Winter is my least favorite time of year. Four kids and bitter cold temps do not go over well in our house. At this point, I would be willing to deal with the pain caused by snow and winter storms if it meant the kids would actually want to go outside and play, but since we are cooped up inside I am always looking for something fun and exciting for the kids to do.
If you're like us and looking for something to pass the time on fridged days check out some of our favorite games to play inside:
Nerf War: Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. Everyone in our house grabs their nerf guns and we go to war. The most important thing here is safety. Safety glasses and lots of warnings about shooting people in the face goes a long way. Oh, and make sure the house is clean because losing due to a lego foot injury is not how you want to go down!
Hide-And-Seek: Talk about a game of wits. Trying to find new hiding places in a house can be quite a challenge. I have hidden in cabinets, in the top of a closet and even in a suitcase. I think one of my favorite things about moving every four years is knowing I will have new hiding spots for our games.
Movie Night: Because we watch so many old movies during the summer, winter movie nights are usually reserved for new releases. I try to go all out with special themed treats and games, but sometimes we just chill and enjoy a new movie together.
Video Game Competitions: These competitions get pretty competitive so sometimes it is actually more fun just to watch the kids play their own games. On Saturdays, we will usually gather in my son's room to take turns playing old school fighting games complete with a game tournament bracket! My kids do all the work and all my husband and I have to do is try to kick each other's butts (you know, after we take the kids down one by one).
5. Watch Your Child Play: If we aren't having a tournament I'm likely sitting near the kids watching them play a Nintendo 3DS. Every winter we try to bring in a few new games. New games help keep the kids occupied, are fun to watch, and make long car rides go by so much faster. This year the kids got Mario & Luigi Paper Jam and Yo-Kai Watch for the 3DS. They have been playing them for almost a week now and still haven't beaten either of them. This is surprising because Jordan told me after a day of playing Mario & Luigi Paper Jam that he would only need about two more hours of game time to beat it. He's now logged about 20 hours! I'm thankful for that because it's kind of annoying when the kids beat a game in only a day and never play it again!
Let me ask you a question. Do you ever with your child and watch them play video games? I know it may seem boring, but it's really an investment in your child. While I wouldn't consider watching anime or my child play his newest video game "fun", I can tell you it has helped me build a strong relationship with my children. At this point in their lives movies, shows, and video games are things my boys are passionate about. Long gone are the days of Candy Land, wooden blocks, and superhero costumes.
When I sit down to watch my son play a video game, he talks to me the entire time. He may be complaining about being stuck or telling me how awesome the game is but he's talking to me and I can choose to act excited and interested, or I can do other things. My boys will spend an hour describing a season of their favorite anime show to me, and honestly, I don't care for anime, but I do care about my boys. I want them to know that if it interests them, I will be excited about it too. I may not understand it, but I am in their corner, I am fully invested. It's so easy to be selfish and only want to take part in activities with the kids that are fun for you, but what message do you think that sends your child? It teaches them to do the same. So years from now when Dad wants his son to help him do something if the son has learned that we only spend time doing things with other people that we enjoy, he's probably not going to come around.
My encouragement this winter is to take the time to invest in the things your kids enjoy. You will never look back and regret spending too much time with your kids, and you'll always cherish building a relationship that withstands the test of time.
More info about the games mentioned in this post:
Paper Mario jumps out of a book and into the bizarre adventures of Mario & Luigi, resulting in hilarious (and dangerous) hijinks! Become the superstar team of Mario, Luigi and Paper Mario to take on quests, take down enemies and untangle these two unique universes in this playful new entry in the Mario & Luigi series.