7 Activities To Build Language And Beat The Winter Blues

woman playing and teaching with kids

We were having a pretty mild winter until our DC Metro area blizzard (where we seemed to get all of winter at once) last month. And apparently Elsa is not done with us with these mini snow and ice events we have had this February. These days indoors can add up quickly and lead to quite the case of cabin fever (for you and the kids).

So what is a mom to do when it’s just too cold or rainy to play outside? Here are some ideas that are kid-friendly and will help encourage lots of communication from your child! You can use these for inside play on cold winter or warm rainy day and you can even move it outside when the weather gets nice.

3 Activities For Fun In The Kitchen                            

  • MAKE PLAYDOH! Here’s the recipe I use. Mix the following ingredients in a large pot until somewhat smooth: 2.5c water, 1 ¼ c salt, 1 ½ tbsp. cream of tartar, 5 tbsp vegetable oil, 2.5c flour. Then, cook the dough over a low heat. Keep mixing! Eventually it will start to look sticky. When it is no longer gooey, take it out and put it on wax paper on the counter. Add in the food coloring and knead it into the dough. Be careful, it’s hot! When done playing with it, store it in an airtight container.
  • MAKE FLUBBER: This one is a favorite! Mix in a bowl: 1 ½ c very warm water with 2 c elmer’s glue and food coloring (to your desired color). In a larger bowl, combine 2 tsp Borax and 1 c very warm water; stir until dissolved. Pour the glue mixture into the borax mixture. In about 10 minutes all of the water will be absorbed and you will have flubber!
  • PLAY WITH MAGNETS & A COOKIE TRAY: Have you ever grabbed a cookie sheet, handing it to your toddler, with a bag of magnets; and let them have fun? It is SUCH a blast to see what sticks to the tray and what doesn’t!


2 Activities For Fun In The Bath/Blow Up Pool

  • LEGO BATH: If you have a kiddo who loves lego’s, take a lego bath! It can be so much fun to go swimming (or “diving”) for lego’s and building a lego city under water! Bonus: your child and the lego’s will be clean!
  • BALL PIT KIDDIE POOL AND SLIDE. You can set this up inside or outside of your house. Position the kiddie slide so your child will slide right into the kiddie pool and fill with balls (like you’d find in a ball pit). If you don’t want to buy (or chase balls), get a few pool noodles and cut them up into 3 inch pieces. The noodles can serve the same function as ball-pit balls.

2 Activities For Playing Indoors

  • CREATE AN OBSTACLE COURSE! Be creative. Find different things from around your home and create an obstacle course. You can also use pool noodles to create circles that your child has to crawl through by standing the noodles upright or lay them down and have them hop through them like tires in a traditional obstacle course. You can also pull in the ball pit kiddie pool and slide and even incorporate our next idea…a fort!
  • CREATE A FORT! Use the big pillows from your couch and a sheet to create a fort! THIS is a favorite of ANY child. Building this will be another great opportunity to work on language and talk about what you are doing as you build.

Language To Incorporate:

You can work on any of the following concepts with these activities…

  • colors
  • shapes: circle (shape of pool), triangle (make a triangle out of playdoh), etc.
  • labeling objects: spoon, bowl, pool, slide, balls, etc
  • actions: jump, swim, crawl, slide, roll, push, etc
  • directions: put the flour in the pot, take the pillow and put it on the floor, etc.
  • and anything else you can think of!

These activities should help you and your kiddo keep busy on a cold winter or rainy spring day! Take some pictures of you and your little one(s) engaging in these activities and come share them with us.


Happy Playing!


Note: This article first appeared on thedcladies.com