Baby it’s cold outside!! When I asked for a white Christmas, I didn’t know it was going to imply that the rest of the weeks following Christmas would be sub-zero temperatures. The cold weather and unsafe road conditions also resulted in a lot of school shut downs and delays. If you have little ones at home like I do, I feel your pain! Nothing worse than having kids high on a never ending supply of energy caged indoors for a prolonged period of time! SO how do you deal with a severe case of cabin fever? I have been a full time stay-at-home mom for about 2.5 years with a recent change in that status but one thing that I learned was the way to succeed at being a stay-at-home mom is to never stay at home! But on days when it is too cold to take the little ones out or on a rainy day for those of you blessed with more equitable climate, here are my tried and tested cures for cabin fever and top boredom busters! (This post may contain some affiliate links.)
- Painting – I know it sounds messy and so time consuming to set up. I know kids that can paint and color for hours and others that spend less time at the activity than it took to set it up. I have one of each. Also, this one is dependent on age of your child. I have used the Ziploc hack (put the piece of paper with blobs of paint and stick it inside a ziploc bag. Voila, mess-free paints!) for my youngest when he was 18 months old to allow him to explore the textures and different colors. If you don’t like the mess that comes with this – make sure you settle them at a table that you have covered with newspaper or one of those dollar tree table cloths that you can use as their creative drop cloth. An easier version of this is to just tape butcher paper to the table and give them a bunch of crayons and color pencils, stickers, and let them unleash all of their creativity. I have managed to walk away with some pretty cute DIY décor in one of their uber creative moments.
- Baking – I know this is not for everyone and can sometimes be super messy and not relaxing at all. But if this is an activity your kids like to do with you, I encourage you to let them explore the kitchen and help you bake that yummy brownies or cookies that you can enjoy when they are in bed ;). Such a rewarding boredom buster for mom! Ha!!
- Puzzles – this is such a great way to get them to do an activity and get some quiet time. Depending on their age, there are different puzzles out there. The chunky wood ones are great for the little ones but as they get older you can venture into some of the larger puzzles and maybe even create your own gallery wall by framing the ones you build together.
- Dance it out! – this is my personal favorite! Nothing like turning on your favorite tunes and letting them burn off that extra energy with a little dance party. It is even better if you decide to join in. The kids use Alexa to queue up the songs they like and everyone is a DJ. Nothing like feeling your vibrations run high by letting loose and dancing like no one is watching!
- Reading – CANNOT stress enough how reading is the most important habit that you can pass on to your kids! We have books in every room of our house and my husband often asks why I need to buy any more but there can NEVER be enough books. We use the public library a lot as well. The kids like to walk around and pick their own books and it enables us to grow their reading list without always having to buy new books. It makes for a great quiet time activity and allows their imagination to soar and gives them wings to fly to so many different places. The kids also love to play teacher and will read books to me as I pretend to be the student in their “classroom”. Sometimes I can also sit there with my laptop and work on my tasks while they “teach” me. “Win-Win”
- Build a tent/fort – I have two boys that are all about building forts, caves, tents…anything that lets them pretend play…from on some super secret clandestine mission to saving the good guys from the bad guys, there is every scenario that they conjure up. Regardless of the gender of your child, most kids enjoy a good fort that they can convert into their own little world. I remember doing this when I was a little kid and we do that for the kids now by creating a fort with a blanket and some chairs to hold it up. Buys me a whole hour or till the first kid punches the other – whichever comes first.
- Board Games – If you have little kids who enjoy board games, this can be a fun family activity. Replace screen time with a family board game and it not only gets rid of cabin fever but also gives you a chance to bond as a family and a ton of belly laughs too! We always gift the kids at least one board game each at Christmas and it is perfect for the upcoming winter days spent indoors! Our current favorite is Pie Face and Eye Found It!! There are so many games out there that kids aged 2 and up can enjoy with the family!
- iPurge – Use some of these cold days in to purge all of that excess clutter that you have collected over the past year or years! The kids usually are very good about picking a few toys and books that they have outgrown and would like to donate. It is a great way to get them to understand the value of giving and also being responsible for their own space. Never too early for either of those lessons!
- Playdoh/Legos/Magnatiles – Depending on what ages your kids are and what interests them, these are some great quiet time toys. Both my boys have been into all of these three things. They rotate through what it is that they want to use that day and it buys me at least 30 minutes and sometimes a couple hours depending on how they are feeling toward each other on any given day.
- Magic Show/Science Experiments – So many science and magic kits out there that you can purchase and have your kids learn by doing. My eldest is really into science experiments these days and is constantly asking to mix different things. We have had different concoctions created and they always involve vinegar and baking soda. It is pretty cool to watch him experiment and talk about what he expects is going to happen. Then there are days that he mixes a bunch of things and tries to do a taste test. ugh The magic shows though are super entertaining! Both boys will perform magic tricks for us and even do the best little bow after the act. Check out some of these magic starter kids so that they can not only fight away their own winter blues but you have the front seat at your very own personal viewing!
- Obstacle Course – set up an obstacle course for them with the stuff you have at home. It does not have to be fancy. We have done it with Amazon boxes, an indoor slide, a tent, yarn tied and taped between walls so that they are laser beams the little ninjas have to get past. This is probably one of their favorite things to do. You can also keep it super simple and pretend that the floor is hot lava and a bunch of pillows thrown all over the room are the only stepping tones to avoid the hot lava!
- Fail-safe back-up, TV! – If all else fails you can always fall back on the one thing that can get them to do ANYTHING for you. My kids love watching all of these toy review videos, lego star wars movies and cat in the hat on youtube. I am definitely not above giving them some screen time to buy me some much needed quiet time. Ain’t no shame in the game! We all need a little bit of time where everyone can just do their own thing and sometimes the TV is the answer we are all looking for!
Personally, I love the hibernation that comes with cold days. Especially because it involves all of this extra quality family time. Drop us a comment to tell us how you fight those winter blues and keep boredom at bay! I swing from awesome days to days I want to run away to a warm tropical island sipping a tall glass of something cold! Heres to counting down to warmer days and loads of sun!