Guest Blog by Christina | Vlogger from The Purple Alphabet
On cold winter mornings, I often find myself wondering how to keep my children entertained while staying warm indoors. We have plenty of activities, toys and books around the house, but sometimes they lose their luster. It’s easy to rely on mindless entertainment, but as a mother, I’d rather see our indoor time spent on activities that boost their young minds. Here are three ideas to create a fresh perspective on your indoor play.
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Take Imagination to a New Level
If heading out into the cold or traveling through snow is not an option, bring a dreamy destination into your living room with a little imagination. Perhaps your kids will travel to another country to relax on the beach or taste the local cuisine. Maybe they’ll become famous Italian chefs, sorting and cooking up fresh pasta in their very own restaurant. Or perhaps they’ll visit the moon. Whatever their destination, use props to bring it to life, such as a blanket for a tent in the woods, pretend food, costumes for a scene from a favorite book or an oversize cardboard box to fly to outer space. Exploring through imagination is great for storytelling skills, creative thought processing and language.
Sort the Unsorted
Create new, less obvious categories for sorting toys. Sort large stuffed animals from small stuffed animals, breakfast play food from dinner play food, red race cars from blue race cars or fiction books from nonfiction books. Sorting into different classifications teaches organization, is a precursor to math skills and encourages critical thinking.
Make an Indoor Obstacle Challenge
Construct an obstacle course of any kind. You can include chairs, pillows or hula hoops. Obstacle courses keep those little bodies moving, especially when outdoor play is not an option. Add in normally stationary toys such as a puzzle or a collection of items. Have your child move one piece of the collection or puzzle through to the other side of the course until all the items have been moved. Doing so creates a goal for the child to accomplish, increases motor skills and provides a new challenge to old toys.
The winter blues will subside when you introduce new ways of playing with older games and toys. How do you turn your winter days into brain-boosting times of play? Let me know in the comments; I’d love to hear your ideas.