every day and I feel good knowing that they are getting some exercise in the winter. There are indoor play centers like this that range in price from $40-400. You may not have the room for it in your house and you may not have the money to buy anything like this, but maybe you can find a way to exercise with your kids at home.
- Play Sand. We recently bought this play sand at a Joann’s Craft Store that is better than just any sand. It sticks together almost as neatly as playdough, yet it’s sand. I keep this play sand in a large sealed container with toys like dump trucks and a child sized broom and dust pan. The kids really enjoy playing with sand in the kitchen floor.
- Bring the Outdoor Toys Inside. When winter starts to roll around, I clean off some of the outdoor toys and bring them inside. We brought in our preschool basketball goal and balls, a few small riding toys for the toddlers, and some outdoor games like our plastic golf set. I set these outdoor toys up in the basement because that is where we have the space. You may find more space in your garage. If you have no extra space (and most people don’t) then you can just bring in one toy at a time and let the kids enjoy playing with their riding toys in the living room for one afternoon.
- Ball Pit. I cleaned up our outdoor kiddie pool and brought it into the basement and plan to make a ball pit. You can buy those little plastic balls in bulk in several different stores and the kids love jumping in and out of that ball pit.
- Re-Organize. Spring and Fall are the perfect times to rearrange and deep clean to prepare for the hot/cold seasons. If you are like us, you have way too many toys to begin with and the grandparents keep buying more. I try to put toys away occasionally. I hide them in a basement closet for a season and then bring them out when the kids seem to be getting bored with their old toys. Last Spring I hid all of my 4 year old son’s trains and tracks. I hid most of our large blocks, some learning puzzles, books, baby dolls, etc… I plan to put away our toy kitchen, some legos, and learning toys and bring out the ones that have been in hiding soon. The kids will think these toys are brand new because they don’t remember them. Heck, I could probably just wrap them and regift them for Christmas!
- Learning ideas. We try to have “homeschool” every morning at our house. My kids aren’t technically old enough to go to school yet, but they enjoy learning projects and my attention. We rotate things we do at the table together. We play playdough, cook snacks together, color, read books, finger paint, cut and glue objects together, play board games, and many other things I find on Pinterest.
- Bathtub Swim. My kids miss the pool when it gets cold outside. I try to do more bathtub playtime in the winter. Instead of making the bath a bed time hassle, enjoy the water during the day. You may even choose to buy some new bath toys for Christmas this year to aid in this project. My son loves the floating race track we bought him last year for Christmas. It floats on top of the water so he can play with his cars in the bath. My daughter loves the baby doll that she can wash in the bathtub. There are always bath tub art supplies, like crayons and markers for the water. If you don’t want to spend money, just bring in some pots and pans from the kitchen. That’s always fun.
- Get Out of the House. It is important for me to get out of the house every day. I’m an extreme extravert. You may not need to leave the house every day but it is a good idea to plan an outing at least once a week (if you are a homebody). Plan a playdate, go to the public library, or find an indoor playground at a mall. In the winter, our small Kentucky town doesn’t have many options, so you will find me driving 45 minutes to a larger town at least once a week to find a mall, Chik-fil-a, or Science Museum.
What other ideas have you tried? We can all use more creative ideas to entertain and occupy our little ones this winter.