11 Sanity Saving Activities for When You’re Stuck Inside

The season of winter has arrived. 

When the Weather Outside is Frightful: Sanity Saving Activities

Whether you’re a cold-weather fan or not, when you choose to live in Iowa there’s really no way to avoid it.  I can appreciate winter if the temperatures stay at a reasonable degree and being outside isn’t painful or unsafe.  Even though it’s still possible to enjoy the outdoors during the snowy season, that’s not always the case. And being cooped up inside has a whole different meaning when you can’t just cuddle under a blanket and watch movies all day. 

Ahhhh those were the days…

Now back to reality.  When children are cooped up inside with you it’s only a matter of time before the walls start closing in and everyone starts getting a little crabby.  It can be rough! So what can we do to keep everyone occupied inside when it’s too cold to go outside?

Maybe some of these activities will help make those wintry days much more enjoyable!  

Baking – Always a good way to pass the time!  Whether it’s Christmas cookies or just a new recipe you found on Pinterest, kids love to help!  Measuring, stirring, frosting; so many ways to include everyone.  

Crafts – Creating some winter-themed art would be a fun way to have decorations for years to come or even gifts for family members.  Just browse Pinterest!  Plus, kids love to do art projects!  You can get a drawing book and crayons/markers for just simple drawing and Crayola Washable Paints for painting. Stock up on canvases or little ceramic figurines (always check for Michael’s coupons) to mix it up a little bit.  The possibilities are endless! Just think – you’re little one might create a fun little masterpiece you keep for years!

Paint the Snow – For this, all you need to do fill a tub or cake pan with snow and get some dishes of water.  Make each dish of water a different color and let your child ‘paint’ the snow with the colored water.  Fun and easy to clean up!

Ziploc Bag Painting – If you aren’t in the mood to make (and clean up) a painting mess, try Ziploc bag painting.  Take 3 gallon-sized Ziploc bags. In one bag put the primary colors of red and blue, in another put the primary colors of blue and yellow, and in the third put the primary colors of red and yellow.  Hang them on a sliding glass door or a window and let your child go to work! They can mix the colors together and create a brand new color…MESS FREE! 

Stickers – This may be more for our younger ones, but get a sheet of stickers and a piece of paper.  Put X marks all over the paper and show your little one how to cover the Xs with the stickers.  They’ll focus so hard on getting the stickers off the sheet and on to the paper, and it’s not messy so you could get something done at the same time!

Indoor Hopscotch – I came across this idea and thought it was very clever, and kids of all ages can have fun with it!  Cut out a variety of shapes from a variety of different colored construction paper. Spread all the shapes out on the floor and use it as both an educational and energy-burning activity.  Have them jump from a red shape to a yellow shape or ask them to locate the blue square. Or, play ‘musical shapes’. When the music stops they have to tell you the shape and color they landed on.  There are so many different ways you could spend some time with this activity.  

Dance Parties – Just turn on some music and dance! Maybe you could even make up a fun dance routine!

Movie Theater – Instead of just sitting in front of the T.V. watching random cartoons, make it fun!  Create your own movie theater. Choose a movie you haven’t seen. Set up cozy movie seats, grab your popcorn, snacks, and drinks.  Turn off the lights and enjoy!

Frozen Slime – By now we are all aware of the movies Frozen and Frozen 2, right?  Try this recipe for Frozen Slime!

Salt Dough – Whether you do your children’s handprints, footprints, or use their fingerprints to make flowers or bugs, it’s an easy way to have some indoor fun. And all you need is 3 household staples; salt, flour and water (1 cup of salt, 1 cup of flour, and ½ cup water to be exact).

Homemade Bath Crayons – If it’s bath night, maybe make it bath day and create these homemade bath crayons

So just think.  When the weather outside is frightful, inside our home really can be delightful!  We can make it through this winter.  I know we can! 

Even on the days we can’t go outside and build a snowman.

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Ashley Bass
Ashley is a ‘small town’ girl who moved to the ‘big city’ of Cedar Rapids after high school. A graduate of Coe College, Ashley is currently a kindergarten teacher and a true lover of yoga pants, cozy sweatshirts, chai tea lattes and cookie dough. Ashley and her husband, Mitch, first met each other back in middle school, dated when they were freshmen in high school, then reconnected one final time via Facebook back in 2006 shortly after Mitch returned from his first deployment. They've stood by their vows of ‘for better or worse,’ and as they approach their 10 year wedding anniversary, they aren’t afraid to admit that marriage isn’t easy. They welcomed their first child, Stella Grace Bass, in May of 2013 and their second child, Archer Mitchell Bass, in December of 2017!

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