Great Family Days in: 5 Winter Activities to do at Home

Claire Balkind, PJ Library parent and author of ‘Great Family Days In’ has adapted some of the activities from her book for families to enjoy this winter.

Keeping kids busy and happy indoors, particularly during the colder months can be a real challenge. However, a pinch of forward planning, a dollop of ideas and a sprinkling of ordinary household items, and you have a recipe for success.

Here are five tried and tested ideas to try!

Cotton Bud Printing

Cotton Bud Printing

Lay out some washable paint and paper and tie together small clusters of cotton buds with elastic bands. Use these as your paintbrush to create some gorgeous abstract art. Wash your buds and re-use time and time again.

Instant Jigsaws

Instant jigsaw

Cut up some cereal boxes or cardboard packaging that has a pattern or colourful design on it and voila – an instant jigsaw! Pop the pieces in a ziplock bag to store or take out and about.

DIY Pizza Delivery

Dad and daughter make a pizza

Mix a sachet of fast action yeast, 400g of plain flower, 230ml of water and some olive in a bowl. Knead, leave for 10 minutes, cover with your favourite toppings and bake. You could create a menu, design logo and make paper chef hats!

Family Gratitude Tree

Family Gratitude Tree

Gather some sticks and twigs and place inside a vase or jug. Write down things that you are grateful for on luggage tags and hang up on the branches and take a family selfie with your gratitude tree.

Marshmallow Towers

Marshmallow Tower

All you need is a bowl of mini marshmallows, cocktail sticks (or uncooked spaghetti for small hands) and a tray or plate. Use the marshmallows as 'cement' for the sticks to build a tower or scene. Turn it into a competition by seeing who can build the tallest tower or most creative shape without it falling down. And you can nosh on the marshmallows at the end!

About Claire

Claire Balkind

Claire is a teacher and author and lives in North London with her two daughters, husband and cat. She is the founder of the million member Facebook group FAMILY LOCKDOWN TIPS & IDEAS and can be found online as The What Now Mum. She published her first eBook ’20 Easy and Fun Activities’ in May with all proceeds to Barnardo’s and her second book ‘Great Family Days In’ in October 2020.

Facebook: The What Now Mum
Instagram: @thewhatnowmum
Twitter: @TheWhatNowMum