Time to Play: Indoor Activities for Kids

With the recent arrival of the fall season, it is time to start thinking about activities to keep your children entertained while indoors. When it gets too cold to play outside for long, it is crucial for kids to remain active. Sometimes, you have to get creative in coming up with fun things for them to do in the house. I know that my boys get cabin fever during the cooler months which leads to them fighting and driving each other (and me) crazy!

Over the years, I have learned that with the help of fun games and crafts I can fend off that boredom while also saving my sanity. My boys really enjoy playing board and card games, but it can be difficult to find games that keep their attention and that are also easy to understand. My seven year old is still learning to read and my nine year old reads at a 12th grade level, so finding games that are fitting for both of them is a challenge. I am sure that this “issue” comes into play in many households because most families have children that are different ages and in different stages of learning. Some of our favorite games that work well for a variety of age groups include Uno Attack, Sorry, and Trouble.

My younger son (7) also enjoys Old Maid and Go Fish which are great for those times when my older son (9) has other things he would like to do which don’t include his brother. For the most part, my older son is very good at entertaining himself, so that means I need to find activities to occupy my younger son while also fostering his creativity and imagination. One thing that works perfect for this is Play-Doh (or Moon Dough if you’re looking for a gluten-free alternative). Another source of entertainment for the younger crowd is a good old-fashioned coloring book and crayons. With the help of some Play-Doh and a few art supplies you can entertain younger kids for quite some time. Being a work-at-home mom, I need all the help I can get – and I’m sure you do too!

When the boys get bored with their games and other activities I often turn to craft projects for entertainment. I would much rather the boys spend their time creating a fun craft than sitting in front of the television or playing video games (although I’ve been known to allow them to do both for far too long when I’m overwhelmed). If you spend a few minutes searching the web there are many different websites and blogs that are full of kid’s craft ideas. Some of my go-to places for crafting inspiration are –

  1. makeandtakes.com
  2. belladia.typepad.com/crafty_crow
  3. dollarstorecrafts.com
  4. craftjr.com
  5. skiptomylou.org

If none of these ideas inspire you, or you just have to get away from the house I recommend taking a visit to your local library. Many libraries offer free activities for kids and most of them have a weekly story-time that is perfect for younger kids. Visiting the library also inspires a love of reading in kids, which is another terrific activity for those cold fall and winter days. What kinds of indoor activities and games do your kids enjoy? I’d love to hear about what works for you!

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