Winter time for us was always in Arizona, so we spent most of it outdoors. I never had to worry about winter activities for kids (summer in Arizona, however, is different but we still could be outside). Now that we are in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a whole different story. I’ve had to figure out how to keep the kids busy while keeping them inside all day, sometimes for days on end while it rains.
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In 2017 we relocated to the Pacific Northwest where it rains. A lot. We suddenly went from being able to be outdoors frequently to being stuck indoors. And sure, we could go outside in rain boots and coats and play, but 1. it’s cold on top of being rainy and 2. we don’t want to do that every day. I found myself searching for winter activities for kids, which I’d never had to do before.
So I had to start getting creative. How could I keep the kids entertained (without electronics 24/7) and find ways for them to exert some physical energy? The answer became, bring outdoor toys in!
Let me preface this by saying, we are lucky that our house has enough space to accommodate larger toys like the ones I’m going to list. Obviously you’ll have to look at your own space and decide which of these could work for you.
First, I’ll start by listing our favorite toys and then I’ll share some ideas on how we use them!
Rody: He’s a bouncy horse that you inflate and then jump on. The rubber is incredibly thick. My kids are not gentle with these and he’s held up quite well so far.
Little Tikes Trampoline: Quite possibly the best purchase I’ve made. It’s the perfect size for two small children (mine are 3 and almost 5 years old). We’ve had it for a couple years now and it’s held up really well.
Little Tikes Slide: This started as an outdoor toy last spring and once fall rolled around we brought it indoors. Make sure to rinse it off before bringing it inside! My mother in law was carrying ours in when a slug fell off the bottom and it landed on her foot. I’m still giggling thinking about it.
Big Wheels Bike: I don’t have a link for these, as we found them at Ross (honestly, they are on Amazon but they’re really expensive, go to Ross lol). They’re small, but absolutely perfect for inside our house. We have basically a loop inside our house the kids ride around and call their race track.
Winter Activities For Kids (with the toys I mentioned above):
- Using the slide as a ramp. This one isn’t a physical activity, per say, but my kids do it enough that I figured I’d mention it. Besides sliding on it themselves, they send other things barreling down the slide; like hot wheels cars, pillows, baby dolls, etc.
- Have a bike race! Using the bikes, have kids race laps, or just go around a certain number of times. My kids love when I count laps for them.
- Counting jumps. This works for the trampoline or the Rody horse. We’ll play games to see who can jump x number of times, or sometimes we just see how many jumps they can make before stopping.
- Obstacle course! This is their absolute favorite activity. I’ll give them “missions” to jump on the trampoline 10 times, slide down the slide 6 times, and then ride their bikes around the house 8 times. Not only do they get to practice counting, but they think it’s so fun to do an obstacle course. And I think it’s so fun they’re burning energy!
Hopefully this gives you some ideas on how to keep your kids busy (without having to bundle up and go outside!). What are your favorite winter activities for kids that you’ve tried?