Winnipeg families already get their fair share of ‘indoors’ time due to our climate. This year, with our sticking-around-home time extended, here are some ideas to help keep the whole family engaged without going too far.

  1. An in-house scavenger hunt. Write the numbers 1-10 on little slips of paper, and hide them so that each slip provides a clue to where they’ll find the next one. When they find #10, there’s a prize: let them apply makeup to either parent, or both!

  2. Beauty shop. Take turns giving everyone in the family funny hairdos. Then, do a cellphone-camera modeling shoot.

  3. An in-house science “trick.” For example, “Mom’s/Dad’s Magic Finger” – gather everyone around the table and fill a light-coloured bowl with water.

    a. Have a child shake salt from the salt shaker into the bowl, then pepper. You should see both salt and pepper floating on the surface of the water.
    b. Without anyone seeing you, squeeze a dot of dish soap onto your finger.
    c. Make a magic incantation (or have a child do it), waving your “magic finger” in the air above the bowl – and then,
    d. Plunge your finger into the bowl (which will cause the salt and pepper to instantly rush to the edges).
    e. Repeat until someone figures it out.

  4. Pet Olympics. Have a pet? Design athletic events they could do, and then make up a story together about your pet becoming an Olympic champion.

  5. The categories game. On a series of slips of paper, write a variety of categories of things (e.g. animals, colours, foods, things you see outdoors, things you see at daycare, etc.). Then, give every player 30 seconds to name as many as they can, without repeating.

  6. Write a story together. Let the child take the lead on the characters and the plot, with a parent handling the writing. Then, if you have the time, write it out over a series of pages, and have the child illustrate it. You’ll not only have an interesting afternoon, but you’ll also have a keepsake of their imagination at this age.

Need more ideas? The What Do We Do All Day blog has all kinds of great indoor activities. Have fun!