Well, friends, it’s that time of year again. Winter… is… HERE… with a vengeance this last week for sure. I, for one, am less than thrilled about the prospect of being cooped up in the house with a 3-year-old and a one-year-old during the months ahead, but I’ve come up with a list of ways to get us through those long, cold days.
My house has an unfinished basement. My kids don’t actually get to play down there much for various reasons, so I’m banking on the novelty of the experience to help make our days fun and exciting even though we’ll be stuck inside. These ideas are easily adaptable to other areas of your home too, though!
Bring the outside in!
Grab a few of your kids’ favorite riding toys and let them race around the basement until they’ve worn themselves out. Bonus points if you print out a finish line and tape it to the floor!
Re-purpose your water table.
Have a water table hanging out down there from your summertime fun? Buy a few ping pong balls and let your kids measure and pour them just like they do with water. I found a cheap bundle of 50 on Amazon and my kids have already spent lots of time enjoying this activity!
Many of you have probably seen this on Pinterest. It goes something like this: string up painter’s tape, rope, yarn, or whatever you have between two walls or beams in a web-like pattern. Have your kids try to get through the web without touching any of the “lasers!” If you use tape, you can also throw balled up paper at it to try to get it to stick.
Cardboard Box Canvas
Surely, if you’re anything like me, you have a few spare giant cardboard boxes that have found refuge in the basement. Pull one out, set it up, and give the kids some crayons, stickers, & art supplies. They’ll have a blast decorating their own house that can then be played in for hours, days, and weeks to come!
Pitch a tent.
Chances are, you have a tent already down in your basement too. Kids love playing in small, cozy spaces, so set it up and let the fun begin! You probably have some folding chairs tucked in the corner as well – pull them out and they can pretend to sit by a warm “campfire” (flashlight) too!
Since you’ve already got the tent pitched, you may as well grab the kids’ fishing poles too! My son loves to pretend to fish and then he hands his pretend catch off to me to cook over the “fire.” Just be sure to remove the hooks before you do this!
Laundry Basket Ball
Grab your laundry basket and a few extra balls lying around the house and bring them down to the basement. Get creative and find different ways to play – leave the basket on the floor to make a goal, set it up on a chair, hold it over your head, whatever works!
Boxes, rope, buckets, hula hoops, Christmas lights – whatever you have stored away down there – you can definitely get creative and set up an obstacle course. Let your kids help too and decide how they want to run the course. Once they do it a few times, then they can start from scratch and do it again!
No matter what you decide to do, your kids will surely have fun while making silly memories… and you’ll catch a little bit of a break from the cabin fever crazies!