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If you’re feeling stuck inside this season, try these screen-free winter activities for kids. They’re a great way to overcome cabin fever and keep your kids engaged so you can get some work done!
My kids enjoyed helping me brainstorm this list. Now, they love being able to pick different ideas off of it to try each day during Family Writing Time.
To make this list easy to use, I broke them down by theme. Find a topic your kids enjoy, and pick an activity.
Let’s get this winter fun started!
Do you want to build a snowman? Instead of braving the cold, have your child:
- Write the lyrics to that popular Frozen song
- Create a snowman set by cutting out paper balls, hats, arms, eyes, and anything else that comes to their mind. Then they can assemble and reassemble!
- Read a book or two about snowmen.
- Write a “How to” guide for building a snowman – they can even add pictures. For added fun, they can challenge someone to follow their directions precisely. Did they forget any crucial steps?
- Draw pictures of your family as snowmen
Snowmen aren’t the only fun thing about snow! Your child can explore snow with these activities:
- Write down facts they know about snowflakes (they might even need to bring one inside to study under a microscope if you have one!).
- Cut snowflakes out of paper, trying a variety of strategies.
- Make a list of all the songs with the word snow.
- Create a “Snow Day” activity list.
- Write up a safety plan for a blizzard.
- Read The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Winter is the only season I bring out the cookie cutters and decorate sugar cookies. We make these cookies for Christmas and Valentine’s Day. The rest of the time, we stick with less time-consuming cookies.
But having your kids learn and play with cookie themes doesn’t have to be limited to a special occasion. Let your kids do some cookie activities like these:
- Use cookie cutters to draw patterns.
- Draw beautiful cookies on a paper plate.
- Create cookie cutouts from paper and use different colored paper toppings to decorate them.
- Research cookie decorating techniques.
- Find a new recipe for cookies in a cookbook and make a shopping list.
Does your family enjoy watching or playing? Here are some screen-free winter activities for kids inspired by this popular sport:
- Create a custom set of football trading cards on index cards
- Make a bracket for upcoming games and predict who will win each
- Check scores in the newspaper
- Make a list of questions they’d ask if they could interview a favorite player
- Write a football shape poem
- Draw a picture of a football game
- Make a table football game to play with someone
- Find recipes for a Super Bowl party or plan a party
Is the weather outside frightful? It’s a good thing learning about fire can be so delightful!
These fire-inspired activities will help warm everyone up!
- Create a wood-cutting set from construction paper. Include people, a chainsaw, an ax, a truck, trees, and logs.
- Draw a picture of a fire in a fireplace.
- Read a book in front of your fireplace.
- Make a list of words that rhyme with fire, smoke, and log.
- Write words that describe a fire. Use them to write a story or poem.
- Read fire safety books like No Dragons For Tea or Stop, Drop, and Roll.
- Create a fire safety plan or an emergency escape map for your house.
- Create their own picture book demonstrating the “Stop, Drop, and Roll” strategy.
These cute birds are a fun topic to learn about in the winter! Your child can:
- Write a play about penguins
- Read fiction and nonfiction books about penguins:
- Write a story about a daddy emperor penguin keeping an egg safe
- Get crafty and create a toilet paper tube penguin
- Draw penguins sliding down a hill
- Draw pictures of the different types of penguins
The Winter Olympics
Every two years, the Winter Olympics are held. Even if it’s not an Olympic year, it’s a great topic for kids to learn about. They can:
- Make a list of all the winter sports they can think of.
- Draw pictures of themselves competing in an event of choice
- Make a snowboarding course out of file folders and a shoe box
- Make a mini figure-skating set with pipe cleaners.
- Write the words to the national anthem.
- Color Winter Olympic-themed coloring pages.
- Write a story about preparing to compete in the Olympics.
- Compare and contrast the winter and summer games.
Some animals hibernate in the winter! Let your child explore this topic by:
- Creating a cave under the table and making a bed to hibernate in while they read books.
- Drawing pictures of animals that hibernate.
- Make a paper set of bears, food, a cave, and snowflakes. Your child can cut all these out and then use the pieces to tell a story about a bear eating a big meal before settling down for the winter.
- Write a poem about an animal preparing to hibernate.
- Write a story about a hibernating animal waking up too soon. Who are these tired creatures going to meet?
What Will You Do While Your Kids Are Engaged In These Screen-Free Winter Activities?
Once you get your kids engaged in a winter activity, you’ll have time to cross some tasks off your to-do list.
Here are some tasks for my freelance writing business that I enjoy working on while my kids are doing Family Writing Time.
- Outlining a blog post
- Researching for a blog post
- Drafting a post
- Scheduling social media updates for the week
- Responding to comments
- Creating a content calendar
- Brainstorming new post ideas
- Pitching for new freelance writing gigs
Whatever you decide to do you should have at least a few minutes to get it done!
Need More Engaging Screen-Free Activities for Your Kids?
If you’re looking for more topics for your kids to explore, my Ultimate Guide to a Successful Family Writing Time eBook has plenty to choose from.
It’ll also help you understand the logistics of Family Writing Time, my strategy to get 2.5 hours to work on my business each week. So pick up your copy today and get started!
Lisa Tanner is a former teacher turned homeschooling mom with 11 kids. She's also a successful freelance writer. Lisa enjoys helping other busy moms find time to start and grow a side hustle of their own.