By contributing writer Colleen.
Winter is here, and with it comes long days cooped up inside. What do we do to pass the time with our stir-crazy kids? Kids that may finish their work by noon or early afternoon? Kids that are tired of their toys, their siblings, and their mom?
While it’s tempting to pass the time with a movie or stick the kids on the computer, try inspiring creative play instead. Here are some creative indoor play ideas to get you started, and remember to think outside the box.
Give the kids blankets, scarves, and cardboard boxes, and ask them to work together to create something. Pull out play dishes, dolls, dress up clothes, or paper, markers, and tape.
Forts are fun…but what about a café? You could be their customer and order a fancy coffee to sip at their glass tables.
Or, maybe they can build a post office and sort mail, then deliver it to family and neighbors. Put out some fun stickers, markers, paper, and envelopes, and see what they can come up with.
Got little ones? Spread a big piece of butcher paper on the floor and draw some roads. Dump their blocks out, and get on the floor to help them build houses and cities alongside the roads. Then bring out the matchbox cars and trucks and take imaginary families to visit their relatives for the holidays or the imaginary toddler to the doctor to get his check-up.
Try spinning a spider web in your family room. All you need is a skein of yarn. Let your kids string it all over the place and then play spider.
Getting your kids to use their imagination is important. With so many toys filled with bells and whistles, it’s hard for them to come up with ideas on their own. Simple prompts like these, using everyday materials, can be big boosts to their creative thinking skills.
How do you encourage your kids to play creatively?