Cold weather is upon us! Are you looking for some free activities to keep your kids busy during the winter? As a mother of three little girls, if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that bored kids = crazy kids and a frustrated mom! This year, I’m making it a point to keep them busy for the sake of ALL of our sanity!
Free Winter Activities for Kids
Story time at the library
This is a favorite activity of ours! We bundle up, load up in the car and spend a good 1-2 hours at the library chatting with friends, playing, reading, and of course participating in story time.
As a bonus, check out some holiday books and wrap them up for your kids! Each night before bed, they can open one and you’ll read it to them. This is a cute way to bring the magic home for the holidays without having to spend a dime.
Hot chocolate and movie night
I am a huge fan of relaxing indoors on cold evenings with a warm beverage, a fire and a movie. My husband and I have a date night in every Friday night, and in the winter you can bet we are cuddled up under blankets watching a movie. I love to do the same thing with my kids once a week! Let them take turns choosing a movie, pop some popcorn and make hot cocoa, and enjoy the cold winter evening sitting by the fire!
All kids love crafting; it’s just how they were built. These Christmas ornament crafts look adorable and are definitely something my girls and I plan on making this year. I also love this paper plate reindeer craft for kids. For both of these projects, you’ll probably have all the necessary items already in your home, so you don’t have to spend any money. Other ideas include having the kids draw a Christmas tree and Santa Claus, making simple snowflakes with just white paper and scissors, or making a “Countdown to Christmas” chain link made from construction paper.
The girls’ and I are a bit ahead of the game as we’ve already been making lots of yummy treats! Don’t worry, though, we plan on making a lot more over the next few months! We’ve already made White Chocolate Pumpkin Snickerdoodles and Swig Cookies. We will definitely be making Gingerbread houses this year, too! Baking with my girls is one of my most favorite things to do. Every Saturday, we have a tradition of cooking breakfast together. For the past month, it’s been Pumpkin Pancakes as per their request. I just love my girls so much and there is nothing better than spending quality time with them. I’m sure all you mama’s can relate 😉
Drive around and look at lights
As much as I love looking at Halloween and fall decor, nothing beats Christmas decor! We can’t wait for people to start decking their houses with all Christmas paraphernalia so we can drive around and look at all the lights. We did this last year just about every evening throughout the month of December. I would bring treats for the girls in the car or we would stop at Starbucks and grab a hot chocolate. Nothing better!
My Biggest Tip for Surviving Winter with Kids
Plan things to do each day and actually spend time with your kids! You guys, I can’t tell you how much better behaved my girls are when I take the time to teach them something, play with them, interact with them and engage with them. It doesn’t have to be all day, but when your kids are awake, try to make the most of your time with them! Lately, we’ve been having breakfast and coffee (for me) together as a family in the mornings before work. We sit and chat about what we’re doing for the day and how we all slept. I’ve noticed on mornings that we do this, my kids will play together nicely while I get ready. They no longer beg for my attention because they get it all the time!
If you can’t think of things to do with your kids, teach them something (tracing letters, math, a puzzle, etc), sing songs together (we love listening to Pandora!), let them help you clean (this is a favorite activity of my girls – I give them a damp rag and let them wipe down the stair railings, clean the floors, clean the bathroom counters, and more), play “Ring Around the Rosy” and more.
I think it’s easy for moms to go crazy when they’re trapped inside all day with your kids. This winter, though, I encourage you to change your attitude and really enjoy your kids! My girls are only 3 and 2, yet it seems like time is just flying. I no longer have babies, and I don’t want to take a second of them for granted.
What are your favorite free activities to do in the winter with your kids?