Wednesday, January 2, 2013

January Beach Party!

Looking for some fun activities to shake up the winter blues? Maybe it's just too cold to play outdoors but you need some distractions that are fun and unexpected. Why not try an indoor beach party? We used to have days in January or February that were just too cold to play outdoors so I started having winter beach days. You can make this one big celebration or pick from several ideas to sprinkle throughout the winter. If you go with beachy clothing to enhance your party you might want to raise the temperature in the house so everyone is comfortable. Below are a several ideas to get you started.

Hoola Hoop Hoopla - make sure everyone has plenty of room if you have several hoops going at once. Create different challenges using hoola hoops - obstacle course, spinning challenge, bean bag toss, etc.
Beach Blanket Bingo - Everyone has their own beach blanket, homemade bingo cards with beaching items, use fish crackers for markers (and a little snack).
Limbo - Make your own limbo challenge and don't forget the music!
Water Play - This is great fun but you'll want to spread a tarp out. We used individual dish pans for each child with pouring toys. We also filled the small swimming pool with warm water so each child could enjoy a mid winter splash party. Warning - fun but wet!
Sand Play - Much like above; we'd have pans of sand or a sand in the swimming pool. This takes some planning but is so fun. If you have an area to keep a sand and water play set up throughout the winter it's even better. We used the basement and of course put a large tarp on the floor. Spills needed everybody to help to clean up.
Ball Pool Play - Alternative to water or sand play is to fill the kiddie pool with plastic balls for fun without all the mess.
Beach Ball Bounce - using small or large beach balls, configure a ball bounce obstacle course.

Picnic items are such a treat in the middle of winter. While you're at it spread out a big picnic blanket and eat your lunch or snack in another room.
Summer treats like ice cream or even better icy pops are a special treat.
Fruit kabobs are a healthy summer snack.
Be creative! Ask the children what their favorite summer foods are and then make a menu plan.

Sun Visors - Decorate foam visors with foam stickers or jewels. All the materials are available from your local craft store or online suppliers.
Create Personal T-shirts - You can do tie dying or permanent marker methods for making your own beach day T-shirts.
Sand Painting - You can use colored sand or plan sand on colored paper. Remember it's the process not the product.

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