Old-Fashioned Winter Fun for Children

Build fun with our Wooden Log Sets! More than 50 pieces keep kids busy for hours. At Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio or Lehmans.com.
Build fun with our Wooden Log Sets! More than 50 pieces keep kids busy for hours. At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or Lehmans.com.

When people hear that we don’t have a television, I often get asked how I keep the kids entertained. Which is sad to me, in all honesty. Have we, as a society, slipped so far into the technological age that we’ve forgotten how to allow our children to play using… gasp… nothing but their imagination? Sadly, far too many kids nowadays would have a complete meltdown if they had to be without their electronics for longer than a couple of hours.

My family hasn’t always been without television. It’s only been a year since we decided to ditch the tube. But what an incredible difference it has made to our family… especially the kids. Instead of asking to watch cartoons first thing in the morning, the children sit down for breakfast, and then run off to play together. Imagine that. Siblings… getting along… actually enjoying each other’s company!

Entertaining the kids without an electronic babysitter can be an adjustment at first, especially in the wintertime when you can’t send them outside to play. But chilly days stuck indoors don’t have to mean kids and parents going crazy. There are actually many things children can do to entertain themselves for hours.

Make this Pennsylvania Dutch tradition your family tradition too! Great for all ages. At Lehman's in Kidron, Ohio or Lehmans.com.
Make this Pennsylvania Dutch tradition your family tradition too! Great for all ages. At Lehman’s in Kidron, Ohio or Lehmans.com.

Here are a few ways my children enjoy playing the old fashioned way:

  • Dolls/Dollhouses
  • Matchbox Cars
  • Playdough
  • Building Blocks
  • Painting
  • Drawing & Coloring
  • Paper Dolls
  • Hide & Seek
  • Reading, either silently or an older child reading to a younger child. (Yes. They actually enjoy doing this!)
  • Classic Card & Board Games
  • Age appropriate puzzles
  • Baking with Mommy
  • Building tents out of chairs and blankets
  • Puppets
  • Marbles
  • Creating pictures using various stamps and ink.
  • Playing with magnets.
  • Pretend Store with play money.
  • Crafts: model cars, weaving potholders, stringing beads to make jewelry, threading string, etc.
  • Playing Kitchen with Mommy’s plastic bowls, wooden spoons, and empty spice containers.
  • Dress Up & Role Playing: Girls playing princess, mommy, or fairy; Boys playing cowboy or knight, protecting the girls from the bad guys.

Even with the ridiculous amount of toys that my children have, I am always amazed at how few they actually play with. The majority of their play time is spent pretending together, with nothing but imagination to power them. Which is beautiful to me.

So you see, there are lots of things that you can encourage your children to do to stay busy without simply plopping them down in front of the television or a video game all day long. Unplug those mind-numbing gadgets and get your kids enjoying some good old fashioned fun!

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Heather Hansen
12 years ago

I lived in Germany for 3 years and in Norway for 1 year when I was in college. NOt once, during that whole time did I ever own a tv. You know what? I didn’t miss it. I did so much with my friends there and created amazing memories. That’s much better than a tv could ever do :) :) TVs are good…but I’m just saying that it is definitely possible to enjoy life without one, too :) :) :)

Rhonda Lampton
12 years ago

We homeschool…and after classes are over, it’s usually out in the snow, collecting snow for homemade snowcones, building snowmen etc. OR if so cold they can’t go out…they entertain themselves with toys, books, crafts etc. We have some tame parakeets they love to play with also…better memories for sure

Lisa Ramunni Cool
Lisa Ramunni Cool
12 years ago

im happy to have quit tv…so much of life to do!

Connie Phipps
Connie Phipps
12 years ago

as a kid the only time we had the tv on was for momma’s soaps, the 6 pm news and if there was a family movie on tv…we went sledding in the winter, bike rides in the summer and board games always….i still dont watch tv often and i am 38… :)

Deb Potter
Deb Potter
12 years ago

Sadly ironic as the FB post right under this one is from a friend who posted a picture of her 4 year old sitting on the bed, wearing headphones & totally absorbed in his handheld video game. She proudly titled it “my little gamer”…. At that age, my children were more likely to be outside digging holes, climbing things or jumping off stuff.

Cathy Reed Geary
12 years ago

We did not have nearly as many obese children before TV was 24/7 and video games were common in households. My kids got to rent a video game for BD’s and special occasions. Got a whole day or two to do nothing but, and they were ready for a break when it went back.

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