When temperatures are frigid, and it seems as if winter is dragging on, kids and adults alike can get cabin fever. Although children are content to watch TV and play video games inside, parents can suggest easy ideas for creative play that will challenge kids to use their imaginations. Try these easy cold weather boredom busters that will keep kids entertained when they are not able to go outdoors.
Make a musical collage book.
Find the lyrics to a favorite song and print. Using construction paper, the child can write a line or two of lyrics across the top of each page. Look inside magazines for pictures that illustrate the words on each page. Cut and glue the pictures to create easy, unique song books to share. Play music for a fun atmosphere and to keep them interested.
Plan a spring garden to keep winter doldrums at bay.
Gather magazines, extra seed catalogs and construction paper. Decide whether you are going to use this activity to follow-through on or just for fun. If working toward planting a real garden in the spring, help children decide what vegetables or flowers are right for your zone. Brainstorm a list of things that need to be ordered, and plan a budget. If planning a make-believe garden, children can cut out pictures of flowers, label and glue them into construction paper books. Go on a magazine scavenger hunt in the seed catalogs or magazines asking the kids to find pictures of a specific plant or a flower of a particular color.
Play “Make Me Laugh” to beat boredom.
“Make Me Laugh” was once a TV game show where the goal of the contestants was to refrain from chuckling at the antics of the comedians. Help your children recreate a version of “Make Me Laugh” by providing a prop box and some joke books to entertain each other. The goal of the chosen comedians should be to try to make the contestant laugh within one minute. Set up rules ahead of time. This mock game show can also be videoed to play back and laugh with later.
Suggest a theatrical performance for indoor entertainment.
Creating a play is an easy activity that will keep children busy planning, dressing up, practicing and performing. Kids have great imaginations, and are usually good at coming up with play ideas of their own. Or, suggest that they reenact a favorite picture book with a twist to the ending. Provide funny hats, scarves, clothing and other interesting props to get them thinking. Either you or one of the kids could capture the memories by using a video camera to film the production.
Change the scenery inside the house.
Give your children some blankets and sheets, and allow them to make tents using chairs and tables that are safe to play under. Most children will love creating a place to either play house in or camp out. Provide camping gear like flashlights, mess kits and sleeping bags. For a full camp-out effect, make traditional camp food. If it is warm enough inside, a beach picnic, complete with beach towels and music is a fun activity. Leftover boxes can be turned into mini-cities by creating buildings with marker-drawn windows. Stuffed animals, dolls and action figures become welcome inhabitants in a new city made with boxes, toy cars and lego blocks.
Indoor play opportunities can include board games and various crafts, too. Engaging activities which encourage thinking and creation are sure to help in beating boredom that may come with the cold weather blues.
“Make Me Laugh”