Winter is here! If the last couple of winters are any indication, it will be cold and snowy. It is tough for a preschooler to remain indoors days on end, what to do if it the worst of weather comes our way?

  1. Make playdough. Our recipe makes a nice smooth dough that lasts for a long time and is easy to add color, scents and glitter in. In a large sauce pan, combine 2 cups of flour with 1 cup of salt. Add 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar (this is a preservative found in the baking aisle of the store) Mix well. Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil.  Here is where you can get creative. You can add in glitter, extracts like lemon, vanilla or almond, a pack of unsweetened Kool-Aid will add color and a scent, and you can add food coloring for color. Add 2 cups of water, and mix until there are no lumps. Over medium heat, stirring constantly, heat the dough until it forms a ball. You want it to be slightly wet still, as the play dough will continue to cook as it cools. Turn out onto a cutting board or heat resistant surface and knead until smooth. Store in a seal plastic bag, or covered container.
  2. Make a tent or a fort with a sheet or blanket. Children love small spaces and will enjoy playing in their fort.
  3. Designate a room in your house where it is ok to run, jump and rough house. Young children need to be able to move, being cooped up inside creates energy to burn.
  4. Tape waxed paper to your children’s feet, wrapping the whole foot, go “ice skating” on the carpet
  5. Have a picnic inside, lay a sheet or blanket on the floor and eat summery picnic foods.
  6. Resist the urge to use the TV or iPad more than usual. Passively watching or swiping does little to release energy and actually can hype a child up more than just playing.
  7. Bake cookies together. Children love to help in the kitchen and will enjoy creating a special sweet treat for a snack. Great for sequencing skills and measurement.
  8. Crafts, kits and beading can be special activities to enjoy.
  9. Have an indoor snowball fight. Crumple up white tissue paper. Add a few wraps of tape so they keep their shape. Set the rules for how they can throw before hand and let them fly! Children love this and it can be a great way to get some excess energy out. Save the balls to have another fight or use for target practice. Try to throw the balls in a box or through a basketball hoop.
  10. Have a dance party, play some fun music and boogie down!
  11. Play balloon volleyball, use a piece of yarn or tape to make a net and bounce the balloon back and forth. Please supervise in case the balloon breaks, gather all the pieces up quickly.
  12. Bubble wrap is fun! Pop with your hands or feet. Draw letters or numbers on the bubble to practice recognition.(Pop the P)
  13. Try to get out as much as you can. I know being cold is no fun, but properly bundled up even 10 minutes outdoors can change the tone of the day. I know many adults who don’t like to play outside, it is ok! But children do, sometimes we have to take one for the team and brave the cold. Children eat and sleep better when they spend time outdoors regularly.