When the weather is warm, raising kids is a bit easier. When everyone’s feeling a little pent up or bored you can head outdoors, and you’ll always find something to do. From bike rides to long walks, nature trails, playing at the park, or splashing in the paddling pool, there are loads of options available to you. And all of these things provide learning opportunities for children without you having to think too much about it.
But when the days get shorter and the weather gets colder it can become more difficult, and these months between Christmas and springtime are especially challenging. It’s freezing, it’s dark, and everywhere is wet- so a lot of days your only option is to stay inside. So what can we do to keep kids entertained, provide stimulating learning opportunities and generally keep ourselves sane when it’s cold outside? Here are some ideas.
Tuff trays have become a fun and popular learning resource for children. There are all kinds of ways you can set them up, from messy play for toddlers to fine motor activities, memory games, color matching games- the world is your oyster! If you’re not the most creative person when it comes to thinking up ideas there’s no need to fret, simply search the hashtag #tufftray on Instagram or just on Google images. There are tons of ideas for pretty much all age ranges, you could do a new activity each day and make it as simple or complicated as you like.
Worksheets and Activity Books
You can find cheap activity books in the children’s book and craft section of all kinds of shops so it’s worth taking a look. From things like coloring, stickers, and puzzles they make for fantastic rainy day activities that can kill some time while providing a fun way to learn away from screens. You can get free printable worksheets online too, there are all kinds of themes so you could choose something based on what your child is currently learning about at school or just has an interest in. All you need is a printer and you’re good to go.
Creative crafts can be anything from sewing to painting to baking- again, you don’t need to be a creative genius yourself to enjoy these things with your kids. Look up simple ideas online or purchase some kits from hobby stores and keep them stashed away for boring days. You can often find unique kits from stained glass window painting to teddy bear making, macrame and so much more. And with everything you need in the box, you don’t have to go out and buy a ton of pieces of equipment to get started. Creative crafts help with fine motor skills and concentration. They can also help with things like shape and color recognition, counting, and pattern recognition depending on what you’re doing.
How do you keep kids entertained and continue learning when it’s cold outside?