I love winter. Like really love winter. Even though I love to explore all winter long, there are some days where getting the most out of winter means staying in and hibernating a little bit. That doesn’t mean you can’t still have field trips– they’re just a different kind.
Experiments, especially for winter, like making giant ice marbles with balloons, water, and food coloring are perfect, but sometimes self-directed experiments are just the thing. A friend posted on Facebook that they walked into the house to the smell of mint because his niece microwaved toothpaste 15 seconds at a time to “see what happens.” I love those kinds of experiments! Let them be curious and see where it takes them.
Cooking and Baking
Cold winter days are the perfect time to dig out a favorite family cookbook and make something together, or discover a new recipe.
Snuggle up and listen to a digital audiobook or podcast together. You can download audiobooks at no charge from most public libraries. And there are plenty of kid-friendly podcasts out there like NPR’s Wow in the World. Or choose another from this list of The 15 Best Podcasts for Kids That Adults Will Like Too.
Perch yourselves in front of a window with a bird identification book or app like Cornell University’s Merlin Bird ID app. I love birdwatching on the couch not only because it adds a little bit of science to our day, but also because it’s practically effortless. If you’re not into “energy consumption” like I am, make a simple bird feeder to attract birds to your yard.
A bunch of Legos and a timer can add up to hours of fun. Make up a challenge and set the timer. Need ideas for a challenge? Frugal Fun for Boys and Girls has tons to choose from.
Puzzles and Games
Cold weather is the perfect time for games, but it’s also a great time to make up your own games. Throw a deck of cards, dice, and some random game pieces on the table and see what the kiddos can come up with.
Write and put on a play, or my old favorite, choose a song and create your own choreography for it. Kids can perform it for the family or record it to show friends and family.
Take a Field Trip
Not by plane, train, or automobile, but by YouTube. Search for a destination with the word “virtual tour” or “tour” and take a virtual tour of Antarctica, a pyramid, or the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.
Interview Your Kids
I love, love, love recording my son. Over the years I’ve made audio recordings of his giggles and laughter, interviewed him and his friend, and written down the answers, and I’ve interviewed him on camera. Now that he’s a little older we make music.ly videos together and use fun filters on Messenger and incorporate them into videos.
More Ways to Love Winter Inside and Outside