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It seems as though we are in the thick of winter with blizzards hitting around us. How are we to keep our little ones busy inside? Between the rain, snow, and frigid temps it’s hard to keep little ones happy while they’re cooped up inside. This is a great opportunity to provide fun activities for preschool-aged children. Here are some fun activities that don’t involve the TV, iPad or other electronic devices.
Do You and Your Kids Have the Winter Time Blues?
Oh yes, it’s cold and gloomy outside and I’m sure by now you and your kids are getting a little stir crazy. It’s hard enough for adults to be cooped inside all day but kids have a really hard time. They are used to going outside and burning off some of their energy but with this crazy cold and dreary weather, it makes it impossible.
No worries, I’ve included some fun and educational activities that will keep your kids happy & occupied.
Activities That Do Not Include Electronics
Electronics can be a great “babysitter” when we’re busy but this shouldn’t be one of those times. If the kids have to remain inside all day might as well use this time to stimulate their minds with fun educational hands-on activities. It’s a great time to spend quality time with your little ones!
Fun-Filled Inside Activities
There is a variety of fun activities for preschool-aged children to enjoy. Some of them require some prep from parents but most of them are with materials and items around the house. So the good news is you won’t have to run out and purchase items.
Alphabet Monster Game
The alphabet monster game is made out of an old oatmeal cylinder, construction paper, googly eyes, a pom-pom and a ribbon for hair. The “monster cookies” are made of construction paper and a Sharpie. Super simple and super easy. I made both uppercase and lowercase “cookies”. You can have your child match the upper and lower case letters as a bonus activity.
I make a silly monster voice and say, ” I’m hungry for a G cookie, feed me a G cookie please”. The kids think it’s funny and will laugh and giggle as they feed the correct cookie to the monster. The Alphabet Monster Game is great practice for identifying the letters of the alphabet.
Toilet Paper Roll Alphabet Matching Game
Another fun game that helps preschoolers to identify the letters in the alphabet is the toilet paper roll alphabet matching game. All that is required are the cardboard toilet paper rolls (or paper towel rolls), a Sharpie and alphabet stickers. Write the letters of the alphabet in a random order then have your child place a sticker on top of the correct matching letter.
You can mix it up a bit and have them match upper with lower case or have them match upper with upper and lower with lowercase. They will love playing with stickers-it’s a great motivator.
Ice Cream Game
The ice cream game is great for practicing colors and matching. You can match the correct colors and place them on top of the cones. What is great about this activity is that you can reuse the cones and scoops of ice cream as the skill sets of your kids grow. As in example if the pieces are laminated (which I highly recommend if you’re going to use them more than once) you can use a dry erase marker to write numbers on the scoops and then have the child add the scoops and place them on the cone with the correct sum. It’s an activity that can grow with your child’s skill set.
The materials needed for the activity are the printout which can be found here thanks to Activity-Mom, lamination, and a Sharpie (if using it for math practice).
Teddy Bear Counting
Oh, I love this activity because it’s so easy to prepare and it’s a great tangible activity for the hands-on learners. The teddy bear number cards (thanks, Fun Learning for Kids), buttons and lamination to preserve the cards is all you need!
The only prep is printing and cutting out the cards and gathering loose buttons (you know the ones you had lying around but didn’t know what to do with-now they have a purpose :)). If you don’t happen to have buttons lying around, the Dollar Tree does sell them in the craft section.
I started off easy with the smaller numbers and had the kids place the correct number of buttons on the bears. As their counting improves then introduce the larger numbers. Another version I found fun was having them place only the small buttons on the bears (ex. place 5 small buttons on the #5 bear). Or place only orange buttons on the #7 bear. It’s just a fun way to switch up the game after playing it awhile.
Counting & Threading Activity
**This activity does require close supervision if your kiddos tend to put things in their mouth or are younger than 3 years old.**
This activity is again a great one for visual and tangible learners. It helps children to visualize the concept of addition. There are so many learning experiences that can be incorporated into this one activity. First, it can be useful for practicing addition (ex. if you put 2 red beads on and then put 3 yellow beads how many do you have in all?). It can be used to practice fine motor skills by threading the beads onto the pipe cleaners. It can be used to match colors too. (Put 10 yellow beads on the yellow pipe cleaner or put 5 blue beads on the red pipe cleaner.
The materials needed for the activity are pony beads and pipe cleaners.
This activity seems to be quite appropriate for the weather right now! The kids will find this activity relatable since they probably have had to wear gloves or mittens quite a bit lately.
The materials needed are the worksheet (thanks, Fun Learning for Kids), crayons and dice. A great beginning lesson is to have the child count the dots on the dice before the activity. The children will have fun rolling the dice (and chasing after the dice since they tend to throw them instead of rolling them) they count the number they roll and then find that number on the worksheet. Once they find the correct number they color in the mitten. Have them continue until they color all of the mittens.
All Gloomy Outside, No Problem
These are just a few fun activities for preschool-aged children to engage in while it’s cold and dreary outside. This is a great time to keep kids learning and moving without any electronics or playing outside. The kiddos will be playing outside before you know it but in the meantime, you’ll have some go-to activities to keep them busy and having fun!
Be sure to check out my other posts that include educational activities and games. Easy & Fun Homemade Activities, Learning Can Be Fun & Affordable, Fast & Easy Activities to Prepare Your Children for Preschool & Kindergarten, What?!?! Educational Games Made from Folder Games, and No Prep Preschool Activities for Busy Parents.
Comment below on your favorite activities.