Category: Indoor Activity Ideas & Places

Ways to make learning playful and fun for kids

As a kindergarten teacher, I always believed my top priority was to help children fall in love with learning. The joy was getting them to enjoy school, to cherish the memories they make there and embrace the challenges. I felt that if each child could come to school excited for learning, that I would be setting them up for a lifetime of success. With school buildings closed and parents juggling their own work while also managing online learning and homework, I am afraid this priority of m...

Posted on February 11, 2021 at 1:30 PM by Brenna Moss

There's no better time to make hygge happen in your home

Hygge: feeling warm, comfortable and safe. This Danish concept advocates enjoying the simple pleasures and treating yourself with care. During Chicago winters, we could all do with a little dose of hygge: the perfect antidote to Zoom overload. Here’s how.

Clear out clutter
To ensure the simplicity required for this concept, some decluttering is required. Make this an opportunity to donate items, then clear everything out of sight into some large, natural hampers.

Bring in cozy
Woo...

Posted on February 09, 2021 at 12:47 PM by Fiona Royer

Spooky, fun and socially distant: Creative Halloween ideas for kids during Covid

Photo by Craig Adderley from Pexels

“Halloween is an opportunity to be really creative” – Judy Gold

Never has that been more true than now. So how do you embrace creativity and find a way to celebrate during these strange times?

Lights tour
When our children were babies we would stroll through the neighborhood on a night prior to Halloween, just enjoying the lights away from the crowds. This activity has now become a part of our annual tradition. We’re truly thankful that we c...

Posted on September 18, 2020 at 10:53 AM by Fiona Royer

7 things to have on hand for fun at-home activities with your kids

When Chicago's stay-at-home order began, like many parents I wondered how we would fill so much time at home with my 22-month-old. Even as a stay-at-home mom, this was a daunting task! I decided to get busy using my elementary-education teaching background to create basic plans for exploration and make the most of our time together. As we draw near the fall and probably another step toward increased distancing, I hope to empower parents with ideas for simple play at home. Creating memorie...

Posted on August 03, 2020 at 12:53 PM by Brenna Moss

How to keep your kids active inside

Photo by cottonbro from Pexels

 

Inactivity during winter months can have a negative effect on a family’s physical and mental health. Research has shown when kids don’t get enough activity, it could result in difficulty sleeping, behavior problems, and inattention for academic tasks. That’s why it’s important to keep your kids active all year round, especially during those long winter months. And no one understands this more than Chicagoans! To stay active while not having to leave ...

Posted on February 25, 2020 at 11:56 AM by Rose McLean

Purge alert! Enlist the kids in sorting and donating unwanted stuff

Chicagoans don’t need to wait for spring cleaning time to come around. With months of cold, inhospitable weather, there’s plenty of time to fit in a January purge beforehand. After the abundance of the holidays and the resolutions of the New Year, this is the perfect time to clear out the old.

I enjoy this enforced home time to reassess what our family has and needs, and to get organized. However, while clearing out can seem like a great idea when you start, it can quickly become overw...

Posted on January 07, 2019 at 1:54 PM by Fiona Royer

Cabin-fever busters your kids will love

It’s that time of year: shortened days of sunlight, exhaustion from all the holidays and we’re stuck inside with little ones, ready to pull our hair out. How could anyone survive this, let alone enjoy it? Yes, these are tough days, but with a few helpful hints, we are going to have fun! It may just be changing up the same old routine with a few new and different things. Enjoy the time together and know spring will eventually return.

Turn on the tunes. I always put on music, as it chang...

Posted on February 01, 2018 at 7:08 AM by Laurie Empen

How to survive a Chicago winter with kids

Photo credit: John W. Iwanski/Flickr

The holidays are behind us and the long Chicago winter stretches out ahead. This leaves all parents and caregivers with the same question: How the heck are we going to entertain our kids for the next three months?

Having lived through eight Chicago winters with at least one child, I give you my top activities and favorite things to do to kill time—I mean, educate and stimulate—your little ones. The best thing about most of these tips is they work...

Posted on January 03, 2017 at 12:38 PM by Cate White

6 sensory activities to try at home | NPNparents.org

 

*SPONSORED BY JCC CHICAGO*
 

As human beings, we’re hard-wired from birth to explore the world through our senses. The way we receive and respond to sensory stimuli has a powerful impact on our experiences. Creating opportunities for children to explore sets them up for long-term success with essential skills including problem solving, decision making, curiosity and perseverance.

Long before they become proficient with language, young children discover through their senses. It...

Posted on June 29, 2016 at 8:24 AM

Easy science projects to do with your kids | NPNparents.org

*SPONSORED BY MAD SCIENCE OF CHICAGO*

 

Whether it's a rainy weekend or a day (or summer) off of school, it's hard to come up with engaging and fun activities for your kids when you're stuck inside. Mad Science of Chicago is here to help with exciting science experiments you can do with your child at home, and on the cheap!

 

Catch a bubble

How many times have you caught a bubble in your hands without breaking it? We're guessing not that many. That's because dirt or oil on your...

Posted on April 01, 2016 at 11:21 AM by Norman Mick