January 20th, 2014

The Weather Outside is Frightful

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There was a bit of panic here in DC in early January. The kids had just gone back to school after the extended winter break and no sooner than life had started to get back to normal when we experienced the Polar Vortex. We’re not used to polar weather here, so what we were feeling and hearing was palpable anxiety.   Our local great radio station WTOP invited me to offer their listeners ideas live on-air for kid-friendly indoor activities that might help combat arctic front-induced boredom. We put our heads together and came up with some fun ideas of things to do when it’s really cold and playing outside may not be an option. Diverting the kids from wanting to watch TV, or playing video games, or being on iPads all day is the challenge. Not that those options have to be eliminated—just managed. It’s our collective experience that kids have more fun with interactive activities, and they tend to get less cranky.  I thought I’d share some of our suggestions for when you and your kids are stuck inside:

 

  • Junior Master Chef: Take culinary risks and be prepared to make clean up part of the game.
  • Baking: Who doesn’t like making cookies, brownies, etc.? Measuring can be a math lesson!
  • Creating a Family Menu: Look up recipes and make a grocery list. Kids invested in the planning process are also more likely to consume the results.
  • If crafts are popular in your home, go on to Pinterest. Endless options.
  • Try baby picture scrapbooking. Kids LOVE looking at themselves and your pictures will get organized.
  • We also think that some of the time honored, old fashioned ideas are some of the most fun:
    • Indoor forts and mazes—Hang up a blanket and gather all the pillows and couch cushions or set up a tent and let them have an indoor camping experience.
    • Dress up and role play games—Let them raid your closet!
    • Simon Says, Charades, Twister, hallway races, and puppet shows.
    • Have a little dance contest or play musical freeze tag.
    • Have fun with musical instruments. Create a band with real instruments in the house. If the kids are younger, make your own instruments with pots and pans and jars with beans.
    • Board games are fun for all ages, even older kids—Scrabble and Monopoly are engaging and take up time.
  • If you just need a break from the kids—and you aren’t the nanny—swap out a few hours with a neighbor with kids of her own.
  • Best idea, especially if you need to go to work, call WHN and let us send you one of our fabulous temp nannies to save the day!

 

 

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