Keeping Busy Indoors

Leaves are turning, days are getting shorter, and store displays are all ready for Halloween. These all signal the beginning of more inside time for kids and parents alike, meaning more opportunities to spend time together as a family, having fun and staying warm. How do you plan to spend your long winter afternoons? The parents of Parent Soup have already started making plans for cozy days inside. Here are some of their best ideas for indoor activities.

"When it's storming outside, to keep my four-year-old and two-year-old busy, I write different activities on slips of paper and put them into a bag (have a tea party, dance, have a scavenger hunt, play Barbies, read a book, etc.) My four-year-old has a great time picking from the bag to see what we will do next. For the scavenger hunt, I write a list of about 30 items for them to find -- something round, something red, something that makes noise, something that bends, etc. We also like to have the Indoor Olympics, with events such as the cotton ball throw, the broad jump, the marshmallow-on-a-spoon race, etc. The first time I did this, I made medals. They don't compete against each other, but try to go farther, or whatever, each time, so they are only competing against themselves."

"My son is only 14 months but I plan on making Christmas gifts with him. We will be making special gifts: picture frames! He can help me glue things on. I think it will be fun."

"There is a wonderful program that I participate in during the winter months. It is called MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers). This program is nationwide and it includes all mothers of children who aren't yet in school. Although it varies, MOPS is on every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month in my area. We have a prayer at the beginning and breakfast, then do a craft and have a discussion. The children are in their own classrooms and are taken care of for two hours. It is a time of great conversation and help on topics with toddlers and preschool children."

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