Winter Lockdown Activities for Kids
So it is official… We are in another national lockdown situation! We all knew it was coming and for us here in London we won’t notice the difference too much I suspect as everything was already fairly shut down including schools. I have already been seeing people saying on social ‘we did it before and we can do it again’ and sure that is true, but this time it is winter and that does make it different.
It isn’t always so easy to get out and have fun with the kids during January and February so I thought I would share my ideas for winter lockdown activities for kids and their grown ups!
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Indoor Winter Lockdown Activities for Kids
Sure you can just get out any old colouring pages, but doing a themed activity always seems to engage my kids more and I can tie in the colouring with their school work themes by way of light relief. Learning at home is way more intense so I do think that some lighter activities are needed. Some topics we will be doing are:
- Animals Groupings (Classifying animals into groups)
- Anglo Saxons
- Mini beasts
I am sure I will find others as well as I work my way through the curriculum. If you need any help with finding curriculum relevant colouring and fun activities I really recommend checking out Twinkl.
This is an online resource centre primarily for teachers and is used by my kids school. They do have free resources, but I have paid for the upgraded account so that I can download anything I want to. They have full lesson plans and the curriculum information as well as the fun support activities such as colouring.
Also check out 10 ways to stay sane during lockdown as it isn’t all about the kids right? We have to look after ourselves too!
Sticking/ Mosaic Pictures
Draw an image of their choice or print out a colouring page of their choice if you are artistically challenged like me! Then give them a glue stick each, a pair of child friendly scissors and a load of craft paper, scraps of material and glittery sheets. The idea is they cut these things up to make mosaic tiles that they can use to fill their picture. They end up looking really effective and we even did the first letter of their names and ended up framing them.
This keeps all of my kids occupied for ages! It is a great one for doing with differing age groups. My kids are now 5, 7 and 9 and they all like doing this activity, but I used to do it with them when they were toddlers too. I just cut everything up for them first.
Order a craft box
If you struggle with coming up with ideas for crafts or arts activities or you just prefer the idea of having everything you need without having to have a huge supply of craft materials then Toucan Box is what you need. Toucan box is a monthly subscription arts and crafts box and the activities in it are brilliant for keeping the kids engaged and occupied. My 7 and 9 year olds still enjoy them and can mostly do the activities on their own. The twins (5) need help from me, but are able to do some of the magazine activities without assistance.
Create a home spa
Get the whale music on and dim the lights… Something my kids (especially the girls, but the boys will play too) is have me create them a day spa.
So I get blankets and towels and set up the room for them to have a facial (I make the facial using mashed up banana and oats so it is very gentle for young skin). I then cut up the cucumbers to make slices for their eyes and get them to lie down whilst I do a facial for them. We also do nail painting and a hand massage. If I am really lucky then it is my turn – I won’t say that a facial done by two 5 year olds is the most effective or relaxing, but it is a funny way to spend an afternoon.
There have got to be some perks of having to stay at home so maybe one day put cushions or mattresses on the floor, get cosy, get the snacks ready and watch movies together. Some that we have watched recently and would recommend are:
- Godmothered (Disney+)
- Peter Rabbit
- Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure (PG)
- The Kid who would be king
- Shrek (We have watched this whole franchise so many times and it never gets old)
- Noelle (Disney +)
- Sonic the Hedgehog
- Trolls the world tour
- The Boss Baby
- Paddington 2
- Nanny McPhee
- Captain Underpants
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Get your onsies on, get cuddled up and tell one another stories. Write out some story starters and get each person to take it in turns to start a story using the start sentence. When we do this there are basically no rules about the direction your story can go in so it pretty much always ends up being about farts!
One of our little ones had a speech delay and encouraging her to tell stories through playing this game was part of her therapy. Everyone likes doing it so we have carried on. This really can be a genuinely fun way to spend some time together.
Build an indoor den
This remains one of my kids favourite things to do and as you only need sheets or blankets and some chairs. My kids can play for ages inside a den. Sometimes they might read books to one another or take some toys in there or even do some of their school work there during lockdown. With 6 of us in the house I do think that the Den can just be a great way to get a bit of space from their siblings.
Why not buy plain white t-shirts and fabric pens and let the kids design their own. My kids absolutely loved doing this. The designs won’t last forever; eventually they will fade, but we have simply gone over the original design to refresh it for one of my kids and one of the girls is just keen to do a different design.
We will definitely be doing this again. The kids were so engaged with this whole process and they were occupied for hours! Each one came up with their own design so I also loved seeing what they wanted to put on their T-shirt and see their little creative brains working.
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Is there any kid that doesn’t love a cardboard box? These days we are getting more stuff delivered to avoid the shops and so have cardboard and my kids love it when I give them a box and some paint or colouring so they can let their imagination run wild. Just today one of the girls has made a box into a rocket and a car… She didn’t even need the paint!
I know it is a lockdown cliché, but not only is it useful, but it is a great way to structure a day as the proving gives natural breaks in the activity and you can fill those either with one of the other activities above or even a bit of screen time. I have a really easy bread recipe which you can easily do with your kids and let them get properly involved.
Another idea is to get them to make their own pizza bases and then add the toppings so you can kill two birds with one stone… Playtime and dinner all sorted in one activity!
I know this isn’t very original as ideas go, but I do have some games to suggest that you may not have heard of. Little kids often can’t concentrate for long enough to complete a long traditional board game (although my boys do love monopoly) so recently we have been enjoying playing some shorter and livelier games.
- Silly Sounds
- Cave Paintings
- Rummikub Junior
- Beat That
- Connect 4
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Outdoor Winter Lockdown Activities for Kids
Go for a night time walk..
For something different why not go for a walk in the dark. We bundled all the kids up, got out the head torches and headed to the local woods for a walk just after the sun went down. The kids were so excited to go as of course they barely ever leave the house in the dark. I can’t tell you how much time we have spent in these woods and how many times we have walked this path during the last 9 months of lockdowns and restrictions so to have them be super excited to go was a real win. We will definitely do it again.
Fire pit and marshmallows
If there is one thing I would recommend getting it would be a fire pit. We have had so many fun evenings as a family sitting around the fire and toasting marshmallows. I probably wouldn’t be having toddlers round the fire as that would just be stressful, but with our kids at 9,7 and 5 we are able to really enjoy this. It is amazing how much warmth they give. I didn’t even have my coat on being outside on New Years Eve.
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Even though this is just basically sitting in the back garden it really does feel like we have had a night out especially when mummy and daddy take a glass of vino out with us.
We have only tried this once and it wasn’t super successful as we couldn’t find the damn thing! I do think it is a great way of getting the kids motivated to go out and about even when it is cold or even when they are completely sick of walking through the same park for the millionth time this week. Even though we couldn’t find it the kids were still keen to look and so keen to be outside; so as winter lockdown activities go I think it is definitely worth a try.
Family Laser Tag Game
Last year the husband had the grand idea of buying a laser tag game for home and honestly I thought this was madness, but actually it is awesome. The kids can play it indoors or outdoors and they run around like crazy people so its perfect for lockdown as it really burns off some energy and gets them active. If your kids are sick of seeing the same places everyday this can be a great way of changing things up!
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Last update on 2021-10-25 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API