Friday, February 8, 2013

February Family Fun to Keep Kids from Freaking Out!

kids activities
Family activities at home can be
creative and fun for everyone.

Right about now we are all starting to wish for warmer weather. Personally, I could live in 80 degree weather year round. I am not a big fan of the cold weather, especially when it comes to trying to figure out what to do with my little toddlers and preschoolers when we are stuck inside all day.

February is the tail end of being cooped up for the winter and you have probably exhausted all your avenues for fun family activities.  Now that my kids are older they are pretty busy between school and sports and they don't have much down time. As for my toddlers and preschoolers that is a different story. I am constantly trying to think of craft activities for toddlers and preschoolers. A day of rain is a day of sadness and they are always wondering what to do.

By now winter kids activities have become scarce. I constantly have to come up with kids activities that will keep them entertained and most importantly keep their attention span for more than 10 minutes, a tough thing to accomplish with a classroom of children who are 2 to 5 years old!

I am sure you have exhausted all the game boards in your family entertainment department and the TV is starting to be on 24/7.  So what other things can you do to keep your kids busy and keep them from saying "But I'm bored?" Maybe start some new family hobbies or start learning some new family fun crafts to spruce up the family home evening activities in your home. Here is a list of family ideas that will hopefully keep everyone busy until the warmer weather hits and they are able to play outside. I hope it also answers the family's question of "What to do on a rainy day."
family fun crafts to
Family fun crafts to keep kids busy
are a hit for everyone!
  • Kitchen Time - Incorporate a cooking/baking day once a week.  Have your child help you cook dinner one night a week or make the dessert for everyone. They will have fun and also appreciate what it takes to make meals for the family.
  • Homemade Valentines - Instead of buying Valentines this year have your children make them. Find some scrap paper, glue, ribbon, glitter, and doilies and create away. It will take them awhile and the finished product is priceless.
  • Make a Photo Collage - Go through old photos and make a huge collage and put it together as a family. Hang the finished product for everyone to see.
  • Kids Daily Activity Apps - I just discovered this cool thing a few months ago when my printer went to heaven and I had to purchase a new one. My new printer, a Hewlett-Packard is the coolest thing ever and a hit with my preschoolers. I had no idea when I purchased it that it did so much. I am able to download children apps through my printer and my printer will print out daily activities. It ranges from educational activities to just coloring activities for children. I can also find recipes for kids and so much more. Their favorite is the Nickelodeon App since it has all their favorite characters. I am sure a lot of you are thinking this is no good to me if you don't have the printer. However, a lot of these apps can now be found on your phone. There are also free apps that can be found on the Internet.
  • Printables for Kids - There are coloring websites for kids of all ages. The easiest way to find a page is to Google kids' worksheets or free kids coloring pages and 100's of pictures will come up. You can even find easy things to do with your toddlers. It doesn't take much for a toddler to become excited about something. Give them coloring pages of their favorite characters and they will be grinning from ear to ear. My favorite free printable website for my preschool would be the "Golden Goose Club" from Mother Goose Time. You will find many rainy activities for kids and some cool games for kids.
  • Make Some Slime, Play-Doh, or Flubber - I know I know, what a mess. But it actually isn't, even though it sounds like it. Just keep it in the kitchen and your kids will love you for it and it will be something they will always remember doing when they get older. There is nothing better than a greasy, grimy, goop that slithers through your hands. Yes, I said "your hands"! Kids of any age love this. It is a big sensory sensation to anyone. With so many different recipes to choose from you can't go wrong. Pick a different recipe a day and see which one you like best. I am a little partial to the flubber. It stays together and can be stretched time and time again and feels really cool between my fingers.
  • Daily Dream Puppet Show - Perform a puppet show with your kids and incorporate their dreams. If your kid is a dreamer this is a great way for them to express it. This is also a great way to get your kids to sleep. If your child is having problems going to bed at night you can remind them if they don't sleep, they won't dream and then they can't have a puppet show. You will find out this will end up being a highlight of the day for your child and they will look forward to it every day. If they can't remember a dream, have them act out what kind of dream they would like to have. The imagination is an endless tool for teaching.
  • Fun With Shaving Cream - Yes you heard me right, shaving cream. This is absolutely the most fun and inexpensive entertainment that the whole family can enjoy for an hour. Plus it will make masterpieces for the refrigerator. I have been teaching preschool for over 20 years and this is the one project that they all remember and all you need is some shaving cream, a dab of paint and a piece of paper. Put the shaving cream and paint on the paper and smear away.  Make a picture of some sort and just feel the oozing feeling of shaving cream squirt through your fingers. Guaranteed, you will enjoy this whether you're 9, 19 or 90! Ah, the simple things in life!
I hope some of these ideas help you rediscover your child's playfulness as well as your own. Keep the cabin fever away!

Marci Psalmonds
Contributing Writer

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