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10 fun indoor winter activities for kids

Stuck for ideas to entertain the kids these school holidays? Stay warm and cosy with these fun indoor activities.

The weather outside is a bit more chilly and the kids are saying “I’m bored”. Luckily, there are fun winter activities to keep your kids busy indoors when they can’t go out and play.

As the days get shorter and the mornings become colder, it can be less tempting to leave the house. The options for blankets and hot chocolate suddenly become a lot more desirable. However, when the 4pm blues come around and you’ve got hungry and restless kids in the house, you may be thankful to have some activities up your sleeve.

From bake-offs to board games, to teaching your kids energy savings tips, these are guaranteed to bring a smile to your little ones’ faces. Go wild, use your imagination and most importantly, have fun!

1) Board games

Board games are fun for the whole family and provide a stimulating way to use brainpower. From solving murder mysteries to buying million-dollar properties, to building castles. They’re a great way to switch off from technology, challenge young minds and create hours of endless, indoor fun.

2) Online learning

The world of online learning not only provides many opportunities to try new skills but also educational entertainment to keep kids amused.

Dive into Sydney Sea Life’s virtual aquarium and stay cosy at home. Join live streams featuring keepers, aquarists and star sea creatures while learning off activity sheets, craft activities and downloadables.

You can also take a virtual tour of the Great Wall of China, one of the seven wonders of the world. Ever wanted to visit the Yellowstone National Park’s top attractions? Well, now’s your chance.

Girl reading on a tablet

3) Scavenger hunt

An old-fashioned scavenger hunt never gets old. Thinking up the riddles for your game is half the fun. Decide what clues and hiding spots you want to use. Choose from simple coloured items for the younger kids to more specific things like “something you can make music with” if you have older kids. It can be educational, fun and will get your kids moving around the house.

4) Ready, steady, bake

Nailed it! There’s no better way to learn how to bake than to simply have a go. To entertain your kids, host a bake-off competition. Put the kids in teams, roll up their sleeves and put your chef hat on. Prepare for a hot mess and let the best person win!

You could also host a ‘no-bake’ competition that requires no oven time and see who can come up with the best energy-saving recipe. Goji berry bliss balls or no-bake lemon cheesecake are delicious recipes for inspiration.

5) Get crafty

It’s time to roll up some sleeves and spark creative play. With just a few inexpensive supplies, there’s plenty of fun to be had at home for all ages. From rainbow tie-dye projects, personalised beach towels to reusable tote bags. You’ll be able to give your kids the tools they need to spark imagination and express themselves creatively.

Not only are arts and crafts a lot of fun, but they may help develop little minds. Craft activities foster communication, listening, attention and imagination. These activities may help to enhance mental health and wellbeing as well as foster a whole range of developmental skills. So, let their creativity shine!

What’s that you hear? Laughter, giggling, and periods of silent concentration? It’s probably the sound of a lot of fun and not your kids yelling, “I’m bored!” from the other side of the house. Craft on!

Two kids having fun with easter craft

6) Go ‘camping’ in your living room or backyard

Do your kids want to go camping, but you don’t have the right gear or know where to go? Well, pretend camping could be your solution. Make use of what’s right in front of you and discover a world of adventure that’s available indoors.

To create your own indoor campsite, you’ll need a sleeping bag or doona, a couple of extra sheets, pillows, some flashlights and of course some camping books. Use your creativity to set the scene. Drape sheets over chairs, turn the lights down and cue some background music to re-enact being in the great outdoors. To simulate the night sky, poke some holes into the bottom of a paper cup and put it over the top of the flashlight.

The best part about camping indoors is that you won’t need to travel far for the essentials. For the ultimate camping experience, make up some marshmallows and hot chocolate in the microwave and sing along to campfire songs.

7) Turn chores into games

Chores no more. Reframing chores into games can be fun for the whole family and may even help you save more energy.

• Sock dusting
Do you have old, unmatched socks that you might never wear? Give them to your kids instead. Let them put their hands in the gloves and see how much dust they can pick up. Say goodbye to your vacuum cleaner.

• Earth Hour
Hold your own Earth Hour at home. Go around the house with your kids and turn off all electronics, switches and devices. Many kids think that lights are magic. Take this time to educate your kids on the benefits of energy savings.

• Creative signage
Finding it hard to remember those energy-saving tips? Ask your kids to print out and decorate some signs for quick and easy reference. These signs can be stuck around the house and the kids will feel like they’ve played a part in making the home more fun.

8) Movie night

Host the ultimate movie night, bringing the cinemas to your living room. Construct a fort to fit the whole family including chairs, blankets and stuffed animals to be extra patrons for a full movie theatre experience.

Create some paper movie tickets and set up a snack bar with popcorn, lollies or go healthy with veggies and dip. Set it all up on your kitchen counter, and for the full DIY movie experience have people pay with fake money. It’ll be a huge hit with the kids.

Family sitting on couch watching TV

9) Everybody dance now

There’s nothing like a good dance to ‘shake off’ some energy and lift spirits. Let your kids pick a favourite song and choreograph their best dance routine to it. If they’re feeling creative, they could mix and match dance costumes from their wardrobes. Set time aside for their dance performance and encourage them with prizes to be won at the end.

10) Play dress-up

One, two, three, strike a pose. Host a fashion show at home and let your kids be the designers or runway models. Let them mix and match some of your vintage items with your coats and see what new styles they can come up with. You could act as the photographer and will have fun photo memories to look back on in a few years.

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