7 Indoor Activities For Fun On Winter Days

Fun Indoor Activities That Will Make You A Hero One Day This Winter!

Keep these fun indoor activities on hand for those times this winter when you find yourself stuck in the house for an extended period of time with a little less room than you wish you had, a little more noise than you can stand, and maybe even a little less patience than you need!

 

girl with bean bags deicting fun activities for for winter days

When it’s too cold to be outside

When the wind is howling and the ice is raining down and there is no chance for fun games outside you will need some quick diversions! I put together this list of fun indoor activities to keep everyone moving, mind as well as body, and to help strengthen family ties when you might otherwise be making less than sweet memories.

My kids love to play in the snow. Actually, I do too! One particular winter, though. The snow came, but it was so cold out there we couldn’t enjoy it at all. We were freezing after just a few minutes. We only ventured out for dire necessities! The kids ended up watching way to much Television. You know how that goes, what was extremely entertaining for a few hours becomes the source of squabbles and before you know it the screen zombies are out in full force haggling over anything and everything! Something has to give in these times and a good list of indoor games will make you a hero!

7Fun Activities when stuck indoors

Plastic Cup Building

Hand the kids several sets of plastic cups and let them build to their heart’s content! Towers, forts, pyramids, you name it. Go freestyle or have an engineering contest, it’s up to you.

Sensory play bins

Plastic tubs holding various dry materials, add scoops, spoons, and tiny utensils and you have an afternoon of fun. Another fun add-on is small toys for even more pretend play and communication skills opportunities. The possibilities are only limited by your imagination on this one.

Some good materials are Dry macaroni, dry beans or peas of all shapes and sizes, peat moss, coconut coir, and salt, to name a few.

Bean bag color shoot

Place different colors of construction paper on the ground. Either in a line with the child standing behind it or in a circle with the child standing in the middle of it. The child holds bean bags in corresponding colors. The object is for the child to throw each beanbag onto its corresponding color.

Play band, or parade

The only way to make this game better is to first make your own homemade instruments! My kids used to spend hours making their own instruments, then march and play with them all afternoon! This post has some great ideas for making your own simple and fun instruments.

Read a book

Or 2 or 3. Spend the afternoon with a great read-aloud. Set up a picnic in the living room and settle in for the long- haul! My favorite winter activity by far.

Play board games

This is such a great activity to build community. There is always peals of laughter at some point. In our family, ALL the kids love the thrill of beating mom!

Dance Party!

Turn on some music. Pull out some movement props like scarves, jingle bells, or streamers and let the creative times roll!

Or play Beanbag freeze! Turn on the music and everyone dances, tossing beanbags about as they go. Turn off the music and everyone must freeze! I’m sure this would insight some real drama in any age group! (source: MeaningfulMama)

Balloon ball games

Our Balloon balls are just the thing for inside! They have the airy lightness of a balloon, with a little kick provided by the texture of the material covering. They keep ball games safe for indoors!

  • Keep away
  • Catch
  • Categories, saying the name when you hit the balloon
  • Basketball into a basket or tub for a new twist
  • Dodgeball

and more…

 

Beanbag games

Meaningful Mama has a whole post with great bean bag ideas! You will find everything from balancing games, tossing games, endurance games, relays, to obstacle activities and more there. Take a look at all her bean bag ideas here.

 

Winning with fun indoor activities

Print this off, get any props, pieces, or ingredients you might not have on hand, and tuck it away for that inevitable house-bound day when you need something special!

Your kids will love it, and who knows, you might all end the day wishing you’ll be stuck inside again soon!

Save it to Pinterest for extra precaution 😉

Joy is a mom of 6 (ages 5-26) who has a passion for encouraging moms! With three already grown up, married and having families of their own, three still at home, 2 kids with Down syndrome, and having been through a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in a teen she has definately been through some ups and downs. However, she believes that each mom is divinely appointed and equipped to raise her particular kid(s) better than anyone else in the world no matter how it may feel on any particular day! She wants to inspire Your Mom heart as well as making the more practical aspects of running a household a tad easier over at JoyonthisMomJourney.com

17 Ways to Create Opportunities for Indoor Movement Activities This Winter

Indoor Movement Activities to chill out the winter blahs!

 

 

When the kids are climbing the walls because they have been cooped up inside for too long what are ya going to do?

I am going to give you so many ideas for indoor movement activities that the kids won’t have a chance to even think about being bored!… and then they will be able to think. period.

We all know that dreaded phrase, “I’m boooored!”

It’s actually banned at our house I hate to hear it so much! But that doesn’t mean my kids don’t go stir-crazy when the winter weather takes over! Even as an adult, I’m prone to cabin fever sometimes.

When the weather begins to turn grey outside something in our heads begins to become dull as well! Physical exercise: moving our bodies is the  best cure for this dullness!

With old man winter approaching, you need some engaging indoor activities for kids in your arsenal and at the ready! Therefore, I went on a quest to find some amazing games and ideas to engage motor skills and imagination in indoor spaces to keep those kids occupied and the indoor decor safe at the same time 🙂

ways to create opportunities for indoor movement activities

Why Fun Indoor Movement Activities are Important for Intellect and Behavior

 

Did you know that physical activity can boost brain power, improve mood, enhance concentration and increase decision-making skills? (source )

Furthermore, The benefits of exercise come directly from its ability to reduce insulin resistance, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the release of growth factors—chemicals in the brain that affect the health of brain cells, the growth of new blood vessels in the brain, and even the abundance and survival of new brain cells. (source)

Studies show that even briefly exercising for 20 minutes facilitates information processing and memory functions. Did you get that? Being on the move for just 20 minutes at a time will help us (and our kids) concentrate better Immediately! Wow!

Dr. John Ratey, via Forbes, says that exercise improves your brain in the short term by raising your focus for two to three hours afterward. So frequent breaks for movement are immediately beneficial for concentration! Great news for teachers and moms alike!

Indoor movement activities will make kids smarter! Being active will increase their ability to focus and concentrate, making your job easier!

So whether you are a mom stuck inside with multiple children during a snowstorm, or a teacher with a classroom full of children that you need to get to concentrate, these activities are your ticket to peace and success!

17 Fun Indoor Activities and Games to keep them focused and calm all day long!

Bring on the games! Some of the activities can be used to strengthen concepts or academic skills, all reinforce motor skills with movement. And all will create an atmosphere of fun and comradery.

Have a quick snowball fight! When your woes are caused having ice outside instead of snow this is a great solution!

# 1 Traditional snowball fight with 2 teams, forts, and fun

#2 Dodgeball version, which is much easier in small spaces with the same amount of fun

#3 Make 2 rows of kids facing each other with several buckets in front of each row. Each team frantically tries to get all of their snowballs into the buckets in front of the other team!

#4 Have a Snowball Freeze!

#5 Check out these snow-themed activities

Studies show that exercising even briefly facilitates information processing and memory functions… when we MOVE our brains work better IMMEDIATELY!

Indoor Activities with Scarves

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Scarves are just plain fun! You can acquire them from grandmothers, thrift stores, garage sales, or from Bear Paw Creek with ease for hours of creative movement fun!

#6 Turn on some dance tunes and hand the kids some scarves -they’ll know what to do!

#7 Have a Dancing Scarf Blues party

#8 Creative Movement Activities and Songs with Scarves

#9 Pass the hanky

#10 Try These Beat Passing Games

#11 Drop the hanky or scarf in our case. You can find directions here

Bean Bags: The Classic Indoor Activity for the Win!

Bean Bags are so open-ended the possibilities are really endless! Here are just a few ideas to get you started 🙂

#12 Play hopscotch with them! Create a board with painter’s tape and use the beanbags for playing pieces

#13 Play Tic-Tac-Toe with them on a giant grid on the floor (use painter’s tape again)

#14 Play “Hot Potatoe” with beanbags. Pass the beanbag to music. Whoever has it when the music stops is out.

#15 Bean Bag Hunt: One person hides the beanbags while the others hide their eyes. Then everyone dashes to find all the beanbags!

#16 Basketball with a change-up: use beanbags to toss and a laundry basket or sand bucket for the goal!

#17 Bean Bag races: create a start line and a finish line, the players push the beanbag across the path with their foreheads!

Just Get Moving!

There you have it! 17 Amazing ideas to get those minds and bodies moving in a productive way. Whether you take one fun idea each day or use all 17 ideas in a marathon activity-based day is completely up to you!  3 great movement props at your disposal for easy fun, what will you do first?

Don’t keep the good stuff to yourself! Be sure to share this list with someone else who you know could benefit!

 

Pin This for when your ready to plan neat stuff 🙂

Joy is a mom of 6 (ages 5-26) who has a passion for encouraging moms! With three already grown up, married and having families of their own, three still at home, 2 kids with Down syndrome, and having been through a diagnosis of Multiple Sclerosis in a teen she has definately been through some ups and downs. However, she believes that each mom is divinely appointed and equipped to raise her particular kid(s) better than anyone else in the world no matter how it may feel on any particular day! She wants to inspire Your Mom heart as well as making the more practical aspects of running a household a tad easier over at JoyonthisMomJourney.com

Crossing the Midline with the Stretchy Band, Balloon Ball, Bean Bags

OT Mom’s Learning Activities Link Up

 

 

About a year ago I stumbled across Tracey from OT Mom Learning Activities.  She lives in Africa and was looking for some bean bags, and I also sent her a stretchy band and balloon ball for her to try out.

She specifically shared how to use the stretchy band, bean bags, and balloon ball for teaching bilateral coordination.

She says, “Bilateral coordination is the ability to use both sides of the body together in a coordinated way. It is also called bilateral integration

I will be sharing her ideas and linking up to her blog posts and information.

OT Mom Learning Activities with stretchy band, balloon ball, bean bags

Crossing the Midline with the Stretchy Band, Balloon Ball, Bean Bags

Follow this link for fun activities for crossing the midline to implement at home and come with lots of photos to show you just what to do!

stretchy Band Round up of Activites

Stretchy Band

Bear Paw Creek’s stretchy band can be used very effectively to work on midline crossing skills with a group of kids!

Have your kids stand in a circle and hold on to the stretchy band. These 3 kids are holding 2 bands which have been joined together to make a longer one.

Start clapping a beat or singing a song and have the kids move the stretchy band hand over hand around the circle in a rhythmical way.

They should be crossing the midline as they reach from side to side.

Read more on OT Mom!

 

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Bean Bag

In this post you will learn the following:

Bean bag games and activities make use of a fun and inexpensive prop to develop gross motor skills.

Younger children may find beanbags easier to handle than a ball, and because beanbags can’t roll away, they may be less frustrating for the child with poor coordination skills.

Some of the games suggested can make great kids’ party games too!

Click on this link to read the list of bean bag activities.

Rachel&GeorgeBeanBags2

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Janet Stephens is the founder and creator behind Bear Paw Creek’s creative movement props and bags. She is passionate about learning and sharing along the way.

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#AMTA16 Giveaways

Where to Find Bear Paw Creek #AMTA16

 

 

Another year is quickly flying by.  This week brings the annual music therapy conference. I’m excited to share where you’ll be able to find Bear Paw Creek’s movement props and instrument storage bags.

 

#amta16 giveaways from Bear Paw Creek

Music Therapy Ed Happenings

Kat from Music Therapy Ed reached out to us a few months ago to see if we wanted to give some giveaways again this year. Of course we did! 

They have a whole lot of fun going on and from videos show casing their booth in years past, it’s always a PARTY at their booth!  They are doing a scavenger hunt again and have lots of great giveaways lined up. Including t-shirts for the first 20 VIPs to stop by.  Read all about it in their post:   #AMTA16 Scavenger Hunt & Prize Details

 

You like our T-shirt design? We're giving away free T-shirts to the first 20 VIP subscribers who stop by our booth at #amta16. Will we see you there?

 

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Music Therapy Connections Excitement

It’s through Kat from Music Therapy Ed that I ever got connected with Rachel Rambach of Music Therapy Connections.  It’s been exciting support each other.  She provides great music to use with our props, and we supply the props!

This fall she released “Songs for Movement Props.”    This inspired me to put together a set of movement props that will be added to the site soon.  All of you attending the American Music Therapy Conference will get the first sneak peak at them!

The set will include 1 connect-a-stretchy band, Balloon Ball, set of 13 Chiffon Scarves, and a set of 4″ square bean bags.  The total MSRP is $80 but they will be 10% off at conference selling for $72. She will have limited supply of them available, so make sure to stop by.  They all work great with the songs as listed here:

  • “Stretch in the Morning”
  • “In a Circle”
  • “‘Round the Rainbow”
  • “Grow Flower Grow”
  • “Movin’ in the Circle”
  • “I Have a Beanbag”
  • “Beanbag in My Hand”
  • “Bop Bop the Balloon Ball”
  • “I Have a Balloon Ball”
  • “See the Scarf”
  • “Colors of the Rainbow”
  • “We’re Gonna Wave”

Movement Prop Set for Listen and Learn Music from Bear Paw Creek

So stop by at the Music Therapy Connections booth and sign up to win a set packaged in our “Music Therapy Makes a Difference” tote bag!

 

 

 

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West Music

You will also be able to find more of our movement props at West Music’s booth.  They have been selling our products since 2001! 

They carry the stretchy band, bean bags, hoop and ribbon streamers, balloon ball, Qchord Gig Bag, and the Tone Chime Case.

Make sure to stop by and check them out and tell them you appreciate them supporting American Made products.  When you buy our products you are supporting USA based manufacturing and local small businesses.

Bear Paw Creek is thankful for our partnership with West Music for fifteen years.

Janet Stephens is the founder and creator behind Bear Paw Creek’s creative movement props and bags. She is passionate about learning and sharing along the way.

Down Syndrome Awareness Month: Big Giveaway, 15% Sales Donation

October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month

 

 

 

In honor and remembrance of my nephew, Brandon Nelson, I have been inspired to support Down Syndrome Awareness Month.

For the month of October, Bear Paw Creek will be running a big giveaway and also donating 15% of sales to a local group, Down Syndrome Group of the Ozarks.

There will also be a two part blog post about Down Syndrome and celebrating worth.

Down Sydrome Awareness Month Big Giveaway, donation of sales to local group

The Year My Parents Added Three More Grandchildren

The year 2002 was a year of booming growth in our family. This is the year that my brother and his wife, my sister and her husband, and my husband and I were expecting new additions.  Since there are only three of us siblings, my parents were being blessed with adding three grandchildren to their growing family tree!

This was our second child, and my brother and sister’s first! Our daughter, Madison, was born first in April, with our nephew Brandon being born in August, and our niece Sammie arriving in October.

I can still remember the day my brother called to tell me that they had found out their little one would have Down Syndrome.  We soon found out that he would also have issues with his heart.  Heart defects and disease is more common in children with Down Syndrome; here this article states that their risk is between 40-60.

So my nephew was scheduled to have a life saving heart operation shortly after birth, and more down the road.  After Brandon was born and before our niece Sammie was born, I was able to head to Wisconsin to visit family with our two oldest children.  My oldest was 4 at the time, and baby was 5 months old.  I am so glad I was able to meet Brandon in person and hold him.  Back then we didn’t have digital cameras, or phones with cameras in them, so I do wish we had more pictures from that trip.  In the bottom left corner, our oldest son is holding Brandon with me assisting.

Nephew Brandon

When I left Wisconsin, my sister was end of pregnancy huge!  I was hoping baby would come early so I could be there, but our niece had her own idea on when she’d arrive. Sammie was born a few weeks after I arrived back home in Missouri.

I sure wish we could have had pictures of the three cousins born in 2002 together, because 2003 brought sad times.  Shortly after marking his five month birthday, Brandon’s little heart couldn’t keep up and he went to be in Heaven.

When I saw a few months ago that October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, I thought of Brandon, I thought of our neighbors with George, and another family that has two children with Down Syndrome.  What started out as wanting to give back to the community with another sale donation has grown.

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Big Giveaway, Featured Posts, 15% Sales Donation

For the month of October we will be running a month long giveaway. It’s a big one!  It will include: two connect-a-stretchy bands, balloon ball, bean bags, drawstring bags, and streamers of your choice.  MSRP:  $145.00

Oct 2016 Giveaway, connect-a-stretchy bands, balloong ball, bean bags, drawstring bag, streamers

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We will also be giving 15% of our sales for the month of October to a local group, called Down Syndrome Group of the Ozarks.

Founded in 2006, the DSGO is an organization made up of a committed group of parents, professionals and other interested parties dedicated to creating an extensive network of support for individuals with Down syndrome and those who love and serve them in Southwest Missouri.

It is our goal to become the leading resource of Down syndrome information for new and expectant parents, students, healthcare professionals, educators and all Southwest Missouri citizens.

Our mission is to help individuals with Down syndrome become successful by providing support and education to loving families. We also are striving to bring awareness to early intervention services, promote inclusive education, highlight appropriate medical services, encourage quality employment opportunities and advocate for community awareness and acceptance.

We invite you to explore all that we offer and to join us in advancing the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome.

 

Down Syndrome Group of the Ozarks

Go sign up for the giveaway, share often, and spread the love!

Janet Stephens is the founder and creator behind Bear Paw Creek’s creative movement props and bags. She is passionate about learning and sharing along the way.
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