Fun Family Indoor Activities this Winter

With wintertime comes cold, inclement weather, shorter days, and winter breaks from school and work . . . and that means lots of time spent indoors. For some, this can be challenging. Winter doesn’t have to be boring, however. There are lots of indoor games and activities that can entertain and delight you and your loved ones during the cold weather. Why not try some of these suggestions when everyone is stuck indoors; you just might discover that winter has become your favorite season of all!

Are there little ones in your family? Try using those leftover cardboard boxes from the holidays to build a fort, playhouse, rocket ship, or cruiser. Don’t have any boxes? Hit up your local big box, furniture, or home goods store for a large appliance box. Tape one end shut and cut out a door and windows. Use colored construction paper, markers, and other art supplies to add control panels, buttons, switches, and door handles using things you have around your house like string, yarn, or twine, bottle caps, toilet paper rolls, paper plates, or other recyclables. Make a pair of monster or clown feet with the leftover cardboard and tie them onto your child’s feet with shoelaces or colorful yarn.

Do you love puzzles? Current has puzzles of all shapes, sizes, and themes for everyone in the family. Have a puzzle race with a reward for the team who finishes first. Make it extra fun with homemade cookies or a chore-free night as the reward.

Have a wrestling match. Sometimes, especially if you have little boys, there’s just no substitute for physical activity. When everyone needs to burn off some steam, clear a space in the living room or bonus room, line the corners with pillows, and break out the egg timer or stopwatch. Make it even more fun with costumes and character names, or stuff an old t-shirt of yours with pillows in the front and back and pretend you’re sumo wrestlers. Try to keep a straight face and hold in your laughter while you referee the match.

Hold an indoor scavenger hunt. Who says scavenger hunts are just for summertime? Hide clues around the house for a hunt that will have everyone busy solving riddles, searching for clues, and working as a team. Plan a reward meal of pizza or snack of hot chocolate and s’mores when the hunt is over. Make a treasure chest full of special prizes like games, activity books, or toys for everyone as a surprise.

Hold a movie marathon. Make popcorn, homemade cookies, and everyone’s favorite beverage and set up your living room as a home theater. Have “tickets” made from construction paper or plain 3 x 5 cards that everyone must turn in to gain entrance to the “theater”. Make up your own previews of coming attractions and act them out before the main event. You can use stuffed animals, hand puppets, or action figures as your movie actors. Rent a family friendly movie from a local vendor or choose from a family favorite you already own on DVD. Pause the movie just before the final scene and let family members act out alternate endings of their choice.

Have an indoor snowball fight. Use Current’s Indoor Snowball Fight Fun Set, or make your own “snowballs” out of rolled up pairs of socks. Use the furniture as your snow fort and remember to remove all the breakables from the room before you start throwing your snowballs. Put on some fun music, pile up bed pillows to simulate a snowbank, and let it rip!

Have an art show. Grab the sketchbooks, crayons, colored pencils, markers, and watercolors and have a family art show. It doesn’t matter if you can only draw a stick figure – draw the best stick figure family scene you can. When everyone is done, choose a wall to display every masterpiece as if it was the featured piece at an art gallery. Give each piece of art a name and have a showing right there in your own living room. You can even use play money and “sell” each artist’s artwork to the highest bidder.

Host a cooking “show”. Do you love to watch all those unique cooking shows on television? Grab the cookbooks off the shelf and let the family choose their favorite recipes, then get everyone involved in acting out their favorite cooking show, complete with accents if appropriate. Be prepared to laugh your way to the table!

Winter can be lots of fun with just a few props and a little imagination. Enjoy the cold weather season with your family as you try one or more of these suggestions for games and family friendly activities or come up with some entirely on your own.