Beating the Winter Blues

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I don’t know about you, but I am sick and tired of this winter. Negative temperatures are just not my thing. I’m longing to say goodbye to the days of hats and gloves. The days of outdoor activities still seem so far in the future and I’m beginning to get stir crazy.

 

Are you running out of ideas of what you can do with your children during snow days and weekends? There are some great blogs out there with thousands of at-home activities to do with your child. I’ve used some of them to compile a list of great indoor activities that can meet your child’s needs so you both can get through the winter unscaved!

*Hint. The titles that are underlined are links!*

 

Physical Activities

Children with autism may display hyperactivity. Therefore, being inside all day may result in them becoming restless and potentially increase the chance of seeing problem behavior. Here are a few indoor physical activities to relieve some pent up energy:

 

Gross Motor Activities

 

Indoor Hopscotch

Use painter’s tape or masking tape to create an indoor hopscotch grid without ruining your floors! If you don’t want to mark your floors, check out this mat!

 

Cranium Hullabaloo

This can help with imitation, pretend play skills, and following directions, too! Cranium Hullaballoo is a fantastic game that can enter a few different modes. It requires the players to shift gears quickly from “bounce to a purple pad” to “step on an ice cream cone”. Players must scan fabric pads placed on the floor and find the appropriate pad to step on. In the end, the winner does a silly victory dance!

 

Dance Party

Switching gears quickly and following multi-conditional directions can be hard. Another option is to have a dance party! Nothing makes a family bond like getting silly together. Turn up the music and jump around the living room!

 

Get Busy Color Recognition

This site gives three great ideas for color recognition activities that don’t involve flashcards at a table. Get up and play “I spy something purple!” or have a scavenger hunt to collect items of specific colors that are scattered around the house. Have a prize waiting at the end of the hunt!

 

Fine Motor Activities

 

Transferring

Give your child a bowl or container with some kind of small item in it (rice, cotton balls, etc), in addition to a second empty container. They can use a spoon, tongs, tweezers, or other item to transfer the pieces from one container to the next. Add a level of complexity and ask your child to sort the items, which you can then use for a fun art activity.

 

Eye Dropper Activity Tray

What a great idea! Using eye droppers to drip colored water onto various materials to see the different effects!

 

Cheerio Tower

Using items that you most likely have lying around the house, a child could stay occupied lacing cheerios on raw spaghetti stuck into a ball of playdough for quite some time!

 

Sensory Activities

If the idea of messy play makes you squirm, check out these tips for keeping messy play clean and then dive right into the activities below!

 

DIY Things to Squeeze, Stretch, and Play

This mom is really brave to give her small children such messy activities! She has recipes for cloud dough, slime, goop, among other ideas. Keeping the child at a table with their mess in a big plastic container will help keep the mess in a smaller area for easy clean up.

 

Deep Breathing

Blowing bubbles, sipping through straws, and playing instruments are all fun ways to incorporate deep breathing into your day!

 

Ice Excavation

This is an idea I haven’t seen before! Creating ice cubes with bite size pieces of fruit or berries inside. Then let your child hammer and dig their way to the snack!

 

Social Activities

 

Face Magnets

Cut facial features from magazines, attach them to magnets, and grab a cookie sheet! You and your child can rearrange the features and discuss the emotions you create.

 

Fortune Tellers

Here is a new twist on an old school toy. Free printables are available at the link for fortune tellers that target social situations and emotions.

 

Guess Who?

I love this activity! Create a personalized Guess Who? board using pictures of friends, family members, favorite characters, and/or community helpers. Then use those receptive language, and intraverbal skills to guess who the other player is looking at! “Is it someone that lives in your house?” “Do they wear glasses?” “Is it Daddy?” Yes!

 

Being prepared and keeping your child busy during a day inside can help to keep things under control. If some problem behavior does end up occurring, you should be geared up to manage that, too. You can create a quiet space for the child to spend some time alone if being around other people for extended periods of time is overwhelming to them. I gave a lot of examples that were about getting active, but some children just want to cuddle, look at books, or watch TV. There are learning opportunities everywhere, just put on your thinking cap to find them. 🙂

 

Comment below with activities that you have used for days that you have been stuck inside!

 

Stay Warm. Stay Positive.

 

~HLG~

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