Tuesday, December 29, 2015

10 Inside Play Ideas for Winter Vacation

In general I find that the winter vacation following Christmas goes by pretty quickly. We usually have family members to see, new things to play with, and some fresh snow to enjoy outside. Not to mention the fun of our Family Focused New Year's Eve to distract us only a week after Christmas.

But, just in case vacation stretches on a little too long for kiddos, it's always nice to have a few things up my "Mama" sleeve. Here are a few of our favorite inside or winter themed activities we may wind up trying this week. Most of them involve materials you probably already have on hand in your cupboard or playroom.

1. Sensory Snow Play
This is an unusual winter in that we still have no real snow to play in. So why not create some snow inside? Our Road Crew Sensory Snow Bin is a fun way for kids to pretend to be plowing and moving snow or create this "Cold" Sparkle Snow Dough - which really feels cold to the touch!

2. Bead with Household Objects
Of course if you have beads, you can always bead with that. My kiddos love making necklaces and bracelets. But we also find it really fun to search around the house and see what other kind so materials we can use. Read more here to get an idea of some of the other types of materials we've used before.

3. Homemade Race Car Mat
One of our all time favorite indoor activities, perfect for any day you're stuck inside; Create a Homemade Race Car Mat. We've made classic villages, a Halloween Town, Candy Land, a major race track, you name it. All you need is a large roll of paper and some markers.

4. Play a Game
As a family we're big fan of board and card games, so we have quite a few on hand. But, if you don't have that many or you're in search of a new one here are a few games you can create with very few materials: Showdown (and addition card game); Roll, Count, Color to 100; or turn these Dr. Seuss fish cards into a "Go Fish" card game.

5. Build a Fort
This is one of our all time favorite activities to do inside on a rainy or cold day. The boys love using old quilts and sheets. We often use clothespins to clip it even higher. The boys especially love using glow sticks in the fort!

6. Bake Something
So even though we've just celebrated the holidays, both of my boys enjoy baking and it can definitely help warm up the house and make it smell good on a chilly day. Both our Banana Bread recipe and our Chocolate Chip Craisin Oatmeal Cookies are easy enough for kids to really help with. 

7. Paint
Painting is definitely one of our go to crafts here at Kitchen Floor Crafts, and a great way to unwind my typically high energy guys. Something about the process of painting can really calm them down. Most of the time we watercolor when we want to just pause and quiet down, but both boys also love painting with monster trucks. Or, use some Christmas decorations you still have on hand and create Snowflake Rubbings

8. Make Homemade Playdough
Homemade playdough is really pretty easy to put together, whether you bake it or try a no-cook recipe. Our absolute favorite recipe is Chocolate Cake Playdough because it smells amazing. We also enjoy adding things into playdough to create a theme, like pretending Spring is already on the way

9. Paint Snow
If you're lucky enough to have some actual snow, but the temps are a little too chilly outside why not bring it in side and paint it? You can use regular watercolors or watered down poster paint. Warm up outside? Take it outside and paint a snowman or snow sculpture outside. 

10. Indulge Them in a Little Pretend Play
I will admit, that playing pretend with the kids is not my favorite activity. I tend to find it rather boring  . . . but they love when I join in on some imaginary world they've created. So, there are times I'll play along for just a little. But I do love helping them create things to use in their pretend play. Sometimes making something new can be just what they need to freshen up an old space. A while ago we made these menus for our play kitchen, and later followed up with some play food made from salt dough. Even I can have a little fun sitting and pretending to be ordering off a fancy menu. 

These are just a few of our favorite ideas, but we're also always finding fun ideas over on Facebook and sharing there. Don't forget to come by and like us to get a daily dose a helpful tips and fun projects. 

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