Indoor activities with kids for winter and Christmas

The temperature drops, the sun goes earlier to sleep, it rains, and it even snows sometimes. So, we spend more afternoons and time in our warm home. With the arrival of winter and the holiday days, we all need some indoor activities and a plan B with kids at home, and we have compiled a few. This is a really good chance for everybody to get to know each other better and spend some time together. And if you realise that you don’t get along well later, we will do another post with ideas to make that up.

The kitchen as a gathering place

A home needs common spaces beyond the bedroom because a house is a gathering point for us all. Family, friends, children, and adults need places to meet and enjoy time together. The kitchen is our favourite place for many reasons, and not just because home appliances are our thing, nope. A kitchen is a perfect space to explore, and even the little ones can find their place to get involved in plenty of activities and mess around—always under adult supervision.

Mother and daughter playing with flour in the kitchen

Biscuits anytime

Recipes to cook with children are a great way to spend time at home with them. The approach must be quite different from cooking daily. Calmness and patience are a must, as well as some preparation, but it’s worth it for multiple advantages. In the case of biscuits, the results are quite immediate and nutritious, and biscuits can become a good gift for others. All you need is an oven and some ingredients that you can find in any pantry. Find some recipes below, but let your imagination run wild:

Butter cookies

Snowy cookies

Christmas cookies, gingerbread man

A quick tip: biscuits can be the beginning of the next step the following weekend. Make our own muffins.

Children cutting biscuits on a dough over parchment paper

Other recipes to enjoy together

There is life beyond snacks and desserts in the world of cooking with children. Spending time in the kitchen is good to instil a love for cooking and involving them in daily life. While the first thing that comes to mind is pasta recipes—and that’s a brilliant idea—there are also other homemade and healthy possibilities out there:

  • Any type of pizza with homemade dough. It’s easy, and they can add the ingredients they like the most.
  • “Not-fried” fried foods. A movie night + homemade and healthy fast food is possible thanks to a good AirFry-type oven.
  • Terrific breakfasts with pancakes for everybody.

The simple fact that they help us with small tasks will make them feel better and involved. And having a little helper to find ingredients, beat an egg, coat in flour, or grate cheese is always welcome. Sometimes, indoor activities with kids are a good learning tool and can help us establish good habits.

Pepperoni pizza with several hands around ready to grab a pizza slice

Recycling and homemade decoration

Try to get the most expensive toy for a child and see what happens next: they will choose to play with the box it came in rather than the toy. Take this fact, combine it with recycling and we get the perfect non-alcoholic cocktail for any evening. Cans, glass jars, kitchen roll tubes, or plastic containers can have a second life and a new way to play with things. Star with some paint, fabric, rubber bands, and a hot glue gun. We can turn cans into pencil holders, tin cans into cutlery holders, glass jars for food with colourful lids, and much more. They can also turn into candle holders for Christmas. However, it’s essential to make sure to file the edges of tin cans well and clean them before starting with our crafts.

Craft Christmas decoration with black background and led lights

Christmas decoration in the oven

Making handmade Christmas ornaments using the oven is a warm and affordable option. You can create small works of art for the holidays with ingredients you have on hand, like salt dough. Clay or shrinky dinks are also easy to get and use.

You can also make decorations for the Christmas tree or dinner table drying slices of orange and other fruits. Use either the oven for the slices (45 minutes on both sides at 140°C) or the microwave (at high power, for three to four minutes). Combine this activity with other ways of making ornaments and divide the tasks over several days.

Craft wrapped Christmas gifts

…and then, clean and organize

Cooking and any similar activity should also involve cleaning and organizing the space afterwards. It’s a habit that adults often find tedious, and the same goes for children, even if you do it with a spoonful of sugar. Some cleaning discipline and understanding why it is significant is a habit that comes with these moments too. Even in daily life, you can assign tasks to children such as loading the dishwasher, organizing the cutlery drawer, and setting and clearing the table. And don’t forget not to turn these cleaning and organizing duties into a punishment.

Pantry with glass jars and greens

Benefits of spending time in the kitchen with children

Some advantages of using the kitchen as a lab for ideas and games include:

Cultivating patience. The kitchen often requires time and attention, fostering patience both in adults and children.

Improving low frustration tolerance. Confronting culinary challenges develops the ability to deal with frustration and resilience, again, for adults and children.

Enhancing concentration: Cooking demands attention to detail, improving concentration.

Getting used to and enjoying teamwork: Cooking as a family encourages collaboration and teamwork, creating a cooperative environment.

Learning to follow and understand instructions: By following recipes, children practice reading and understanding instructions, as well as measuring and counting ingredients.

Boosting ingenuity and imagination: Experimenting with ingredients and creating new recipes stimulates creativity and innovative thinking.

Improving self-esteem: Successfully creating edible and delicious dishes contributes to building self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.

Enjoying family time: The kitchen provides a space for family interaction and creates meaningful and shared memories.

Spending time outdoors is crucial for children’s development, but when you have to stay at home, weekends and holidays are the perfect time to get started on these types of work. It’s not about achieving a perfect result; this isn’t an Instagram reel. It’s about enjoying the process and doing it together.


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