Winter is a hard time to be a parent, especially the parent of young children. Each year since my first child was born, November 1st hits and I start racking my brain for activities to not just keep my kids busy when it is too cold to play outside, but to foster their sense of wonder. This year as I prep for winter, I came up with a list of indoor activities in St. Louis and things to do at home on snow days.
Kiwi crates are something my husband discovered last year. I am not particularly creative but wanted to do fun projects with my kids, so he went searching online and found Kiwi crates. Kiwi crates contain directions and materials to make science and art projects that are mailed out each month to subscribers. Each crate has a theme such as the human body, ramps, prisms, or the solar system. We ordered our crates to come with a book so we can read about the theme topic before doing the projects. My kids love when the crate arrives on our porch each month and they get to open the “surprise” box to find out the theme. They also love getting to do a project with my husband and I. The crates can be ordered for any child’s age group from 0-16 yrs+.
I recently subscribed to the Audible app for a book I needed to read for my job and within 24 hours was hooked. My kids started begging to listen to my book as well (it’s a parenting book, y’all…not exactly what a 3 and 5 year old usually go for). I realized that with all our time in the car and our new schedule of no naps, an audiobook is the perfect thing to entertain and educate them quietly without screen time. So now we are listening to The Chronicles of Narnia and I have many more ideas once this book is finished. In addition to audiobooks by subscription though, the local library has many and https://librivox.org/ has free downloads of old books read by volunteers. And, a trip to the library on a winter day is a pretty great idea, too!
St. Louis is home to so many great museums. During the spring and summer, I like to keep my kids outside, but winter is a great time to check out The Magic House, The Science Center, The Missouri History Museum, The Art Museum, The Contemporary Art Museum and the City Museum. Some of the museums have their own area geared towards families with children, like the History Clubhouse at the History Museum and the Discovery Room at the Science Center. Other museums like the City Museum and Magic House are all about the kids. The art museums are perfect for a stroller tour. And remember to look for half off the family membership at the Magic House on Cyber Monday!
Music and Dancing
If you are like me, having your kids burn off energy dancing to music is not a new idea. We have an entire queen-sized mattress devoted to jumping and practicing dance moves. But something I only just recently started doing with my kids is listening to music to foster music appreciation. After a tip from a friend, I turned on a rendition of Peter and the Wolf on YouTube and my kids were totally enthralled by it. We’ve since listened to music from The Nutcracker Suite and I am quickly coming up with a list of more classical works to show them. So whether its dancing to the old movie YouTube video of Uptown Funk (check it out!) or practicing ballet moves to Sleeping Beauty Waltz, there is going to be a lot of new (and old) music in our house this Winter. I may just get around to taking the kids to a Sunday afternoon family concert at the St. Louis Symphony.
Kid-Friendly Coffee Shops
And for those days when you really just want free wifi and a latte, St. Louis city boasts some fantastic kid-friendly coffeehouses including:
Have a great winter, moms!