Frugal Family Activities — Winter

Are your kids starting to suffer from cabin fever?  Are you looking for some inexpensive ways to keep the kids occupied this winter?  Here are some great ideas you and the kids are sure to love!

Snow Painting — Go outside and let the kids build snow sculptures.  Then paint them with spray bottles filled with water and a little food

Indoor Ice Skating —  Make boots for each child with sheets of wax paper and use rubber bands around the ankles.  Play waltz music on the stereo, and let your child “skate” on the carpet.  Careful, it is slippery, but also a lot of fun!

Make a Bird Feeder — Have your child spread peanut butter all over a pine cone and cover it with bird seed.  Hang to a tree branch with
ribbon or string.

Make a Rain Stick from Recyclables — This is a great way to use those
left over cardboard rolls from wrapping paper.  Use corn, pistachio shells, sesame seeds, or rice to fill.  Poke holes in the tube and insert nails or toothpicks to make a neat sound.  Have lot of fun decorating/painting it.

Cinnamon Holiday Ornaments —  Here is a great recipe for these.
You and your child can make them and deliver to a senior living facility.

Ball Pit —  With an inflatable pool, fill with ball pit balls… Tons of fun!

Indoor “Sand” Box —  Fill a large box or Rubbermaid bin… or inflatable pool, with oatmeal, or rice.  Supply lots of funnels, shovels, and cups for the kids to play with.

Bring a Slide Indoors —  If you have a plastic slide that is usually outdoors, clean it off and bring it inside for a day or two.  This is a huge hit!

Paint a Mural —  With rolls of craft paper, you can have lots of fun painting huge murals.  Use a basement or garage if you can.  This is messy, but it is a lot of fun.

Paper Snowflakes — A winter classic.  Hang them from the ceiling, or decorate them with silver glitter.

Sledding/Tubing —  Bundle the kids up and take them sledding/tubing at the park.  Afterwards warm up with a cup of hot chocolate.

Ice Candles — Place an empty tin can in the center of a bucket of water. Place the bucket outside and allow it to freeze completely.
Once it is frozen, carefully remove the ice from the bucket and tin can.  Insert a candle where the can was, and you have an ice candle!

Bake Bread —  A great way to kill time and get the kids involved in the kitchen.  Having the oven on and help heat up the house too.

Make Wrapping Paper — Another great thing to do with a roll of craft paper.  Use red and green ink pads and holiday stamps to decorate sheets of the paper and use as wrapping paper for the holidays.

Build a Fort —  Blankets, chairs, and couch cushions can all be use to build a great indoor fort.

Indoor Beach Party —  Play tropical music on the stereo, wear grass skirts, and teach your kids how to hula!

Paint a Winter Scene —  Mix the white paint with salt for a neat snowy effect.

Visit an Indoor Pool —  Swim in Zone or the Rodale Aquatic Center are
some of the area favorites.

Winter Movie Marathon — Happy Feet, Polar Express, Elf, etc. Make a big bowl of popcorn to share and snuggle in for the day.


  1. Jenny Henny says

    I love the idea of snow painting! Can’t wait till it snows to give this a try!

  2. Wow, you have a lot of great ideas