It is an age old problem that parents have faced for centuries I am sure… It doesn’t matter if it is too hot, too cold, or too wet outside, it doesn’t take long for everyone to start going stir crazy when they can’t get out. How do you keep the entire family entertained when you’re stuck inside for an extended period of time? Let me count the ways…
While I shared many fun and easy activities in my post about making a “Bored Box”, many of those ideas do involve going outside. Here, I am hoping to help parents and caregivers by giving some ideas for having fun when everyone is stuck inside. Make sure you keep this list handy for the next time cabin fever strikes!
1 – Plan a Family Game Day
Let each member choose their favorite game, whether it is a board game, card game, or physical game (like charades), and take turns playing them all day long. For meals, have easy foods and snacks and eat while you play. You can also just spend the day teaching your kids a variety of different card games. When you are done playing card games, you can have a card house building contest.
2 – Design Your Own Family Game
Use your creativity and any supplies you have to design your own game. Design a board and game pieces or use pieces from game you have. Let everyone contribute and make up rules. Instead of a board game, you can make up a more active game.
3- Invite Everyone Into the Kitchen
Give a cooking lesson or just let everyone help cook something. Break out the cookbooks and let everyone choose a recipe to try. Of course, you might want to dig through the cabinets first to see what you have the ingredients for. Pick new foods to try for every meal or find some sweets to bake and deliver to neighbors and friends.
4 – Catch Up on Reading
Find every pillow in the house and scatter them around the livingroom or family room floor. Have everyone find a good book and settle into the pillows and read! You can also take turns reading to each other. Plan ahead and check out some travel books for the library and have fun looking through them as a family. You could even make a story sack or book box.
5 – Have a Family Movie Day
Similar to family game day, let everyone pick their favorite movie and watch them all day long. No one gets to complain about the movies chosen by other, but napping is allowed. Make sure you pop plenty of popcorn and find some sweet treats.
6 – Get to Crafting
Start a family craft project. If your kids are older, have a craft contest. Provide a box of recyclable household items and challenge everyone to make a creature out of them. If you keep your craft cupboard stocked with the essentials, a spontaneous craft project should be easy! Instead of a craft challenge, you can make crafts that are related to an upcoming holiday or make gifts for other people.
7 – Put on a Puppet Show
Let each person use a variety of supplies along with either socks or paper lunch bags to make puppets and then put on a puppet show. You can even make a puppet stage using a large box or you can just kneel behind furniture. Let older kids write a story you can act out.
8 – Create an Indoor Scavenger Hunt
You can make a list of items the kids need to find or even make up clues or rhymes the hunters have to follow. One idea is to do an alphabet hunt. Everyone has to try to find an item that starts with each letter of the alphabet. It can be a cooperative treasure hunt or a competitive one. Find a reward for the end and think ahead to any rules you need to put in place ahead of time.
9 – Have a Dance Party
Turn up the music and dance the boredom away! Teach the kids as many different dance steps as you can, and you can even make up your own dances. How about designing your own line dance?
10 – Play a Game of Tag
Okay, so you might not want everyone running around the house, but how about crawling around the house? You can play freeze tag, TV tag, sock tag, or any other kind of tag you like – just make sure everyone stays on their knees!
11 – Play Some Ball
Play traditional ball games indoors such as volleyball or kickball, but use a balloon instead of a ball.
12 – Create Your Own Movie or TV Show
It seems that video cameras are now in every household. If you have one, why not spend the day creating your own true home movie… or a TV show or news show. Let everyone help to write the script and film the show. Once it is done, make some popcorn, sit back, and enjoy the show.
Cabin image from Wikimedia Commons