Thursday, January 12, 2017

10 Ways To Keep Children Entertained in Winter ♥

Winter can be a great time for relaxing with loved ones and keeping cosy indoors, but if you're children are anything like mine, then it can also be a time of boredom for little ones who need to be kept entertained or who prefer to be outside.

My eldest boy loves being outdoors. He's a nature lover and likes to explore the world around him - much to my delight! But, sometimes the winter days just aren't accommodating enough for outdoor adventures, meaning we all have to stay cooped up inside. This is enough to drive both him and I stir crazy!

I shared yesterday how I want my sons and I to live a more wholesome life and even though these winter days mean that we may to stay indoors a whole lot more than we'd like to, I don't want myself of the children to be sitting in front of the TV or electronic devices all day.

So, I've come up with some ways to keep children entertained during the winter months and I thought I'd share them here on the blog for any other parents who are looking to have a fun-filled winter with their little ones.

Make an indoor den - you can do this with cushions, pillows, throws and blankets, or if you have a teepee like ours, then you can pop that up too. Kids love the novelty of having their own little special space indoors and a den is a lovely way to keep the magic alive for them. My little boy is a big fan of playing in his 'den' and it's amazing how such a simple thing can keep children happy and entertained for hours on end. You can even add some fairy lights to add to the wintry theme.

Have epic story times - I don't just mean bed time stories (which we have each night here), I mean an epic story time, where you or the children read stories out loud and everyone listens. This time of year is a great time for picking up some cheap books, if you're in need of some new stories to read and share. The Works January sale has some great titles.

Make bath time, play time - who doesn't love getting into a warm, bubbly bath on a cold day? Fill the tub to the brim with bubbles and let the little ones play in the water. The more bath toys the better! You can also make things artsy by throwing some bath crayons into the mix.

Cook up some wintry treats - get out the mixing bowls, cookie cutters and whisks and whip up some wintry treats with the kids. Some of my favourite ideas are white chocolate popcorn, melting snowman cookies (I've been wanting to make these for years!) and unicorn hot chocolate.

Have an indoor snowball fight - don't panic, I don't mean actual snow! I mean chucking large cotton wool balls at each other and seeing the kids faces light up with joy anytime they manage to hit you with their 'snowballs'. You could even set up targets from old bottles and empty jars. A simple, yet very fun indoor activity for kids.

Make bird feeders for the garden - this is a great activity for keeping kids entertained and teaching them about nature at the same time. Red Ted Art has shared lots of gorgeous DIY bird feeder ideas. One of the things that really sticks with me from my childhood, is learning about all the different kinds of birds and why it's so important to help them out with food in the winter months.

Turn your sitting room into a race track - some dinkies and masking tape and the kids will be entertained for ages! Just use to masking tape to create a road layout that can go on the floor, walls, rugs, tables - you name it!

Get crafty - this is such an easy way to keep kids entertained but something that some parents (like me!) may usually shy away from. There are some lovely winter themed craft ideas for kids over on Pinterest and these paper cup luminaries are super simple but so sweet and even an easy craft such as painting pine cones can keep kids entertained for hours - plus their creations can make pretty decorations for the house, especially when it starts to feel bare once the Christmas decorations come down.

No mess sensory play - I have to admit, I haven't done any sensory play with my sons yet, mainly because I don't think I'd be able to cope with the mess. But, when I stumbled across this winter in a bag, no mess sensory play idea I decided that it's something I definitely have to try with them.

Winter walks and bike rides - if the sun does manage to peep out from the grey clouds and you need a break from the house, then going outdoors with the little ones for winter walks and bike rides is a great way of blowing off the cobwebs and getting some much needed fresh air - just make sure to cosy up in hats, scarves, gloves and mittens.

My eldest son has a bike and a trike which he doesn't know how to ride yet, so teaching him to ride these is something I really want to do on these winter days, so when the warm and long summer evenings come about, he'll have mastered the skill and be able to zoom about and enjoy the sunshine.

Going to the beach in winter for a walk is something I always love to do with my boys too. It's amazing what sea air can do for kids. I took some pictures on our latest beach visit and I love the wintry background.

Hopefully these ideas will provide some inspiration for you to keep your little ones happy and entertained in the winter months.
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