5 Simple Indoor Winter Activities for Kids (And Mom)

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When I was little, I used to tell people that my favorite season was winter because my birthday is in the winter. How silly. The older I have gotten and the less I care about my birthday, the more I’d like to just skip over winter. To me, winter means germs, cracked hands, being stuck inside, germs, the cold, scraping ice off of cars, germs, nervous driving, extra traffic, no daylight outside of work oh, and germs. 

On the flip side, it means cuddles, movie nights, playing in the snow, holiday magic, hot chocolate, fireplaces, and loved ones.

It also means that us mamas have to get creative with ways to keep our youngsters busy when playgrounds and splash pads aren’t an option. Below are some fun seasonal activities that may help all of us keep the winter blues at bay.

SNOW PUFF-PAINT

What you’ll need:

  • Shaving cream
  • White school glue (chilled in the fridge overnight)
  • Glitter (optional)
  • Peppermint extract (optional)
  1. Chill your white school glue in the fridge overnight. Before you’re ready for the project, you’ll need to let it sit out for about 10 minutes.
  2. Mix equal parts glue and shaving cream in a bowl. Add peppermint extract and glitter if you so choose.
  3. Hand over some paintbrushes and paper and let your kids go to town! (I suggest using thicker paper or cardboard if you have it.)

If you’re feeling extra jolly, you can finish it off with some more glitter before it dries!

MAGIC SNOW

What you’ll need:

  • Baking Soda (chilled in the freezer for at least an hour)
  • Water
  • Clear glasses (optional)
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Vinegar (optional)
  1. Mix entire box of baking soda with ½ cup of water.
  2. You’ll be left with cold, fluffy, packable snow. Plop it on a baking sheet and have fun!

BONUS: When the novelty of the snow has worn off, here’s another trick to keep up your sleeve for some additional playtime.

  1. Put a little bit of vinegar in a few tall, clear glasses.
  2. Let your child pick some food coloring to put in each one (there’s an opportunity for a color mixing lesson here!).
  3. Ask them to make some snowballs and drop them in the glasses to see what happens.

SNOW CANDY

What you’ll need:

  • Snow
  • Grade A pure maple syrup (MUST be pure)
  • Cookie sheet
  • Pot
  • Candy thermometer
  1. Fill your cookie sheet with fresh, tightly packed snow.
  2. Use your finger to carve out shapes to use as molds for the maple syrup and put the cookie sheet in the freezer until you’re ready.
  3. Pour 8.5oz bottle of Pure Maple Syrup into a small pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir constantly.
  4. When your candy thermometer reaches 220-230 degrees, remove from heat.
  5. Get your snow out of the freezer and carefully spoon maple syrup into the molds you made earlier and watch it harden.
  6. Enjoy!

FROZEN POM POMS

What you’ll need:

  • Lots of pom poms
  • A container or pot that fits in your freezer
  • Spray and/or squeeze bottle
  • Paint brushes, spoon, other “digging” gadgets
  • Towel
  • Bowls (optional)
  1. Dump pom poms into a container or pot that will fit in your freezer.
  2. Put enough water in the container to almost submerge your pom poms.
  3. Mix them around so they are all wet and let soak for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Put the container in your freezer overnight.
  5. When you are ready for this activity, I do recommend spreading a towel on the ground to try and keep the floor or table semi-dry. Give your kiddo the container of frozen pom poms and tell them it’s their job to free them. Things you can give them to help with their excavation – a spray or squeeze bottle filled with warm water, paintbrushes with a cup of warm water, metal spoon, play shovel.

BONUS: If you have colorful bowls that match the colors of your pom poms, you can ask your child to sort them by color into the bowls for a little something extra.

ICE PAINT

What you’ll need:

  • Ice cube tray
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Paint
  • Foil
  • Paper
  1. Fill each hole in your ice cube tray halfway with paint.
  2. Top them off with water and stir.
  3. Cover the ice cube tray with foil.
  4. Use a knife to poke holes above each hole and put a popsicle stick in each one.
  5. Freeze.
  6. Pop them out and set them on a cookie sheet or plate to catch any melting paint while your child uses them to create their next masterpiece.

BONUS: Put on some music while your child paints. See how it changes their concentration and if it impacts the way they paint when you change genre or even tempo. 

I hope these activities give each of you some quiet time to drink your coffee in peace this winter. We’d love to see pictures of you and your kids putting these ideas to good use!

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Elissa Menefield
I am a born and raised Cincinnatian living in Reading with my husband and two year old daughter. I even stayed local for college and earned my Bachelors of Fine Arts at Xavier University. After graduating, I worked at the Cincinnati Art Museum where I met my husband of 4.5 years. Currently, I'm a full time working mama with a side hustle that allows me to focus on my passions of art, education, and kids. My favorite things in the world include doing art projects with my little one, playing board games, listening to music, watching reality tv, eating good food, making good food, and watching documentaries about good food.

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