Winter is upon us folks!  It took some time for it to get here but it HAS arrived.  Granted, winters in Ontario are milder than they tend to be out West but still…we get our fair share of minus degree weather.  If any of you are like me, you hibernate during the winter months.  I love being outdoors but not so much in the winter months.  For those of you who are outdoors all year round…kudos to you!  There are a lot of activities to enjoy outdoors but I’m going to stick to being warm and toasty for the next few weeks.

Miss O on the other hand, loves being outside.  It doesn’t matter what kind of weather we’re experiencing, she loves being out there.  Depending on how you like to enjoy your winter months, here are a few suggestions of ways to keep your little ones occupied.

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INDOOR ENTERTAINMENT

Indulge In DIY Activities

Arts and crafts are a great way to get a child’s imagination going. Set out some paint, crayons, play doe or whatever else your child enjoys and spend a few hours creating new masterpieces.  Keep an eye out for an upcoming post on creative ways to display your child’s art work!

Find A Community Centre In Your Neighbourhood

They offer programs for young children and their families throughout the year, usually for FREE.  This is a great opportunity for your young ones to interact with other children and learn something new.

Visit A Library

Many libraries offer various programs for children of all ages.  Check your local library for a listing of upcoming events.  This is also a great time to find a quiet corner and read to your child.  Make it fun by allowing them to choose a few books and have them point out items within the story.  Miss O and I really enjoy doing this together.

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Enroll Your Child In Indoor Sports

This is a fantastic way to introduce your child to new sports, keep them physically active and interacting with children their own age.  Miss O plays indoor soccer for a league (Little Kickers) that runs classes for kids ages 18 months to 7 years.  You can enroll for 6 or 12 classes (12 classes are eligible for a child fitness tax credit) and classes are set to the pace of the children’s age.  Little Kickers (ages 18 months to 2.5 years) require parental assistance but 2.5 years and up encourage independence.  In the spring, classes move outdoors.  Most cities have a league so check them out online and see what you think.

An alternative to playing sports is dancing.  Consider a dance class whether through a studio or through the city.  There’s a variety of styles that are bound to be of interest.  A dance party at home works just as well!

Build A Fort

Do you remember the days when you built a fort out of sheets, pillows and chairs?  well what better time than now to enjoy that with your child.  Create an imaginary world or adventure and watch your child’s imagination take off.  Miss loves to pretend we’re on a rocket ship trying to rescue her stuffed puppy!

OUTDOOR ENTERTAINMENT

Strap On A Pair Of Skates

You don’t have to be an ace skater to strap on a pair of skates and enjoy some time at a rink.  Be sure to pick up a helmet for your little ones if they’re 6 years or younger, safety first.  If skating is new to you, some rinks offer lessons.

Shovel Snow Together

OK, technically not entertainment but if you have a child who loves to help then they might enjoy helping you clear move around some snow.  Provided it’s not overly wet heavy snow that requires more effort to move, they’ll take pride in knowing they helped with this chore.  Miss O loves to “help” shovel snow but I suspect she enjoys eating it more!

Take Sports Back Outdoors

This refers to sports other than hockey.  Consider playing a game of soccer or football.  Playing outdoors is a great way for everyone to get some fresh air and also practice their skills.

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Tobogganing

This tried and true winter activity is great for children of all ages (yes I mean you parents).  Depending on where you live, you might have the snow for it.  Based on the varied weather we’ve had here in the GTA you might have to take advantage of this quickly before the snow melts again!

Build A Snowman

Another winter favourite.  Build one or a family of snowmen and dress them up.  This is another activity that provides a great opportunity to take in some fresh air and encourages bonding time as a family.

What are some of the things you do to keep busy during the winter? Share your ideas in the comments!