By Katie Trudeau
Those two words send a chill down any mom’s spine. To adults, cabin fever means you’re tired of being cooped up inside and you’re ready for fresh air. But you’re still chill so you break out an adult coloring book and hang tight until spring.
To kids, however, cabin fever means unchecked messes that are freely made with reckless abandon. Cabin fever means that your kids likely have more energy than they (and you!) know what to do with, and all of that unchanneled energy can be a disaster waiting to happen. And since winter still here (and in some places, just now getting started) it’s a good idea to keep this list of activities handy.
Below are 7 activities that are fun for kids and adults alike… even if you’re stuck inside all day.
Act Out Your Favorite Book
Of course, reading is a great way to spend time indoors, but you can take your storytime to the next level by acting out your favorite books.
What you need:
- The book (Need an idea? Llama Llama, the Paw Patrol easy reader series, or any fairy tale are fun books to use.)
- A stage, which can be the fireplace, a foyer, or even just a designated area with foam floor mats
- Any props, toy swords, puppets
What to do:
- Read the book together, get cozy, and enjoy the moment!
- Assign parts
- Have fun!
2. Get Artsy!
There’s nothing quite like spending time doing a little art while the snow is falling and the fireplace is roaring! Try these fun ideas:
- Make finger paint bags: Pour two colors of paint into a giant Ziploc. Seal and duct tape the seal closed. Let your child squish around the paint and watch the colors meld together. The best part? No messes!
- Go old fashioned with a coloring book and crayons.
- Learn how to cut snowflakes out of paper; see who can make the most intricate designs then string up your creations around the house.
- Play “pictionary” out of clay or PlayDoh
3. Play a Baking Show Game
Baking is the old-standby when it comes to being stuck inside, but this game takes baking to the next level. This works best with older kids, but younger kids can certainly still help out.
- Assign one person to the judge; all others are the contestants. (Little ones can be on a team)
- The judge chooses a meal: breakfast, lunch, or snack
- The judge chooses a mystery ingredient that all contestants must use
- The judge (aka you) sits back, watches the “baking show”, and judges the food
4. Play Hide-and-Seek
Hide-and-Seek can get scary for a small child who is hiding, so why not change the rules a bit? Instead of a person hiding, take turns hiding a toy or doll.
Optional: Play regular hide-and-seek but use walkie-talkies to make the game more interesting.
5. Make a Town
Remember when you’d get to make a house out of a big cardboard box? Why not make a whole town? (If you’re like me, you’ve got plenty of Amazon Prime boxes in your garage so this shouldn't be too hard!)
Cut out the windows and doors for your kids, but let them go to town (no pun intended) and paint, color, or decorate the buildings.
What you’ll need:
- Duct tape
- Knife/scissors/X-acto knife (parents only!)
- Crayons, washable markers, stickers
- Pillows and blankets for inside
6. Make a Concert
How many times do tell the kids to be quiet? To use their inside voice? To stop making such a racket? Let them channel all that noise into a creative outlet. Grab all of the noisemakers you have from shakers to drums to jingle bells. Turn on the radio and let them lose.
Optional: Make it a “freeze” concert. When you pause the music, they pause too!
7. Go to the Movies … at Home!
There’s no need to save the movies for the big screen! If you have a projector, run a movie on a blank wall. If not, turn a movie on the TV and create a movie theatre experience.
What you’ll need:
- Paper to make pretend tickets
- Tupperware to hold homemade air-popped popcorn
- Healthy snacks to munch on during the movie
What about you?
What is your favorite indoor activity with your kids?
Kathryn is a self-proclaimed book nerd who has a passion for natural parenting and writing. As a homeschooling mother of two, Kathryn understands the dynamics of a busy family life. She is the founder of the Cor Domum movement, a mission that guides families through life so that they can parent with joy. Read more at www.katietrudeau.com
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