With so many families spending more time at home, it’s become common to hear every parent’s least favorite statement before lunchtime — “I’m bored!”
Cabin fever sets in quickly in winter during a pandemic. In our family we love to play outside, but snow is a requirement. To avoid going crazy indoors with my daughters, Annabelle, 7, and Ailey, 4, I’ve put together a little “How to” for having fun indoors this winter.Don’t fear the kitchen
Generally I like to avoid activities resulting in giant messes. However in the winter — anything goes. There is so much you and your kids can do to have fun in the kitchen. From baking a new recipe to whipping up a batch of homemade play-doh, each activity is both time consuming and rewarding. If you don’t want to actually cook, check out your local bakery for DIY cupcake and cookie decorating kits.
While you’re in the kitchen, grab some washable acrylic pants and mini canvases. We enjoy making handprint art or freestyle painting gifts to send to our family members in other states. You can see a lot of handprint art ideas on Caitlin Houston Blog.Use your imagination
Who says your floor isn’t actually made of lava? Why not build a castle made of pillows in your living room? My daughters enjoy making forts all over the house using couch cushions, chairs, blankets and more. String some twinkle lights over their newly built structure and serve up a picnic lunch. Allow your children to use their imaginations as to what they can do inside their forts — because sometimes reading a book is way more fun under a tent.
Another fun imaginative activity will showcase your child’s inner performer. We like to play concert or dance recital a few times a week. They go all out with instruments, music, and sometimes costumes. My daughters love to perform shows for their dolls, me and my husband, or sometimes their Nana in Tennessee over Facetime.
Anything that involves using your imagination to transform an empty space is a win in my book. Annabelle and Ailey have the incredible ability to pretend the rug in our great room is an ice skating rink or a giant ocean. One time they brought their sleds into the room to pretend they were in boats, floating deep out in the sea!Learning can be fun too
There are countless activities involving science you can do with your kids at home using household items. My dad, a former science teacher, always says science experiments can be magical (magic being the keyword to fun for my daughters). Who remembers making volcanoes with vinegar and baking soda? How about simple homemade slime or invisible ink? There are countless easy science experiments to be found online.Get moving
Yoga is one of my favorite ways to relax — so I’ve started teaching my daughters a few moves as well. There are fun yoga classes for kids online, as well as dance and active play too. Just clear a space for your children to move and set up the video (or be their instructor.)Mess free games
There are so many fun games you can play around your house that don’t create a mess. For example, scavenger hunts and indoor treasure hunts using items you already have in your home. Another mess free game to play indoors is Object Hide and Seek. It’s pretty self explanatory – someone hides an object and the other person finds it. You can add a little excitement to the game by timing the search or giving clues by saying “Hot/Cold.”
If you’re an adult feeling the symptoms of cabin fever this winter, try any one of the activities above for yourself. There is something calming about painting… and who wouldn’t want to drink wine in a blanket fort while watching Netflix on your laptop?
Caitlin Houston is a local Wallingford blogger and mom of two who loves sharing all of her favorites on Caitlin Houston Blog. From fun activities at home to family friendly travels, easy recipes and more.