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Cheap Indoor Winter Activities For Kids

Do you miss the warm, sunny summer days when the kids stay occupied for hours at a time just playing outside? Depending on where you live, it’s hard to spend a lot of time outdoors in the winter because of the cold or snow. But being stuck inside all day means kids quickly get cabin fever. Don’t worry though, we’ve got some great options for fun, cheap things to do with the kids for those days you just can’t be outdoors!

Cheap Indoor Winter Activites

  • Find an indoor mall play area – these are generally free. Forget about those indoor jungle gyms that cost a fortune for each visit.  Many large malls (and plenty of small ones)  have these play areas now, with small slides and toys for the kids to play with. Best of all, there are lots of other kids there to keep yours occupied!
  • See what your library has to offer. Many local library have schedules for kids to do projects, story time, puppet shows, movie showings and more. Sometimes bookstores have similar events, so check out what’s in your area.
  • Find a cause to volunteer with. Even if it’s just one day a week or one day a month, pick one organization (or many) to devote a few hours to. Visit seniors in a nursing home, who would be delighted to have the company of children. Or teach kids lessons in compassion and helping others by volunteering at a food bank. You’ll feel good helping out, and your child will be learning valuable lessons at an early age.
  • Hold a toy-exchange party. There are websites that let you send in your used toys and exchange them for the toys sent in by others, but you could cut the costs by doing this with your child’s friends. Have everyone bring a few toys that are in good shape, make a few appetizers, let the kids play together for a few hours, and allow each kid to take home a few “new” toys. You’ll enjoy the time socializing with other parents, and the kids will have a blast with their new toys and friends.
  • Home improvements stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot often have DIY clinics where kids spend a few hours working on a simple project. Find out what your local store offers to help your child develop his or her handyman skills!
  • Start a book club. Create a reading list for your kids, then discuss the books after they read them. Invite their friends to participate, too.
  • Go to a museum. Many museums have either low cost or free admission. There are several economical or free options in my area, so check out what’s available near you!
  • Get Creative! Make a movie with your video recorder, smart phone or iPad and then schedule a special viewing party. The kids will love planning and engaging in this creative activity.
  • Make a cardboard box house. Scout your local appliance store for a large box and then  and let the kids decorate it with paint or markers. Most kids will spend hours enjoying this activity.
  • Visit a local animal shelter to love on some pets.  Think of it as a mini petting zoo. Just warn the kids before you go that you won’t be bringing home a pet (unless you actually want to). It’s best to call ahead to find out what the policies are for visiting animals -- some shelters will welcome it, and some will not allow it.

With a little creativity (and maybe a little Googling!), you’ll find that there are tons of cheap indoor winter activities for kids in your town, so the kids won’t have to go stir crazy and you won’t have to break the bank on those cold days!


Filed Under: Family, Featured, Seasonal

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