Category: Indoor Activity Ideas & Places

Fun Winter Activities

The weather is cold! Here's a fun list of winter activites to try at home:


Activity: BANG!


Place words/colors/letters (any concept you are working on) on index cards and then into a bag. Also include a few cards with a picture of a stick of dynamite and the word “BANG!” written on it. Have your child reach into the bag and pull out a card. He names what is on the card and keeps it. Then you do the same. Take turns back and forth. When the word “BANG!” is pull...

Posted on January 15, 2013 at 9:00 AM by Lincoln Park Preschool and Kindergarten

Introducing Poetry to Young Readers and Pre-Readers

Poetry has been a part of my life since I was a kid. Now, as the host of the weekly Poemtime series at the Poetry Foundation, I help bring poetry to life for kids and kick-start an early interest in poems.

Here are some tips I’d like to share for introducing poetry to your kids at home:

Mix it up –It’s no secret that kids get restless quickly, so one thing I like to do is have a variety of poems ready: long, short, classic, new. Rather than read from an anthology, try picture b...

Posted on December 19, 2012 at 6:00 AM by Dylan Swisher

How do I pick a great activity for my child? What parents should know

After you figure out which activities sound interesting, how do you pick the right one for your child? A word-of-mouth reference about a program that is new to your family is great, but when you don’t already have the inside scoop, here’s how to get it.

What to check ahead of time...

In Chicago, all children’s programs require a Children’s Activities Facility license ensuring that staff have passed a State Police background check and the facility has passed Fire and Buildi...

Posted on July 31, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Candice Blansett-Cummins

Let's Take a Trip

Visits to the museum, park or zoo should be enjoyable outings filled with quality family time. But all too often they feel stressful, rushed and exhausting. Many challenges during family outings result from transitions children are coping with, including:

Changes to their daily routine

Not knowing what to expect or what to do

Feeling too physically restrained or tired

Remember, it’s not so much what you do with your child, but how you do it. Help them feel secure ...

Posted on July 09, 2012 at 7:42 AM by Natalie Bortoli

Playtime Planner: A Star-Spangled Day Off

When a holiday/day-off arrives, most families begin the day with a nice slow start, a “lazy dazy” morning in my house, and everything is all pajamas and pancakes.  Then you quickly realize you have to have a plan to keep everyone reasonably busy and smiling - especially through the witching hours.

Here is my Star-Spangled July 4th Playtime Planner – a list of fun-filled snacks, crafts, snuggles, and stories – even for your littlest one to enjoy today and throughout the holiday weekend.


Posted on July 04, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Sarah Cobb

Plan a Little Kentucky Derby Playdate

All this talk about ponies, big hats, and mint juleps got me inspired to plan a Little Kentucky Derby Playdate with some friends this weekend!  Given our little friends have no idea what OR when the big Derby race happens, these adorable activites are good for any day of the year (and will be used again and again in our house)! 

#1. Mix up Mini Mint Juleps. Love this simple blackberry mint lemonade from!  The perfect faux-julep for friends of all ages.

#2. Big Hats Dress ...

Posted on May 04, 2012 at 11:05 AM by Sarah Cobb

Happy Valentine's Day - So Simple and Sweet!

Hello Lovies!  Valentine's Day is such a fun holiday to share with children. There are so many darling ideas out there it's hard to choose!  We decided to go Sweet & Simple and share some of our favorite inspirations with you.

1. Decorations.  Making cute mailboxes for the family to leave cards in is such a fun idea.  Create a little centerpiece from some simple items or even carnations!

2. Get Crafty.  Break out the craft supplies and have a party making valentines for each ot...

Posted on February 09, 2012 at 7:30 AM by Anne Book

Recycled Sock Snakes - Great green project for your preschooler!

There are lots of fun ways to demonstrate an eco-friendly lifestyle to your little ones.  We all know about turing out the lights and turing off the water when brushing teeth, but it can be more challenging to help kids understand recycling and where their waste really goes.  The project below is a great way to engage your child in an experience where reusing an everyday item is fun and playful.  While you do this activity with your preschooler, make sure to explain that by reusing their o...

Posted on February 08, 2012 at 7:00 AM by Claire Hurwitz

Playdate of the Month: New Year's Eve Family Playdate!

New Years Eve is such a great night to stay IN! The Holidays are over, and the kids have been out of school for what feels like forever.  Use the New Year's Eve celebration and the perfect way to get together with good friends.  Skip the expensive night out, wrangling for a last-minute sitter, and those not-so-easy to find taxis.

Why not invite the entire gang, your friends big and little, for a New Year’s Eve family style party? Choose a few activities from our list below and mak...

Posted on December 22, 2011 at 7:00 AM by Anne Book

Culture Share - Celebrating Chanukah

I’m always fascinated by the hype surrounding Chanukah (or Hanukah, or Hanukkah…) because, in terms of Judaism, it’s a pretty minor holiday.  I think it gets a lot of press because of its proximity in the calendar to Christmas and, as Jews assimilated to life in the U.S., especially after WWII, they needed something comparable to make themselves feel more a part of this society.  But how to explain this to my young kids who walk around in December seeing all of the pretty lights and the jo...

Posted on December 20, 2011 at 7:45 AM by Beth Cohen-Dorfman