Beat the Winter-Break Blues as a Family
Just because the weather is getting colder and wintertime is just around the corner does not mean the good times have to come to an end. Although more activities will be enjoyed inside, there are still a wide variety of activities you and your family can do to beat the winter blues. From the first snow of the year to the last, regardless of what the weather may be doing outside, here are ten great indoor activities you can do on a budget to ensure the fun doesn’t stop when the snow starts to drop!
1. Indoor Playgrounds: One of the newest trends popping up across the United States is that of the indoor playground. These indoor gyms consist of anything from bounce houses to jungle gyms and all in climate controlled environment. In many instances, these indoor playgrounds often advertise on a number of daily deal sites as well making admission easily affordable for everyone!
2. Make Your Own Play-Dough: Especially if you have younger kids who enjoy playing with Play-Dough, this is a great and inexpensive idea to pass the time away. There are a number of easy to make recipes online that you can print off and use. Also, with the addition of a little food coloring, your kids can make your play-dough just about any color they would like.
3. Malls: Although you may not have the money to go on a shopping spree is no reason to avoid the local mall. Many malls today have areas for kids to run around and play on a myriad of toys. These areas are free, highly supervised and allow your kids to run around burning off a lot of steam from being cooped up in the house during the winter. Although the mall hopes you spend money while you are there, you can take advantage of these play areas without spending a dime.
4. Tea Time: While you are at the mall, be sure to check out their calendar of events. IN many cases, individual merchants will also have free events for kids throughout the year. Whether it is a “Princess Tea Time” put on by one of the department stores or a “Wildlife Adventure Story” at one of the Outfitter retailers, many of these events are also free and a great way to have your kids be entertained, learn something new or a combination of the two.
5. Building a Dollhouse/Fort: Whether you have recently purchased a large appliance for the home or know someone who has and may be looking to get rid of the box, what better use of a huge appliance box than building a beautiful dollhouse or an impenetrable fort. For kids with a healthy imagination, cutting a door and a couple windows into one of these big boxes will keep your children entertained for hours. They can also have a blast decorating it in any way they would like.
6. Goodwill Donations: As kids grow up, they tend to grow out of their clothes year after year. A great way to give back to the community as well as teach your family the importance of charity is to round up the clothes they no longer wear and donate them to Goodwill or any number of other charitable organizations. It may also be a good idea to walk through the organization and meet some of the people running it so your kids can learn how their old clothes can do a lot of good for other people.
7. Dress Up: Whether you pick up a few things from Goodwill, or just let your kids wear your old clothes, dressing up and pretending can be another great and inexpensive wintertime blues beater. Whether it is old suits and ties or fancy dresses and costume jewelry, your kids will have a blast pretending to be like mom and dad.
8. Making Candy: Many of the local hobby shops sell candy molds for relatively inexpensive prices. With a few bags of milk chocolate chips, and some sucker sticks, you can easily make and decorate a number of different chocolate suckers. For those who prefer to stick just with candies, you can forego the sticks and just make chocolates. Either way, this inexpensive activity can be fun for the whole family and tasty to boot.
9. Indoor Water Parks: This may be one of the more expensive options on the list, but many of these parks runs specials throughout the summer in preparation for the slower winter months. They also advertise across the daily deal-type sites, so if you keep an eye out throughout the year, you may be able to pick up some passes for dirt cheap. Most kids love swimming and going on waterslides. With these indoor parks, this no longer has to be a summertime only activity.
10. Visiting Senior Centers: In keeping with the looking out for others activities, nothing may brighten up a person’s day then to see some smiling kids coming to visit them. Many people in these senior centers no longer have any children in their lives, so even a short hour visit could mean the world to those folks. This is also a great opportunity for your kids to learn from the residents as well about how life used to be 70 or 80 years ago.
It is inevitable that winter will be here before we know it. Talk to your kids about what they would like to do when it is too cold to be outside and plant some of these ideas in their heads now. Also, don’t be afraid to have them come up with some ideas of their own. Together with the suggestions here and what you and your family come up with, one thing is for certain: you are about to have a great time this winter!