Fun Stuff to Stimulate and Entertain the Kids in Winter

Sometimes men find themselves in the position of needing to regularly spend an extended amount of time with their child or children and to keep them occupied and entertained. To do this month after month can be a daunting task. If “time together” slips into always being a movie and lunch at McDonalds, what could be “fun time” soon becomes “drudgery time.”

It can become especially difficult to have fun stuff to do that will stimulate and entertain the kids in the winter. Cold weather eliminates many of the activities that can be done outdoors.

Here is a list of ideas that will not only keep dads and their kids entertained, but it also will help children grow into the kind of adults that make their parents proud. It will give fathers ideas that can be used year around. It will help fathers and their children enjoy each other and look forward to the times they will spend together.

Some General Guidelines:

1. Brainstorm with your child and make a list of all the things you might enjoy doing together. Just let your imaginations go. You will come up with some unusual, but potentially excellent, ideas of things to do together.

2. Eliminate the ideas that are impractical or too expensive.

3. Make a written list of things to do. Keep and date it as you do them to prevent you from either forgetting some things or doing the same thing too often.

4. Don’t concentrate solely on having fun. Your child needs to learn to share, be helpful and develop good relationships with other people.

Some Specific Ideas to Help Start Your List:

1. Join the YMCA. It has an organization called Y-Indian Guides for boys and their fathers and Y-Indian Princesses for girls and their fathers. There are regular, well-planned meetings with lots of fun activities.

2. Go to the public library regularly. Children love, or can learn to love, checking out and reading books. A dad reading to his younger children is a special experience.

3. Go to the museums, especially children’s museums. The exhibits will come to life when the parent explains what they are seeing and its significance. Don’t stay too long.

4. Most community theaters have matinee productions for children.

5. Visit the children’s play land at your local mall, and then eat at the food court.

6. Go roller skating, ice skating or bowling. Track your child’s scores and improvement.

7. If your city has an IMAX theater, their documentaries are a fabulous experience for people of all ages. Their children’s movies are a memorable experience.

8. Bundle up the kids and go to the park to play. Schools take the kids outdoors in winter unless it is REALLY cold. So can you.

9. Learn about other cultures. Search the Internet together for information about a particular country such as Mexico, India or China. Afterwards, go to an ethnic restaurant with that kind of food. If your waiter is of that ethnicity and not too busy, ask him a few questions.

10. Purchase a computer game system and play games together. Many games are not suitable for children, but a lot of them are.

11. Take your children to church or synagogue. They will learn spiritual truth, but there will also be fun activities. Dad may want to volunteer to assist with a children’s group.

12. Take your kids to the grocery store. Find a store with child-sized shopping carts, so younger kids can push the groceries. Talk about what you are buying and why.

13. Go to Barnes & Noble, Borders, or another large bookstore. They have large sections of books, toys and games. You don’t always need to buy something.

14. Jointly decide which college or professional sports team is your favorite. Learn about the players. Buy a jersey with your favorite player’s name and number. Watch games together on television.