Winter Activities for Children

If, like most adults, your idea of fun wildly differs from that of a seven year old, you will most likely be dreading the time between now and Christmas. It’s November, which means it’s too dark and too cold for the kids to play out with friends. They’re staying put, and they’re relying on YOU to entertain them! But before you start contemplating an early visit from Santa, try some of these tips to liven the winter nights up.

Why not try a Christmas-themed film night? Make some hot chocolate with whipped cream ‘snow’ on top and cuddle up on the sofa with the kids. Put on their favourite Christmas film or maybe share your own childhood favourite with them. Maybe they could even have a friend over, and you could make it a weekly event for them to look forward to.

We all know kids love crafts, if only for a free pass to make as much mess as they can! Remember the snowflakes you used to make by folding and cutting paper? Or maybe the paper chain decorations you made at school with strips of paper and glue? Get as much glitter and sparkly goodies together as you can and let the kids make the Christmas decorations. There are some great ideas online, so have a look through for inspiration and let them pick some out. They will be so proud to see their creations around the house and on the tree, and you can even let them decorate their bedrooms.

In the spirit of making mess, kids also love to bake. Help them to make festive cookies and cakes for friends and relatives. You can buy cookie cutters in all manner of shapes and a bit of food colouring and some silver balls go a long way.

While they’re feeling creative, get your kids to make advent calendars, for themselves or even better, each other. Its as easy as gluing two pieces of card together and cutting out the windows, and your kids can draw their own Christmas pictures on and leave little messages for each other behind the windows. When they’re finished, just blu-tac the windows closed and they’re ready to go on December 1st!

Alternatively, they can make cards and even presents for friends and family. What looks to us like a shoebox and some wrapping paper looks to a child like a fabulous Christmas gift box and adds a personal touch to their presents. Little girls in particular may have fun making jewellery gifts, and all you need are some plastic craft beads and a bit of string. Nearer to the big day, they can also pop some of their festive cakes and cookies in the boxes.

Just to be on the safe side, it might be a good idea for the kids to write to Santa and tell him all about that special present they wanted. Get them to write a letter telling Santa what they’d like this year, and see their faces light up when they get a reply. From Santa of course…

Remember that feeling you used to get waking up in the winter and looking out of your window to see nothing but white? If you’re lucky enough to get some snow this year, get out the duffel coats and gloves (yours too!), wake the kids up and run outside for a snow day. Snow angel and snowman competitions, snowball fights, igloo building, makeshift sledges, anything that takes your fancy, just play!

You could also organise a winter treasure hunt. Some well-placed cotton wool and a generous sprinkling of glitter are enough to turn your garden into a winter wonderland, especially if it’s been snowing. Hide some Christmas goodies here and there and give your children clues. Do it in daylight, or for a truly magical time wait until it’s dark and head out with some torches.

As you can see there are plenty of winter-themed ways to keep the little ones amused, and maybe the not so little ones too! Apart from the obvious advantage of tiring them out before bedtime, you may just find winter is the excuse you need to get in some real quality time. You have to be prepared to put up with a bit of mess, because every child knows that the messier something is the more fun it is, obviously! But faced with the choice of a bored, irritated child and a tidy house or a happy child surrounded by glittery carnage, I’d choose the latter any day!