Winter weather means a lot of staying indoors. Cold, rain, and snow can all put a damper on going outside to play. But you and your kids don’t have to park yourselves in front of screens all day. My family does lots of things during rainy and snowy days. Here are a few things me and my children like to do when it’s gloomy outside.
Winter weather charades
One of my favorite games is charades — it gets all of us moving and thinking at the same time. Plus it adds some healthy competition. Divide the family into two teams. Have each team write down words, objects, places, movies, and other objects on pieces of paper and fold them up. Place them in a container. Have a volunteer from each team select a word and act it out in front of their team. The rest of the team will then try to guess what the word is. Each correct guess will earn a team one point. The team with the most points wins.
I’m sure you learned how to make this slimy, gooey substance in your grade-school science class. I’ve done so multiple times during my childhood, and each time it was the coolest thing ever. To make ooblek, mix a cup of cornstarch with a half cup of water. Mix with your hands until the mixture forms a ball when picked up. If the mixture is too watery to form a ball, add more cornstarch. If the mixture is too thick to form a ball, add more water. To add an extra twist, add a few drops of food coloring to the water before putting it into the cornstarch.
Bring out your children’s creative sides with this activity. Start by reading your children’s favorite book. When you get to an important part of the story, stop reading and challenge one of the children to create their own plot. Once one child runs out of ideas, have him or her pass the story onto the next child. Keep going until all of you make a complete story.
Plastic bottle bowling
This one is as simple to set up as it is effective. Grab 10 empty plastic bottles and set them up in a triangle pattern like bowling pins. Find a small rubber ball to use as the bowling ball and have your children take turns at knocking down the pins. Winner gets to choose what’s for dinner!
When I worked at a school, this was our favorite indoor rainy day activity. Play some music loud enough for everyone to hear and have your kids dance around the house. Stop the music periodically. Whenever the music stops, whoever is dancing must freeze in place. If you catch someone moving, he or she is eliminated from the game. Keep dancing until one person is left. If you have a small family, keep dancing until one person has a designated amount of wins. This is a great way to release pent-up energy and hopefully get them to bed earlier!
Winter weather doesn’t have to be sad weather. My children always have something to do — even when the winter weather is terrible outside. Hopefully your kids can pick up some of these activities too!