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Warm up this winter with Save Time Online

Winter and Children

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 you started...
 

Indoor Fun

Try Scrapbooking

Do 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
(source: Scrapbooking Corner)

Colouring In

How about some WINTER themed colouring in for the pre-school kids?
Check 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. (source: Word Constructions)

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.

Make some rain paintings

This 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!  (source: Lauren Perkins' Arty Facts)

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.

Musical games

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 activities.

Charades

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!

Not only 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.

Play Board games

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 decoration.

Do summer things - inside

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.

Search for treasure

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 hunter.

 

Outdoor Fun

Visit summer places

It is 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.


Winter sports

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.

Some summer sports are still accessible in winter, too - try some social tennis, a round of golf, swimming or go for a bike ride together.

Enjoy it!


Winter is wetter and colder, but that doesn't mean you can't play with it! Get some gumboots for everyone and go jump in some puddles!

If
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.

Use it

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 more.

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 shelter

Make an 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!

Quick plays

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 the day.

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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Content by Tash Hughes
Word Constructions

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