The winter months can seem long and exhausting with little kids in the house. Especially on days that are too cold or the weather is too bad to go outside. In the warmer months, I usually send my children outside for a good portion of the day. They play, explore, jump on the trampoline, ride bikes, or play a game of basketball. Winter gets too cold for going outside where I live.

We have to get creative to keep the kids busy and not become idle. Trouble happens when my kids are “bored”. They start to irritate one another or eat everything in the fridge or make huge messes. Having a list of go-to things to keep them occupied has worked wonderfully in years past. I thought I would share my list as winter is approaching for most of us in the USA.

1. Read a book from the reading basket.

I gather books for different subjects and put them in our book basket. Each week the books are new and a different subject. I tell the kids to choose books from the basket and read to one another or find a quiet spot to read to themselves. This works for a little while.

2. Draw or color.

I keep a tin of colored pencils, crayons, and markers on our school room table. I also keep notebooks and paper with them. I do ask that they draw something that they recently learned about or read about in a book. They can do this for hours it seems.

3. Play a board or card game.

We have tons of games on our game shelf. I also have several decks of cards in a basket. They are allowed to get one game down at a time to play. Most of the games are easy enough for them to play with each other. Some of them require my help. This is lots of fun for the whole family.

4. Watch educational shows or movies.

We have Netflix and Hulu as well as several educational apps that have great programs on them. There are many lists available on the Internet for educational choices. I usually choose something that we are studying and have them watch that while I try to get a little work done. I pop some popcorn and they get a blanket and learn something new. It keeps them pretty quiet.

5. Take them to the library.

During the school year, the library can be pretty fun. Hardly anyone is there during the day so you have the whole place to yourselves. Our library has a great toy area as well as educational computer games. We choose books, play a while, and read. It can be a nice trip to stay warm while getting out of the house.

6. Visit museums.

We have a lot of museums in my area. Some of them are free and indoors. We try to visit them in the winter so we stay warm and it gets us out of the house for a while.

7. Go outside.

If the weather permits, I bundle my children up and send them outside for a half an hour. The fresh air is good for them and they can see nature in a different season. I tell them to warm up by jumping on the trampoline for a bit. They come inside and I give them hot cocoa to warm them up again. They love doing this most of all.

It’s hard to keep kids busy during very cold weather. Trying some of these tips will help alleviate some of the boredom that comes along with that. It has helped us tremendously and I hope it helps you too!