Are you and the kids spending most of your time curled up in the house at the moment? Do you miss the fun family activities you all enjoyed in the warmer months? If you’re all beginning to get sick of watching TV and playing computer games, here are a few ways you can bring fun usually reserved for outside, indoors during the colder months.
An indoor camping session can really turn a wet, windy weekend around. And, while you shield yourselves from the elements, many of the activities that traditionally go hand in hand with camping can still be done indoors. To get started, simply clear a space somewhere for a small tent or Tepee or set up some sleeping bags. You may not be able to have a campfire, but you can still indulge in your favourite fireside food and drinks. Cook up lovely winter warmers like jacket potatoes and sausages. And once night falls, banish the TV and instead gather in a circle or under the tent to tell stories and sing songs. Cuddly toys can take the place of other campers or wildlife while you sing and sip on hot chocolate with marshmallows.
Depending on the location of your home you may even be able to enjoy a little stargazing. This works best on a clear night and when you’re not in the midst of other houses, though if you’re in the thick of it, you should still be able to spot some stars once the lights go out. ‘Pitch up’ your campsite next to a big window and at nightfall, you’ll be able to look up and learn about the galaxy. A skylight or bi-fold doors that run floor to ceiling will give the best possible view indoors to help create a realistic experience. These stargazing-friendly doors from Vufold even come in a forest-inspired oak design. You’ll find some excellent tips on stargazing as a family on the RSPB and National Trust websites. If a starry sky eludes you, why not use some LED fairy lights to create the illusion?
With lots of wind, rain, and plenty of frosty mornings, now is far from the ideal time to be gardening. Unless of course, you get green fingered from the comfort of your kitchen or conservatory! Lettuces and many types of herbs will grow quite happily indoors during winter, providing they have a nice spot in a window that gets sunlight. With the right sized containers and good compost, it’s possible to have success growing items such as baby carrots.
If you want to supercharge your indoor gardening efforts, LED grow lights are becoming more affordable and when keeping your growing efforts small-scale you’ll only need one or two bulbs to get started. Children love seeing things grow and by planting edible items you’ll be able to involve little ones later on. When your plants are ready, kids will enjoy helping you to turn the produce you grow into meals too. Together you can chart the progress of your plants from potting through to seeing them on the plate. All without the need to step outside! Sound like your cup of tea? Alan Titchmarsh has some good advice for managing herb plants over the winter months.
Some of the best outdoor fun can be had on cold days. Running around in the snow, sledging and building snowmen is great exercise. Realistically, however, the weather outside isn’t always inviting. Being stuck indoors doesn’t mean sacrificing being active, though – there are lots of things you and the kids can do to get your heart rate going and keep you keep your fitness levels up. And, you don’t need expensive equipment either. If Santa brought you an exercise DVD, are there sections of it you could do together as a family?
For a quick way to entertain the kids and help them burn off some energy, try popping a music channel on TV or playing the radio and clear a space to have a dance around. Try listening to different types of music and exploring different themes and ideas as you move. Or, try your own mini workouts with stepping, hopping and jumping or a good old game of statues. An indoor scavenger hunt or a game of hide and seek is another great way to keep children active. In fact, with so much excitement on offer indoors, you may just find your kids being more excited about wet weekends!
How are you keeping the kids entertained now the colder weather has closed in?
Disclosure: This is a featured post