Winter and Children
love to run, shout and play, but that's
harder to manage throughout winter.
There are plenty of ways to entertain
children in winter, both indoors and
out. Here are some ideas and tips to get
some scrap booking with the kids. Create a winter photo
page and decorate with raindrops, snowflakes and puddles!
View a sample Winter
themed Scrapbooking layout
about some WINTER themed colouring in for the pre-school
out these printable pages.
Have a party!
Celebrate a birthday with a party, or just get a few
friends over and let the children enjoy some old
fashioned party games! Remember the fun you used to have
with pass-the-parcel and musical chairs? A number of
party games are outlined here for you.
Use their imaginations
Instead of resorting to the TV or videos everyday, why
not pull out some old clothes for dress up fun? Get the
kids to put on a play for you, or even better, you dress
up as well and play with them.
is a great idea for a rainy day. Paint
a watercolour painting using the thick
paper. When you are finished, take your
painting out in the rain and secure it
with some small rocks. Let the rain mix
the colours a little. This is an
experimental idea that goes with the
flow of painting, and produces some
interesting effects. Would work really
well with a city scene or a flower
painting. Have fun!
Turn into animals
Clear the floor and get the children to
be a tiger. Then yell out different
animals for them to act out - try an
elephant, Emu, snake, lion, dog, cow,
wombat, kangaroo, bird, flamingo, mouse,
crocodile and finish up with a Koala.
This game not only uses up some spare
energy, it allows children to be
creative and have fun.
Try some musical games.
Choose music suited to the children's
ages and interests. Maybe play a short
bit and get them to name the song or
sing the next line. Play musical statues
or use music as a symbol for changing
Introduce the old game of charades to
the children. Maybe limit it to the
names of their favourite characters or
TV shows to start with, then gradually
make it tougher. This game is great for
concentrating skills as well as getting
kids to think and follow rules. What a
great way to spend a family afternoon as
the rain beats on the windows!
Cook up a storm!
does it keep them occupied, doing some
cooking with your children has many
advantages. For instance, they get your
attention for a while, they learn a
valuable skill, they get a sense of
achievement from eating what they made,
they develop maths skills (measuring,
counting, etc) and it may just save you
from cooking something later.
A great way to spend time together as a
family, or just leave the kids to play
their own games. There is such a variety
of games available now, including
popular characters and movies in new
games and the old favorites such as
Monopoly, Cluedo, ludo and chess. (You
can even buy games online at places like
Games Paradise and
The Toy Store)
Bring the outdoors inside
Between the rain and cold, collect
things from outside - leaves, sticks,
stones, seed pods and so on, then see
what you can create with them. Some
ideas are leaf rubbings, making a rock
person, creating a stick weaving and
turning a pinecone into a scented
Do summer things -
Sure, it's cold
outside and you don't feel like swimming
or going on a picnic - but how about
doing these things inside? Find an
indoor pool to swim in, lay a picnic rug
on the lounge room floor, BBQ meat on
the stove, look out a window to watch
clouds, eat salads (try ones with hot
meat or vegetables, or lots of chilli to
warm them up!) or join an indoor cricket
or volleyball team.
A treasure hunt
doesn't have to be done in a garden on a
sunny day... Give your children a list
of things to find in the house - use
things normally spread throughout the
house and you won't even have to hide
things! It's up to you if you offer a
prize or treat to the most successful
a great learning experience for children
to see how winter affects places. Rug
them up and take a walk along a beach or
picnic by a lake. The fresh air and wind
give a different feel to these places -
and if you have to run from a sudden
downpour, it just adds to the excitement
of the outing!
Even a play in the
playground during the rain can be fun -
just follow it up with a change of
clothes and a warm drink.
Games such as
Aussie rules, soccer, hockey and rugby
are traditionally only played in winter.
So this is the best time to either watch
your favourite team or give it a go
yourselves. Ask your local clubs if they
have open days when the whole family can
have a hit or kick.
sports are still accessible in winter,
too - try some social tennis, a round of
golf, swimming or go for a bike ride
wetter and colder, but that doesn't mean
you can't play with it! Get some
gumboots for everyone and go jump in
Autumn leaves are still around, stamp on
them for the crinkly noise or pile them
up and throw them at each other.
Put out your tongues and see if you
catch any raindrops. Does running fast
keep you dry between drops? Get the kids
to find out for themselves.
Much of Australia has
been in drought for years now. If there
is rain now, make the most of it.
Collect some rain water in buckets or
tubs and tell the children that's what
they have to use for a day's eating,
drinking and cleaning - make it into a
game as they learn to appreciate water
Let the kids play in the
dirt and make a temporary creek or
waterfall in the yard. It will amuse
them for hours, if not days.
outdoor space they can play in - maybe a
cubby, but it could be a tent in the
yard, a tarp over the outside table or a
piece of wood leaning against a tree.
Let them take a few old tins or cups, or
some toys cars with them, and their
imaginations will turn it into a palace,
a fort, a garage, a rocket and hundreds
of other places. Cheap, safe and out
from under Mum's feet!
If its cold and wet,
there are still parts of the day that
aren't so bad. let the kids put on coats
and boots and play outside in short
bursts between showers. The variety will
keep you all a bit saner by the end of
To save on muddy clothes
to wash, send them outside in bathers if
it is wet but not cold. They'll love the
unusual behaviour of playing in the rain
and the feel of rain on their skin. Just
have a pile of towels ready to catch
them with afterwards!
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