How to Make Winter Fun When You're Stuck Inside

Discovery Place Kids Rockingham

Picture this: It’s the middle of winter and the temperature outside is continuing to drop. You’ve already warded off your kids’ request to play outside for the hundredth time today. You’re running out of ideas to keep everyone entertained and find yourself wondering if winter will ever end.

Break the cycle of boredom and change your family’s outlook on a cold, winter day with one of these fun-filled activities you don’t have to leave your house to experience.

Sugar Cube Igloo Craft

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Create a beautiful winter wonderland scene and watch your children turn into budding architects as they construct their very own igloo- all within the comfort and warmth of your home.

Materials Needed:

  • Sugar cubes - 1 box is equivalent to 1 igloo
  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • White glue
  • White paint
  • Paintbrush

Steps:

  1. Paint the cardboard with a few layers of white paint. Let dry for 5 minutes or until the cardboard is dry to touch.
  2. Grab your pencil and draw the general outline of your igloo. The shape you’re drawing will look like a short, circular vase. You may need to help your kids with this step!
  3. Trace the outline with glue and start placing your first layer of sugar cubes on the glue.
  4. For your second layer, you want to place the sugar cubes slightly more inwards so eventually, your igloo will come together.
  5. Continue the process of building more layers, staggering the cubes slightly more inward each time.
  6. Around layer 4-6, let the igloo dry overnight. Prop it up with a water bottle, glue bottle or any other object you have on hand that fits.
  7. Each day add 1-2 more layers to your igloo, add your object back in to prop it up and let dry overnight.
  8. When all the sides touch, you’ll have your igloo! Get creative and make your igloo one-of-a-kind. Paint trees, glue on toy animals or add sequins to complete your masterpiece.

Winter Storytime

Winter is the perfect time of year for grabbing a blanket, drinking hot chocolate and cozying up to a fireplace with a good book in hand. Add one of these books to your children’s winter reading list and experience the magic of the season.

Indoor Camping

Be transported to the great outdoors and host a camping trip in your living room. Turn off the lights, unplug technology and experience the fun of camping without ever taking a step outside. Use these ideas to make your indoor camping trip authentic and memorable.

  1. Set some ground rules for your indoor camping trip. Only use flashlights once the sun goes down, use as little technology as possible and don’t use kitchen appliances to prepare your meals.
  2. Break out the sleeping bags and spend the night in the living room. To make it seem like you’re outdoors, turn on a sound machine or online playlist to hear the fire crackle and wind whistle through the trees.
  3. Build a tent or a fort to sleep under using chairs, sheets, blankets, pillows or whatever else you have at home!
  4. S’mores: Even without a campfire, you can make these tasty treats in the oven. Turn on your oven to broil and start assembling your s’mores (graham cracker, chocolate, marshmallow) on a cookie sheet, leaving the top graham cracker off for now. Stick the cookie sheet in the oven, but don’t walk away! Your s’mores only need about a minute in the oven to be gooey and golden. Stick on the top graham cracker and enjoy.
  5. Campfire activities: Sing camp songs, tell spooky stories and play games like you would around a campfire.

Polar Bear Blubber Science Experiment

Polar bears don’t wear coats or gloves, so how do they stay warm in the cold? With this cool science experiment, your child will feel firsthand how a polar bear’s blubber protects them from freezing temperatures.

Materials:

  • Large bowl
  • Ice cubes
  • Vegetable shortening
  • 2 plastic bags (quart or gallon sized)
  • Duct tape
  • Blue food coloring (optional)

Steps:

  1. Fill up your bowl with ice and water. Optional: Add in a few drops of food coloring to make the water blue.
  2. Have your child stick their hand into the water for just a few seconds to feel how cold it is.
  3. Fill up one plastic bag with the vegetable shortening.
  4. Next, have your child put one hand into the empty plastic bag and then their other hand into the bag with the vegetable shortening in it.
  5. To keep the water out, seal the tops of the bags with duct tape.
  6. Make sure the vegetable shortening completely covers your child’s hand.
  7. It’s time- have your child dip their hands into the bowl at the same time and watch their faces light up as they feel the difference in temperatures between their two hands! The hand that is covered in vegetable shortening will feel significantly less cold.
  8. Pro tip: Use this experiment as a discussion point for talking about polar bears and how they live in the cold. Check out one of these articles for facts to share with your children:
    1. Natgeokids.com
    2. Nationalgeographic.com
    3. Scientificamerican.com

How do you keep your children entertained throughout winter? Tag us on Facebook @dpkrockingham or Instagram @discoveryplace and share your family’s favorite winter activities!

Rockingham Facade At Dusk
  • Written by
  • Discovery Place Kids