Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fun Cheap or free Winter kid Activities

My little one is suffering from what usually happens in Western New York around mid February, "cabin fever". We both want outside so bad! Frankly one can only make snow angels and sled down a hill, so often before well it's too cold. We have hit that mark and really need to get out and see the sun again, feel the warm and just run some of our energy out. But obviously with a snow and winter adviser AGAIN, we cannot. So here are some winter kid friendly activities to hopefully help you out because we all run of fun ideas after this much housebound, crappy weather.

1. Visit a local Humane Society and help wash a kitten or play with some of the animals. They need extra loving too!
2. Let them ride one of those 25 cent rides in your local Big Lots or grocery store. I love doing this one because it's cheap entertainment and he is happier entering the store making shopping easier and less of a hassle to just get it out of the way so there is no begging.
 3. Let them help you re purpose furniture or house items. Let them choose the color or fabric or "read the directions".
4. Let them help you gather food to donate to a local food bank. Take them with you when you drop it off as well teach them the benefits of donating and helping others.
5. Sled down a hill or make snow angels.

 6. Break out a apple peeler and let them use it with your help of course. My son love doing this. It's free and fun entertainment plus he is eating healthy without really knowing it, Ha!
7. Let them help you put the dishes away. You can also let them start the water before you do dishes. This is a start to chores and after all this is the first step, we all have to start somewhere.
8. Let them help you cut out your Christmas or holiday cookies. We usually do a gathering of kids and do a bunch of them at the same time. Everyone rolls, cuts, bake and decorates cookies.

 9. Let them start their bath or shower. This really helps them learn responsibility in a simple way. Or let them pick out their next day outfit, or PJs.
10. Allow them to roll out your dough for pies, pizza or hand print making.
11.  Let them see you sort laundry. My son actually asked to help but he is 3 so he wants to be Mommies little helper. So I let him put the dryer sheets in, dump the prepared detergent and push the buttons to start the washing machines. Kids need to learn to do their laundry, why not make it fun before it's considered a chore?
12. Art time! We love this time in the house. We break out the trash bags cut some arm and head holes to create smocks. Set up everything before we start any painting helps from forgetting anything. I use a box, newspaper or whatever we have laying around to lay underneath the paper project. I lay the paint out on a disposable plate to prevent an messes. I always have wet wipes on hand just in case. I also join in on the fun it is fun and helps bond by making "master pieces".
 13. Make funny faces in a mirror. Entertains for only a few seconds that's ok take out some toothpaste and an old art brush. Paint the mirror. Creating artwork on new surfaces with different medias really is fun and exciting. Plus, to kids using toothpaste for paint is like going against so "set rule" So go ahead and break some rules. Clean up is so easy why not?
14. Incorporate kids in any house project that requires tools. Even girls love grabbing a tool and trying to turn a screw on their own or read directions.
15. Color with your children. name the color crayons and then date the pages when you are done. through the years you will have a book full of dates and art work you can store and keep as a memory keepsake. Just another great memory for you and later on your child to savor.
16. Read books to your kids. I know everyone says that but it is such a good idea to start when they are young! get them used to hearing your voice read to them, it's soothing. I love reading the Dr. Seuss Learning Library additions. They rhyme but also focus on educational material. They tend to be hard to find in stores but so educational.
17. Let them help you water the house plants, feed the fish, cat, dogs or any other living being you might have. Teaches responsibility and it's fun.
18. Watch a movie. You might want to prescreen I have found many "children" shows or movies claiming to be appropriate for younger views BUT that does NOT mean they are to your personal standards. Have a hand it what they watch on TV.
19. Grab a puzzle at a local thrift store or Dollar tree. Try and get a puzzle you know they can put together by themselves and watch them problem solve.

20. Have fun with your kiddo. Being stuck in the house at all can be so boring and sometimes it is hard to find things to do that are fun. Keep your chin up. Just the other day I started making up songs from the addition chart to entertain my 3 year old. "One plus two equals Three, One plus two equals Three, take one out and set it down three minus one equals two". See, totally off the wall idea but he laughed for hours listening to me make up song ditties.

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