8 Activities for Indoor Family Time

At this unpredictable and cold time of year, there are always those inclement days when the kids are cooped up in the house. This is the season to break out the creative ideas and enjoy some fun family cozy time. The following list of indoor games and activities will delight and entertain young children with just a few inexpensive supplies.

Family-Room Picnic

Think outside of the box and indulge the kids in lunch away from the table. Start with any old basket; it doesn’t have to be a traditional woven picnic container. Fill it with foods your family would eat outdoors, such as juice boxes, string cheese, packets of raisins, and paper products. Allow the youngsters to pack items they like, themselves. While they are busy assembling lunch, make some sandwiches and lay down a blanket in the living room. Then, dip into your family room picnic and enjoy your time together.

Marshmallow Tinker Toys

Who needs Legos or expensive building toys? If you have a package of thin pretzel sticks and a supply of marshmallows you have all you need to construct the perfect 3-D building, teepee, or puffy action figure.

Photo Bingo

Do some memory drills while teaching your child about members of the family. Arrange nine family photos, placed face down in rows of three. Have available nine checker pieces, playing cards or some other markers that serve as bingo chips. Call out given names or “grandma,” “cousin,” or “mommy,” and the little one will cover the photo with a chip. The winner correctly identifies three in a row.

Sugar Cookie Pizza

This is a fun and simple project. Start with a roll of refrigerated cookie dough. Slice thick dough pieces and place on a cookie sheet. Flatten the pieces slightly and bake for 10 minutes. Decorate your sugar cookie pizzas with red icing or fruit jam as the sauce, use shredded coconut to look like cheese, and place red candy-coated chocolates as pepperoni.

Signature Storytelling

Pick a favorite book and start reading to your child. Once you reach a critical point in the story, ask your child to take over and create a new twist. Ask how he or she would handle a given situation. What would your child do instead of what the character did?

Sensory Table

Fill a set of bowls with different textured objects, like cold, cooked pasta, steel wool scouring pads, peeled grapes, or dried beans. Have the child wear a blindfold and sift his or hands through the items and describe the experience and guess what is being felt.

Barbie Beach Party

Assemble a few Barbie dolls dressed in beachwear, add a few wash clothes as towels and baby lotion as makeshift sunscreen. Use a large plastic storage container as a yacht and head to the bathroom for some tub side fun.

Movie Time

Sooner or later, even the most creative parents resort to movie time in front of the tube. Keep a good stash of family-friendly DVDs hidden away only for those days when outdoor play is possible. Watching the same old flicks that are available anytime, can be extra boring when entertainment options are limited.