When winter weather arrives and the temperatures drop, your kids will inevitably be spending more time indoors. For busy parents, keeping rambunctious little ones occupied within the confines of the four walls of your home can be a challenge. Read on for ideas on fun and affordable ways to keep children busy and happy inside when they can’t venture outdoors.

Snag affordable surprise activities via online shops

Kids are notorious for having short attention spans—a problem that many teachers believe is getting worse thanks to the effects of digital technology. Unfortunately, this also translates to their playthings, and kids may get bored of their toys faster than you’d like. To keep them busy on rainy or snowy days, have some surprise tricks up your sleeve—toys or activities that you have hidden away and can bring out to engage their attention. You can find great deals on gently used eBay items including toys and video games for cheap, and you can save even more by using a promo code or eBay coupon today.

Challenge their minds with arts and crafts

Getting your kids into arts and crafts has many developmental benefits. Drawing and painting help with bilateral coordination, for example, while beading encourages fine motor skills. The prospect of creating a product all on their own also boosts a child’s self-esteem. There are many ways to get crafty on a budget. You can hang poster boards on the wall and let kids get busy with markers or hand paints, for example, or provide them with old magazines to create a collage.

Get them moving with indoor sports

One of the biggest challenges of having kids cooped up inside is the fact that they tend to have a lot of energy. Invest in some safe indoor sporting goods like a mini basketball hoop. Dick’s Sporting Goods has models covering a range of price points, and if it’s your first time shopping with them online, you’ll even get free shipping. Kids’ health will benefit from the exercise as well. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, physical activity can help children and adolescents build their cardiorespiratory fitness, develop strong bones and muscles, and reduce symptoms of mental health conditions like anxiety.

Boost their math skills by cooking together

You may have all the tools you need to keep your child occupied indoors right in your kitchen—no need to spend a cent on added supplies. If you have the time to supervise them, you can join your child in a cooking or baking project. There are many fun kid-friendly recipes to choose from, such as no-bake peanut butter treats and glazed doughnut holes. Cooking together is a great opportunity to practice math skills. Children will have to learn about measurements and use numbers, which will get their brains buzzing. You can also combine cooking with a crafting activity by having kids write down their favorite recipes and create their very own cookbook.

Put on a fashion show with second-hand clothing

Keep a costume box on hand full of old clothing, costumes, and props—anything that could make for a fun game of dressup for little ones. Odds are you have some old clothes of your own that you are thinking of donating but that could be used for your fashion show. You can also easily create a loaded box of dress-up clothes by scouting out second-hand shops. However, make sure to clean and deodorize the thrift-store finds that you get when you bring them home, just to err on the side of caution.

With the above tips and tricks, you will no longer have to view snow days with trepidation. You will have affordable and easy ways to keep kids entertained, avoiding boredom for them—and alleviating stress for you. All it takes is adopting a few of the guidelines described above.

About Emily Graham: Emily is the creator of Mighty Moms. She believes being a mom is one of the hardest jobs around and wanted to create a support system for moms from all walks of life. On her site, she offers a wide range of info tailored for busy moms — from how to reduce stress to creative ways to spend time together as a family.

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