by Alix Tonsgard

It seems to be that time of year where we are beyond ready for winter to be over and the sun to come out. Here are a few of my favorite ways to keep your little ones engaged mentally and physically while having fun inside.

Homemade Play Dough

One of my all time favorite indoor activities will always be making play dough. The process of making play dough involves science and math while engaging the senses.

Blanket Forts and Flashlights

The dramatic play that naturally ensues with this activity is rich in opportunities for creative thinking, language development, and so much more. Enhance your children’s experience by adding flashlights for shadow play.

Put a New Spin on your Favorite Board Game

Turn a game like Candy Land into a gross motor activity by adding physical challenges. For example, if you land on yellow do ten jumping jacks. Have your children help brainstorm silly things that will transform an old favorite into something new and exciting.

Build a Recycled City

Raid the recycling bin and see what you can create using cardboard materials of all shapes and sizes. A few materials that might enhance your creative process include: colorful tape, construction paper, popsicle sticks, markers, scissors, or string/yarn.

Freeze Dance

Crank up your favorite playlist and dance your hearts out until the music stops, then freeze like a statue. Believe it or not, this favorite activity is a fun and exciting way to help your child develop important gross motor as well as cognitive skills such as impulse control.

Of course, if you feel like getting out of the house, visiting the Museum is also a great indoor option for fighting those winter blues. Does your family have a favorite indoor activity? Share your stories on the Museum’s Facebook page:

Alix Tonsgard is an early learning specialist at the DuPage Children’s Museum.