Out Of the Box Indoor Winter Activities

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It's that time of year again: snow days upon snow days.  And if you are like many of the parents out there, you may be running out of fun and creative things to do with those kiddos before you reach whatever milestone for the day that makes plopping them in front of a screen feel less guilt-ridden. 

We're here to say; first, you're doing a fantastic job.  For real.  Gold star.  This is hard stuff.  And we're also here to share the suggestions posted below are all activities that have been tried by other moms, and may give you a laugh, or may provide you with inspiration.  If one or the other happens, we'll consider our time well spent!

For When You Are Exhausted But Still Have To Be Engaged: 

If you listen to Fresh Air, you may have caught this game shared by Hilary Frank, Creator of The Longest Shortest Time Podcast, called What's On My Butt?  And it's brilliant because when you are exhausted, you are able to lay on the floor with your eyes closed, and your child scurries around the house looking for odd items to set on your butt, and then you guess what it is.  Bonus points for this game because the rules also require your child to put the items back where they got them before finding a new object.  

For When You Are Home From Work, And You Need To Do Some Amount Of Work Still: 

Using masking tape, put shapes on the ground of various sizes, and locations, and make an obstacle course.  When one shape is used, switch to another and get a whole new course.  

If masking tape sounds atrocious to you or is unavailable, sacrificing hand towels and washcloths could work as well.  Call them puddles, hand them an umbrella, and tell them to go puddle jumping.

If age appropriate, let them put the tape down, and hopefully they will enjoy the making of the course as much as the using of it!

For When You Want To Take Advantage Of Having Extra Helpful Hands: 

Chore Race: Make a to-do list of all the things that need to be done before watching a movie, divide the list for appropriate ages, (and the important part...) set a timer for 20 minutes, and GO!  

Everything is more fun when it's a race, and everyone feels better having contributed, even if they don't want to admit it. 

For When You Have Energy, Patience, And Somewhat Capable Little People: 

Get thee to thy kitchen and bake something!  If you have aprons, put them on, and if your kids have been aching for cake/cupcakes, cookies, etc., this is the day to do it.

For When You Were Really Hoping To Not Have A Snow Day, But They Cancelled School Anyway:   

Do anything you need to survive the day.  For real. Have the 5th cup of coffee. It’s cereal for dinner.

Send them outside to play.  Task them with shoveling the neighbor's sidewalk.  Download a guided meditation and make them do it.  Put the Makarena on YouTube and challenge them to learn it.  And one of my favorites...B.O.B time, which stands for Body On Bed.  

When your littles erupt into a fit over the word NAP, feel free to switch to BOB time where they don't have to sleep, but they do have to be on their bed and quiet.  In this house, it still meant nap time for quite a while.