Post by Danielle Kurtz, Creative Director at The Land of Nod
If you know me, it’s no secret that I really, really, really do not like the winter. As far as I’m concerned there’s really no good reason to be outside once it’s cold and snowy. This poses a problem living here in Chicago, since it seems like it’s winter about 90% of the year. While I’m exaggerating a touch, it really does feel that way, mostly because I live in a tiny house, which I love, with my super fantastic family, whom I adore, but after weeks on end of arctic temperatures and inches upon inches of snow, we all go a little stir crazy.
Which leads me to this, my list of must-have-snow-day-salvation-kid-occupying-so-you-can-read-a-magazine-do-the-dishes-or-just-stop-hearing-the-words-I’m-bored, toys. In other words, great kids snow day activities (or rainy day kids activities, if you’re fortunate enough to live somewhere warm) to keep the kids and their imaginations active without 6 layers of clothes.
Keep the kids active
One big issue with being cooped up all winter is all that excess energy to burn off. Our doorway bean bag toss is a great way to kill some time, and get a bit of a work out. And, why not swap your hallway runner for a hopscotch mat this winter? Both are games that can be played alone or with as many willing players as you have.
Give their imaginations a workout
Our doorway puppet theater and our What’s that Stand For can both keep the kids occupied for quite a while. They can write a story for their play, make tickets, playbills, posters and then there’s the performance. And, the What’s That Stand For can be a market, a lemonade stand, a puppet theater or whatever else they can come up with that day. For the market, they can create price tags and setup a whole shop, and then open it to the public (your family) for some shopping. Both of these toys are a great catalyst to getting their imaginations working overtime.
Encourage solo play
With a playset like our Cottage Dollhouse or Noddingham Castle, kids can play on their own for quite a while. This will encourage them to use their imaginations and get lost in the incredible little worlds they’ll create. My daughter has this dollhouse and spends countless hours decorating and re-decorating, and every toy under 4” lives in her dollhouse from time to time!
Encourage role playing
In addition to playing in their imaginary worlds, kids also very much want to do what they see their parents doing. That makes role-playing toys perfect. While you’re trying to finish the latest DIY project, keep your little busy with her own workbench. And, if you’re trying to get the baby to take a nap, encourage your son or daughter to put their baby doll down for a nap, too.
Activities for babies
Speaking of babies, they can benefit from some exercise, too. A baby gym is the perfect way to entertain your little one while you fix breakfast or fold laundry.
Inspire your budding artist
And, last, but certainly not least, my absolute favorite way to pass the time during the winter is a good ol’ fashion arts and crafts project. An easel is a great start, but in general, keep lots of craft supplies on hand (glue, pom poms, construction paper, pipe cleaners, paints), put down a drop cloth and let the kids go to town. You’ll be amazed by what they’ll create.
I hope this list helps you and your families not just survive, but actually enjoy the winter months. I know I’m inspired to try to love winter a bit more. Bring on the snow!
By Danielle Kurtz. Danielle is the Creative Director at Nod and an over-protective mother of two. She’s also completely obsessed with Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and her Kindle, but not necessarily in that order. Danielle loves to craft, sew and crochet. Her current craft of choice is weaving tiny wall tapestries.