Sick of being indoors? Here are 9 ideas for winter play
There are different kinds of people in this world. Some are summer people, some are winter people. Some people feel invigorated by the rain, and some of us get our crazy on a la Kathy Bates in the film Misery.
But when you have kids, it’s best not to wear your dressing gown all day and mumble about getting “the blues” while polishing your axe! Despite grey skies and drizzling rain, there is fun to be had outdoors. So, grab your boots, scarf and sense of fun, and help your kids shrug off their cabin fever with these simple ideas for winter play.
1. Winter picnic
Fill a thermos with soup, heat up some bread rolls, grab some cushions and have a cosy winter picnic in the cubby or on a picnic blanket. Feel like something sweet? Fill another thermos with hot chocolate (but not too hot for littlies!) and marshmallows. Best winter activity ever!
2. Tree decoration
The backyard can look a little stark in winter if you have a lot of deciduous trees (“nudey” trees, according to my daughter). Spruce them up with some home-made decorations. Your kids could try making paper chains, streamers, pom poms and flags. You could even make flower vases using empty bottles and jars that you can hang from the branches with string.
3. Be like Peppa
Dirt and mud. These things are the bane of a parent’s existence. But if it has been raining for days and you and the kids are tearing your hair out, then it’s time to pull on the gumboots, channel your inner Peppa Pig and jump in some muddy puddles. Because, really, in the words of my four-year-old daughter, “It’s OK, Mumma. It’s just mud.”
4. Mud pit
Fill an old wheelbarrow or bucket with mud so the kids can make mud pies. They could also try making a transportable garden, “mud castle” or dirt track for their toy cars and trucks.
5. Rain gauge
Keep a rain gauge in the backyard. Ask your child to check it each day and keep a rain diary. If you have older children, you could try “rain harvesting”– the process of collecting and storing rain water for outdoor and indoor use.
6. Stepping stones
Make stepping stones through boggy patches of backyard. Encourage your kids to think of different materials they could use for the “stones” and let them expend some pent-up energy jumping from spot to spot.
7. Nature boats
Gather leaves, twigs and bark to make nature boats. Float them in a puddle or bucket of water and have a boat race. Get your kids to experiment with different leaves and try adding “cargo”, such as small stones or seeds, to see what floats and what sinks.
8. Floating garden
Leave an old ice-cream bucket in the rain. Once it’s full, pick some flowers, grass and leaves to create a floating garden or rock pool.
9. Go for a walk in the rain
Let your child experience the outdoors while it’s raining. Grab the umbrella and listen to the pitter patter on the material. Watch the colours in your garden intensify as the plants and leaves get wet. Enjoy the fresh air and that distinctive after-rain smell.
As you can see, wet weather doesn’t mean an end to outdoor play. It may mean a bit of extra washing, but even just 10 minutes outside will help you and your kids recharge the batteries.
This super fun-filled ideas post was created by Lauren Shay from Full Stop Publishing, on behalf of My Cubby (who are all about getting kids back outside into happy healthy play).
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