Thursday, January 15, 2009

What to do when it's TOO COLD to go outside?

In the colder climates, it is essential to find things to do inside with our kids. Winter usually brings at least one longer cold snap with dangerously cold temperatures that keeps us inside together for days on end. Movies work to occupy the kids for a limited time, then what?

In our house we’ve been known to try to beat cabin fever in a variety of ways.

We have an inflatable punching bag that helps release some energy until things get out of hand. We have one of those mini-trampolines that people use for exercising that we’ve brought out for the kids to jump out some of the energy.

Craig has even set up our big inflatable bounce house in our small living room when we’ve gotten especially desperate to exercise the children.

I have made snowballs from old white nylons and polyfil and we’ve had indoor snowball fights. I couldn’t tell you where all those snowballs are in our house now, but I don’t think they’ve melted. Those days that we had those snowball fights? If there had been someone recording us, they would have heard a lot of laughing.

When K was a baby and I needed ways to occupy M, we set up a big plastic box filled with a 50-pound bag of uncooked rice and sand toys. M would sit in that box for a good hour at least and happily pour and scoop the rice.

These are just a few of the things that we have done at our house to occupy the kids when it’s too cold to play (or even go) outdoors.

How do you keep the kids busy when the temps dip dangerously low?


Melitsa said...

I back out the car and they cycle/scoot for a little in the garage.
We make up obstacle courses with the furniture ( only time they get to climb the couch lol)
Animal walks/races- one side to the other Wheelbarrow races.
We have one of those tent tube things. They run through that. An old Speech trick we put jigsaw pieces at one end. Puzzle at the other. They run between ( keeps em moving)
We put on Boogie Beebies DVD and work out off some sweat.
Lots of tag, chasing, monster games.
Not all at once..
We are considering as a last resort. Bringing in the swimmingpool ( little thing) filling it with balls we have a ton of them and letting them roll around in it......just not liking the vision of balls everywhere Last resort I think.
Our rice tub( former baby bath) is semi retired whilst I find a larger sheet to go under it. We use birdseed.
thanks for the suggestions

Kate said...

We have an inflatable castle, too that I've blown up in our living room. We've also baked, molded tons of PlayDoh, played board games, painted, and made little creatures out of those styrofoam peanuts and toothpicks. We also build miles of train track because my son is a freak about trains.

susiej said...

I have never thought about pulling some of those inflatable outside toys inside! I need these ideas... we hit 2 degrees (probably warm to those of you in MN!) and the boys need to release some energy! Thanks so much!!!

angi said...

I still remember your snowball post! It was one of the cutest ideas ever :)

angi said...

This is a pretty simple idea, but my kids had fun last year (for an entire afternoon) making paper snowflakes. We used pretty scrapbook paper from my stash, and then hung them all in the windows & on the front door where they stayed for the entire winter.

I agree with Susie - this was a perfectly timed post. We are home today due to the snow/cold, and are scheduled off Friday & Monday too!

Chelsea said...

At work we have been doing inside activties wednesday and thursday, other than the usual board games, and crafts they've played educational games on the computer, colored, we have a big pop out tunnel that some of the kids like to play in. One good idea could be having the kids make a fort out of pillows and blankets. is a good website to check out for different craft, cooking, activities etc for kids.

Holly at Tropic of Mom said...

You are so creative! I might try some of these this summer when it's too *hot* to go outside. ;)

Midwest Mom said...

That is so funny! We have a bounce house, too! It is so fun. :) We originally got it because I have one winter birthday, and my son wanted an inflatable bounce house like his friend (with a summer birthday) had at his party. We got an indoor one and put it in the playroom with balloons galore! His party was a pajamas & socks party, so the kids all had a blast.

Thanks for the fun post!

- Julia at Midwest Moms