Winter Activities at Home
It is essential to have inexpensive and easy family at-home activities, especially when you live in beautiful Maine. There is no doubt, it is the best way to survive the long winters. Here is a list of our favorite outdoor and indoor winter fun activities.
Hopefully, you will enjoy the following winter activities as much as we do.
Before the details, here are safety measures and suggestions to help keep everyone safe and have fun.
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Winter Activity Safety Tips
Maine winters are blustery and can be dangerously cold. Therefore, safety is always the priority.
Here are some winter Maine mom tips to make sure, everyone is safe and having fun!
- Check the outside temperature: It is hard to say no about going outside when the weather conditions are not safe, especially when it looks completely fine. This is a great resource from the National Weather Service that helps with our decision making.
- Waterproof outerwear: No matter how warm your jacket, gloves or boots feel, if they do not repel water, you will never stay warm. Getting wet will quickly make any outdoor activity soggy. (See how I slide in a dad joke!) Seriously, frostbite is a medical emergency.
- Set expectations: If you are going out in the very cold, be sure to set expectations on how long you will be staying outside. Therefore, we set a timer and warm up inside with hot cocoa.
- Go to the bathroom: Yes, it seems logical but I ask the kids to use the bathroom before gearing up. Getting dressed properly to head out can be time consuming.
Now let’s get into the extra fun unique activities!
Summer Activities in the Snow
Maine summers feel short and the winters feel very long. Hence, summer in the snow was born.
Here are some activities that have been successful for us but also very easy and inexpensive.
- Blow bubbles: We started blowing bubbles in the snow when the kids were young and it is still a favorite winter activity. They think it is silly and fun. Plus, what a wonderful lesson in thinking outside of the norms.
- Enjoy a beach day: Take out all the beach toys and buckets to build in the snow. The kids can create their own snow castle!
- Build a campfire: First, build a warm campfire, then make s’mores, have hot cocoa, sing songs and tell stories around the campfire. Get ready to welcome a new family tradition. Please note, always have adult supervision and take all safety measures.
- Make snow cones: When Maine natives shared this tip, I was a little skeptical but it is delicious! Instead of ice cream or crushed ice use clean, fresh snow and top with maple syrup.
Science and Math Activities in the Snow
- Search and identify animal tracks: My husband is definitely more of a country guy so this is the perfect job for him. Fortunately, we can take a walk outside our back door and search for animal tracks.
- Look at a snowflake through a magnifying glass: If you have not done this before, it is an absolute must. We discuss how their observations, similarities, how the magnifying glass changes how they see each snowflake and how each snowflake is different but beautify. Bonus, it prompts a conversation about getting to know people, our differences and similarities.
- Make an easy bird feeder: This is another very easy activity with items you probably have at home. PBS Kids always offers great suggestions for activities and this is our go to. Ideally, place the feeder somewhere that can be seen from your home . Hence, you now have an outside and inside activity. Another game, see how many birds you can identify.
- Make snowballs: Make as many snowballs as possible and now there are a variety of math lessons. For example, count the number of snow balls, teach fractions by dividing the piles up and practice subtraction by throwing the snowballs.
Art Activities in the Snow
- Create abstract art: The challenge, create a non-traditional or abstract snowman. The more unique your snowman, the better! Check out the photo of our very own Picasso snowman.
- Paint in the snow: This is a great suggestion I learned from my children’s school. This is a fun and inexpensive craft with items you most likely have in your home. The best part? It is extremely easy! Here are instructions on how to make snow paint from The Best Ideas For Kids!
When It Is Too Cold For Outside Activities
Safely always comes first, and some days, it is just too cold. Here are a few ways we keep up with the fun indoors!
- Inside picnic: Inside picnics have been another favorite since the kids were small. Everyone is able to help and it is a nice time to sit close and talk.
- Beach day in the tub: Don’t put those beach toys away! Let the kids put on their bathing suits and play (safely) in the water.
- Fill the box reading party: On snowy days, we decorate an empty box using crayons, markers, pompoms, stickers, stamps and any other craft items we can find. Then, we see how many books we can read. The goal is to fill the box.
- Movie theater at home: After we tackle the task of agreeing on a movie, we make popcorn, get snuggling and watch a movie. This is one of my favorites, because I love the snuggles!!
- Recipe creation party: Have everyone contribute to the meal but sharing their favorite foods and see is there is a way to incorporate foods together. My kids love cooking and it is a great opportunity to try new foods and foster creativity.
- Board games: We love board games. If the game maybe seems a little too advanced for our kids, we play in teams. Some of our favorites are Scrabble Jr., Twister, Candy Land, Chutes & Ladders and Uno Moo.
- Dance party: Now, this isn’t any ol’ dance party. To make it extra fancy, let everyone get dressed up or put on clothes that make them especially excited to boogie on down! After being inside all day, this is a fun way to burn off that energy in style. However, no dance party would be complete without a dance circle. But if you really want to get crazy, check out this disco light! We bought a disco light for a birthday party and it has been used more than we every expected.
- Talent show: Let everyone show off their special talents! It is a great way to encourage each other, show support and have fun!
The Most Important Activity
- Enjoy your family: The most important activity, enjoy your family time.
When we have weekend snow days and everyone is home, I love it. It is Mother Nature’s way of telling us to slow down, enjoy the fun, talk to each other, laugh, and be together. This time goes fast and is very precious.
Embrace fun family activities, no matter how silly, as its precious gift.
Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others.