Finding new and fun inside games to keep kids busy during the winter months can be a challenge. When the weather forecast calls for snow or very cold temperatures, you can break up the boredom with an imaginary summer beach party.
Before you start this indoor activity, you must look the part! For girls, spend some time pulling their hair into fun and funky ponytails and topping off with cute, tropical colored pony tail holders. Also, you can make grass skirts by cutting fringe out of a trash bag and then wrapping the remaining band around the kids' waists. Tape or pin in place and let the hula dance begin.
Boys or girls can get into the groove with plastic sunglasses or visors that they bedazzle with sequins, fake jewels, stickers or fabric paint. Then, take the covers off the lampshades or turn up the extra lighting and let everyone soak up some rays while they're dancing to sun and surf type tunes.
Swimsuits in winter can also be the most fun part of your inside game. While you may not be able to go swimming in the deep freeze of winter, there's no reason you can't crank up the heat, throw on your swimsuits and pretend you're at the beach. An inexpensive package of blue balloons can become bubbles in your pretend water and they're great fun to wade through.
Lay a blue sheet or plastic tablecloth down and play Tidal Wave. Everyone “dives in” to the water and pretends to swim until you shout “tidal wave!” The last one out of the water is out of the game, or if you've got a good-natured bunch, the last one out could get a quick squirt with a water bottle. After all, they're in their swim suits.
Another great indoor game is Surf's Up. Throw some pillows on the floor to use as surfboards. The kids have to balance on top of the pillow on one foot while music plays. Anyone who falls off their surfboard is either out of the game or can't play again until the next song comes on.
If you're not the kind to mind a mess indoors, you can even add some Play-Doh or brown sugar for sandcastle-making or spread it out on cookie sheets and let the kids make their footprints in the “sand.” Flip Flop Pop is another way to bring some excitement to the indoor games of winter. Lay a sheet down to absorb the mess and keep your floor from becoming slippery. Then, blow bubbles and ask the kids to put their flip flops on their hands and try to pop the bubbles. For a less messy version, let the kids wear their flip flops and see how many bubbles they can pop in a game of bubble wrap stomp.
There are many ways you can pretend you're on the beach. A sheet draped across a few chairs can become a net for your beach ball volleyball game. Pick up a bag of seashells from your local craft store and send the kids on a scavenger hunt for different sizes and shapes of shells. Bring the hula hoops indoors and see who can keep their hoop spinning the longest. Serve up fruit salad and fried chicken along with plastic juice bottles that the kids can grab from a large ice bucket.
No matter what you do during your indoor beach party game, be sure to pick up some face paint, Hawaiian leis, flip flop necklaces, coconut-shaped cups or inflatable palm trees from American Carnival Mart. You can also get similar supplies at Party City, your own local party supply store, or by ordering from Oriental Trading online.
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