Winter season, holiday season—they’re basically the same thing, aren’t they? Why not put a little holiday into every day this winter? You can do this by packing your schedule with plenty of family-friendly fun winter activities to enjoy with your kids and older loved ones alike.
Let’s face it, it’s easy for families to get stuck in a bit of a rut and get that cabin fever during the colder months. It’s not called the hibernating season for nothing! It’s also when dreary seasonal blahs can rear their ugly heads, which doesn’t make life fun for anyone, least of all your kids. It’s important to learn how to prepare for the holidays with a little one. By making up a fun winter bucket list of sorts, loaded with different winter activities, you and your family can beat those blahs and have the best winter of your lives. Keep reading and we’ll get that list started!
Cookie Making Fun
Is there any activity over the holidays quite as comforting as cookie baking time? Kids love baking cookies, decorating cookies, and even better, eating all the cookies! It’s one of the best winter activities for young children and tweens, especially if it’s too cold to be outdoors. You can all stay warm and cozy inside and fill the house with smells of peanut butter, chocolate chip, and gingerbread. Make a fun decorating station loaded with wiggly eyes, sprinkles, icing, colored sugar, and whatever else you think the kiddos might love to decorate with. You’ll make tasty treats and memories to cherish!
Technically, after Halloween, all bets are off. Holiday decorating season has officially arrived, and there’s no rule that says one must wait until December! You can host a family holiday decorating party and get both parents and kids involved. Set out a few snacks and treats, put on some cheerful holiday tunes, and have a blast making your home ready for the season.
The winter season is often packed with holiday events, including local parades. Catch a Christmas parade or even a New Year’s parade and have a blast with friends and family. Most holiday parades have a float with Santa Claus, which young children love. Did we mention candy? Parades are a great place for your kids to stock up on their candy stash. Take some snacks and chairs along, a thermos with some hot chocolate, and hunker down to enjoy the outdoor winter activities.
Tubing or Sledding
Obviously, you’d need to live somewhere with snowfall and some hills (or really big ditches) for this activity, but if you do, it’s fun and exciting for kids of every age. A sled can be made from just about anything, even a large piece of cardboard or a plastic bag (or just try an inexpensive plastic snow sled). Get the whole family involved and compete in a little race. Just be sure to bundle up your baby and dress warm for the outdoor play! Here is how to keep a newborn baby healthy through the Holidays, especially in the cold.
Camping in the Cold
Camping is a perfect family activity and shouldn’t be relegated to only summertime. Winter is also a great season with plenty of locations featuring beautiful scenery and wildlife. Yes, it may get a bit cold, but that only makes storytime around the campfire while roasting marshmallows and sipping on hot chocolate even more alluring. It’s also great fun to teach the tiny tots how to fish or catch crawdads in local rivers & streams and take older kids on scenic hikes to get great shots of local wildlife. Camping builds grit! Just don’t forget your camping gear or the baby’s diaper bag. That would be bad.
Arts and Crafts
Why not have a family arts and crafts night? You can use construction paper and make paper snowflakes to string up, or little gingerbread men or Christmas trees. There are lots of templates available through a Google search. You could also print pages to color, or make something cute, like a Christmas ornament to hang on the tree or a Mason jar snow globe. The sky's the limit when it comes to arts and crafts ideas. Whatever you pick to make, the real beauty is in the time spent together as a family, having fun and creating memories and traditions that last.
Build a Blanket Fort
Who says parents can’t still build blanket forts? Winter activities with toddlers and tweens are like the adult’s opportunity to be a kid again, too. Pull out all the blankets in the house and start building! Once your fort is built, you can hunker down together and have a snack, or cuddle up and watch a movie or read a good book. Some kids are content just to build the fort and sleep in it for the night. Building a blanket fort is a perfect winter activity for nights that are too cold to be outdoors. Unleash your inner child and start strategizing. Your kids will be thrilled!
Indoor Scavenger Hunt
Once the sun goes down, it’s time to hunt! You can make a game where everyone has to hunt for items that start with a certain letter or that are in a certain shape, using only a flashlight. Make a rule that whoever finds the most items wins the prize. The prize can be extra marshmallows in their hot chocolate, an extra cookie with their milk, or something else entirely. Set a time limit, then tell everyone to get set, and go!
Have a Snow Fight
Again, this activity requires snow. Traveling to snowy destinations during the holidays will put your whole family in the holiday spirit. Here are Best Winter Vacation Spots For Families. Snow fights are fun and invigorating, even as a toddler winter activity. Tiny tots can throw snowballs just like the big kids, although they might be less inclined to take a hit, so be gentle. When everyone is tired of the snowball fight, move on to making snow angels and snowmen. Not only are these activities the whole family can participate in, they are highly entertaining.
Many cities will have places for indoor swimming. Even better, the pools are often heated. When all else fails, a winter excursion to go swimming is a great way to keep the family entertained and wear the kids out so they sleep soundly that night. Make an afternoon of it, take plenty of floats and toddler toys, and splash your way into a good night’s sleep later.
Speaking of indoor activities, there are indoor playgrounds and places for kids to get rowdy all over the place these days. You can find indoor bounce houses, indoor trampolines, indoor skating, indoor arcades, indoor rock climbing—you get the picture. These places are awesome for the whole family. The little ones enjoy the trampolines and bounce houses especially, while the older kids might enjoy the rock climbing and arcades. Perhaps consider making a day of it and hit a couple of indoor fun spots!
Hayrides and Sleigh Rides
Depending on where you live and the weather, you can find places offering hayrides or sleigh rides for kids and families. Why not take the whole clan for a ride one evening to look at the stars or go on a neighborhood tour of Christmas lights. Bring along a thermos with hot cocoa and a sack with some snacks. You can also bring along an extra blanket for everyone to cuddle up under and get cozy. While it might not be quite as exciting as ice skating or swimming, it’s a fun, family-friendly excursion that allows everyone to enjoy some quality time together.
There probably isn’t a kid alive who doesn’t love s’mores. It’s one of the premier winter activities with toddlers, although older kids don’t mind making a good s’more either. Why not have an indoor s’more party and roast them over the fireplace? Or you can build a little bonfire in the backyard and enjoy the cold winter weather. You could even have a s’mores night using your microwave in a pinch, although we dare say that’s not nearly as much fun. Still tasty though. Bottom line? What kid doesn’t love chocolate and marshmallows? Winter activity score!
Have a Dance Party
This is a huge hit with the little ones and is a great way to blow off some steam if the kids are super rowdy. Get the whole family together and turn up the tunes. Let the kids teach all the cool new moves and make them giggle by teaching them some of your own cool moves. Roger Rabbit, anyone? Cabbage Patch dance? Not only will everyone have a hilariously good time, but it’s also memories you and your kids will remember far into the future. “Remember that one time when Mom did that funny dance?”
With a little creativity, you can come up with a list of fun winter activities to carry you and the family through the entire season. Make sure your tiny tots are equipped with their JuJuBe backpacks to pack up all the necessities for their activities. You’ll laugh, make memories, and remember all the reasons you love the holidays.