Let’s face it, winter is hard. Even if you enjoy the seasons, there is a point where the short days and cold temperatures wear on you. I’ve lived in the northeast all my life, I have lived in the far north of New York, just miles from the Canadian border (so close all the signs were in English and French), say hello to snowy weather in May! There are times when the winter in bitterly brutal, but I honestly couldn’t see myself living somewhere else. There are days the weather is too cold or icy to enjoy the outdoors, this is when you must have some creative ideas to keep the kids happy and busy. When the weather is nice outside, there is nothing quite like it!! Many people think — well maybe just my daughter– that you can go sledding at the first sign of a snowflake!! So many times I have to think of some new and fun activities to do outside with my kids, a 7-year-old and a 2-year-old.
When Your Stuck Inside
When you live in the mountains of Maine, you are bound to get some very cold temperatures. This year has not disappointed us in that category, in fact I do think it has reached temperatures I have not felt before (or at least I don’t remember). The temperature on day was recorded at -23 degrees Fahrenheit–this does not include any wind chill!! We are usually troopers when it comes to the cold, we dress well for the weather and we get outside! Yet, there are days when it just isn’t possible to do so safely and comfortable. So what do you do when you get stuck inside?? How do you keep your kids happy and yourself sane??
Here are a few examples of fun activities
- Bird Watching–We have a large picture window were we put a bird feeder in a tree, we love watching the different birds we also put them in a bird journal (science).
- Board Games/Card Games–Now that Anna is getting older we are beginning to grow our board/ card game repertoire (math).
- Cooking/Baking–Anna loves baking!! Eli loves eating!! Making muffins or sweet breads together are a great way to spend time together, warm up the house and create a yummy snack (math, science, reading).
- Dance Party–Energy gets high when cooped up inside the house! Clearing a space in the house, cranking up some music, dance and have some fun (health, music).
- Projects–Art or Science projects are great when you can’t get outside because they can require a large block of time, many kids enjoy not having time constraints on project time (art, science).
- Visit The Library–Discover some new books, our local library has a great kids area filled with art activities, manipulates and games (reading, art, math).
Having Fun Outside In The Snow
So when the weather is good in the winter, basically no wind and above 20 degrees Fahrenheit we are outside! While the snow is fun, sometimes it can seem mundane. While my kids love getting outside, they seem to get bored quickly and need some fun ideas to enjoy the snow (besides sledding, snowshoeing or skiing). Here are some fun ways we enjoy the winter wonderland in Maine.
- Snow Painting–There are a few ways to make colored water, you can either use food coloring or for some added sensory fun use Kool-Aid and created scented snow. There are so many things you and your child can do with the colored water such as draw, write, hey you can even do math problems in the snow (art, science).
- Snow Sculptures–Yes, we do the typical snowman and snowfamily but it’s also fun to branch out a little and create some creatures or animals with the snow. If you really want to add some fun, bring out the colored water and really dress up your creation (art, science).
- Snow Town/Village–Don’t put your buckets and shovels away just because the summer is over!! We make snow castles, houses and create a small village. Anna will go out under the pine trees and on the edge of the woods to gather pine cones and other materials to create a scene. You can even use the village to recreate history events (art, science, math, social science).
- Scavenger Hunt–You can either create your own scavenger hunt based on things you know are in your area or print one off online (reading, science).
- Jedi Training–Okay, well this maybe exclusive to our family but Matt and Anna have done Jedi duels in the driveway a couple of times 🙂
The winter can be hard for many people, the colder temperatures and the shorter days can be depressing. I hope you and your family find some fun in these ideas! How do you beat the winter blues?
Check out the Homeschool Blog Link-up