Ahh winter, the best season of the year… I’m just kidding! Winter is not pleasant no matter how you look at it. From getting the flu, sneezing, freezing mornings, icy winds, cold chap lips, and the list goes on. Although winter can get horrible for some people, winter is also great for getting cozy indoors and a great excuse to come up with new ideas to entertain your kids. So instead of turning on the TV, why not try some of these simple ways to entertain your kids this winter?
Creating A Tent of Newspaper
Sometimes the living room just has to be transformed. This idea offers the bonus of keeping your kids focused on the construction AND then enjoying the completed project as well. You want to tie string from one picture to another around the room (you can use anything that offers height and strength) until you have created the skeleton of your tent. Pages of paper should lie next to one another until a column is formed. These pages will be joined together by tape creating a wall. The paper wall must then be taped to the string. This process will commence until all of the tent walls have been formed. Rooms may be added by simply running another string off an existing wall and then once all the walls are in place the carving of windows and doors begins. Another option would be to use a big box as a club house. All you need to do is flip it upside down while using the box cutter to carve out a window and then by cutting a line straight up the box and then to one side you can create a front door that swings wide open. Then the imagination of the children can kick in as they consider using plastic wrap on the windows or use some type of cap for the door handle as well as utilizing crayons or paints for decorative purposes.
The Picnic or Tea Party (Indoors)
Start by covering the table with a big sheet and then lining the area under the table with everything soft and comfy you can find, don’t worry there is plenty of room. Allow the kids to dress up and then crawl into the club house you have created for them for a tea party with snacks they won’t soon forget. All you will need is 3 tea pots filled with sugar, milk and a flavored powder such as Nestle Quik for example. The kids will have a ball mixing the ingredients into their cups and partying away.
Establish A Family Reading Tree
Put your regular library trips to good use with this project. If you have a wall to spare and you want to paint the family tree reading tree upon it by all means do so, however, if you don’t want the tree to be permanent, simply get big sheets of construction paper from your favorite department store, tape them together and then use safe removable 3M strips to attach the paper to a wall prior to drawing the tree. At this point you can use different colors of papers to make leaves for your tree. As your child finishes a book the leaf will be filled out with the author, title and date completed and then added to the reading tree. If you want to go all out you can have your child create characters from the book by drawing their favorite characters from the book they read and then removing them so that they can be attached around the leaf as well. If you don’t want to do the reading then the kids can get pictures of others in the family and apply them to a branch of the tree with little tidbits about each member. The children could cut out various items in magazines that remind them of the family member.
Create A City of Boxes
Keep all your old shoe, cereal and tissue boxes. When you feel you have collected enough turn your dining room table into a workshop supplied with cotton wool, papers, paints, pipe cleaners, buttons and scissors. To start with they can paint their building and cut out small windows & windows to attach to the building as well. Once all the boxes are turned into various buildings found in the city they can then use tiny toy cars and dollhouse people for the residents of the city. The city can also be used for many different fun photo shoots. The entire city must be laid on its side in such a way that from above it appears to be right side up. At this point you can have your child get down on the floor beside the city lying on their side so that the illusion appears that they are flying over the city. By using a ladder to get above the city you can take pictures that will appear that you children are super heroes.
Create Crayons of All Shapes
You can take old crayons from the home, or even new ones, and alter them into some really cool shapes. All the paper would need to be removed and then you would put similar colors in a pile. Then you will fill a tin with a pile of the same colors and dip it into boiling water. Once the crayons have melted they can then be distributed into various ice shaped ice cube trays and then given time to cool. They will be ready to be used once they have returned to their hardened state. This makes a great idea for gifts at a party. You can even make rainbow colored crayons if you wish. Instead of using all one color mix it up a bit by layering each crayon with a rainbow of colors.
Create Memory Games
Take a piece of cardboard and cut it up into equal squares. If your children are small then a dozen or so cards should suffice, if they are older than by all mean use more cards. On the back of these cards you can create symbols in pairs that can be matched during the game. The cards will then be turned upside down so that the kids can pick two and try to match, if no match is made they must be turned over in the same place and the next child will try. There is no limit to the various objects that could be put on these cards for the kids to remember including computer images, family photos or anything that comes to mind.
Create A Puppet Show At Home
Start by taking a huge piece of cloth that is cut out to be a little bigger than the doorway. At this point a window should be cut in the middle of the cloth that is comfortable height for a small child to stand at the window. You can pin old pillow cases or towels above the window to serve as the theatre curtains. Strings and ribbons can be applied to keep the curtains to the side once the show has begun. You can then apply strings to the top of the doorway using 3M hooks or the nail of your choice. Puppets can be created from old socks using buttons for the eyes making hair out of loose strings or even wool. Different characters could also be cut from magazines and applied to paddle ball boards or the straw of your choice. You could present the first show and then let your children follow up with a show of their own.