Finding indoor activities for kids during the winter months can make the difference between a whining chorus of “I’m bored.” and happy, busy, creative kids. Most of these ideas can be done at home if you’re stuck inside thanks to snow.
All of these activities have been shared over the past 18 months at my Fabulously Frugal Thursday party which, sadly, is no more. You’ll find lots of frugal ideas from the parties pinned on my Fabulously Frugal Thursday board. Don’t forget to check my Crafts for Kids Resource page for the crafts I’ve done with my kids.
Five Frugal Indoor Activities for Kids During the Cold Weather – Almost all kids love building forts and sitting inside with a flashlight reading books. Send in a few snacks, and they’re in for hours of fun.
Create your own indoor Waterfall with food coloring – Fun activity and science experiment all in one, your kids will love watching the colored bubbles do their thing.
5 Ways We Encourage Reading – Whether or not you have a reluctant reader, you’ll love these tips for encouraging reading. My favorite one is reading to a sibling. My daughter said she couldn’t read for a long time until I asked her to read to her younger brother. Then, she could READ.
Color Spray – Science through Art for Kids – Relive summer with this easy way to tie-dye a shirt. My kids and I did this inside last winter and hung the shirts to dry in our laundry room area. Older kids can experiment with designs while younger ones do whatever they want.
Play Dough Cupcakery with Nutella Play Dough – Nutella Fans will LOVE this Nutella playdough (and even a few adults will, too). If your son or daughter needs to strengthen their hands for writing, this is a painless way to do it.
Watercolor Resist Silhouettes – Capture your little ones’ silhouettes with these simple watercolor resist silhouettes. The hardest part is having them sit still while you trace their silhouette on the wall with the help of a flashlight.
DIY Geoboard with Fabric Loops – Challenge fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination with this easy to make geoboard. Older kids may want to pitch in and construct the board for their siblings.
Sewing With the Kids – Even though I sew and knit a bit, I never thought of sharing this craft with my kids until my friend Lauryn of The Vintage Mom shared her daughter’s sewing project. Start out simple with a large piece of floss and a piece of burlap before moving on to finer fabric and thread. Learning to sew is both a useful and creative activity.
Museum Memberships – When the kids are stir crazy and you need to get out of the house, but it’s too cold outside, head to a museum. If everyone loves the museum, invest in a membership to save money on admission and take advantage of the programs and perks offered to members.
Gak Science Experiment – My boys had a blast making GAK this summer. My middle son made a slightly different version at Cub Scout camp which turned out to be less easy to clean up than this recipe.
Homemade Play Dough Recipe – For kids allergic to the tree nuts in Nutella, you can make this homemade play dough recipe. Pick up some older cookie cutters and utensils from the thrift store for hours of fun.
Balloon Rocket – While this sounds like an outdoor activity, it really is a fun indoor one I know my younger kids will love. Just be careful with the balloons around babies and toddlers.
Pocket Purses – Go thrifting one afternoon with your daughter for supplies for these simple pocket purses. Mom will need to do the sewing on a sewing machine since denim is a thick fabric.
Rainbow Noodles – Turn lunch into a rainbow of colors one dreary winter afternoon with these rainbow noodles.
Toddler Paper Mosaic Art – Think spring and flowers when your toddler makes paper mosaic art. Or, outline their favorite animal on a piece of paper and fill that in.
Homemade Finger Paint – Make sure you keep all the ingredients for making finger paint on hand just in case you need a last minute keep-em-busy activity for your toddler or preschooler. Do this at the kitchen table or have them paint the tub before getting a bath. And baths are always good for more fun!
Make a Marble Effect with Paint – Use up those paint samples on a birdhouse or a paper mache animal. You could also pour the paint on a piece of paper in a pan and roll a marble around for a true marble effect. Turn the marblized paper into notes for faraway friends and relatives.