Five Favorite indoor activities for the kiddos (no TV or Crafts!)

I’ve been thinking of doing a post like this for over a year. I know because last year around this time I was struggling with “what-to-do-with-the-last-few-weeks-of-cold-weather”.. And I didn’t write it because it was right at the end of the cold weather, so I figured it wouldn’t be useful (and that theoretically I’d get it written at the beginning of the next cold weather time and have it be useful for someone…) But clearly I did not remember that little bit of advice to self, because here I am again at the end  (I hope) of cold weather and I still didn’t write that post….

So, I gonna just write it now and ya’ll can file it away in the back of your minds for next cold weather time, K? K.

Sometimes during winter it’s just too cold to venture outside. Or maybe it’s just too cold to be out for a long time. You know, like more than 15 minutes.

Now, I don’t mind doing the normal stuff like reading books to the kids and such, but I have a limit to how many read alouds I can actually do (I know,I know, you should always read to your kids, but sometimes my voice needs a little break…)

I *try* to keep Netflix for times when I REALLY need it, like when it’s been four days and I realize I’m not going to get a shower unless I take drastic measures -OR- the day has just completely unraveled and it’s still over an hour until daddy comes home -OR- something along those lines…

And, another mommy confession: I really DON’T like crafts… so…. I don’t do them. I will let the kids have at ’em, but sometimes the mess or the fights over who gets which pair of scissors or who cut up someones special green paper (that had the interpretive “drawing” of the the big polar bear sitting on the Christmas Tree….), just gets to be too much.

But, that can leave us with plenty of “free” time. Kiddos are pretty good at inventing their own games (#1 and #2), sometimes they need a little inspiration.

So, here’s a few things you can do (or let the kids do) when you’re needing to be indoors for extended periods of time.

Pillow Down

pillow down

Now, I realize this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for reference, my kiddos have been doing this for over a year and we’ve only lost one pillow case… They’ve also used cardboard boxes… and blankets…

Making Chair Forts/Pirate Ships/Trains


The key here is to not get too worked up about the mess….

phfr (1 of 1)


My guys love, allow me to repeat that: LOVE doing chores. Especially washing the dishes

They also get pretty excited about sweeping the floor… and mopping, definitely mopping. Oh, and using the squirt bottle (with homemade cleaner)! That’s always a fun activity 🙂

Cooking/Meal Prep


Always with parental supervision of course!


{Princess crown optional}

Reorganize bookshelves

One of my go-to activities when we all need something to break up the monotony is to reorganize a shelf. Bookshelf. School shelf. Or simply put away all accumulated junk on one of the many shelves around here.

The kids really don’t mind doing the running up and down stairs that is usually required, especially for bookshelf moves. They also especially enjoy if they are allowed to run stuff up to the 3rd-floor/attic.

Yesterday we started moving contents of the overflowing school “closet” to a bookshelf in the basement (right near their play room). Not everything, just some of the boxed puzzle/learning-games. They didn’t mind the running up and down, but I’ve already found an added benefit to having those items shelved there. It used to be they were so buried in the school shelf that we never got them out (too hard to reach and too much stuff to dig through), but since they’ve been visible for the last 24 hours, the kids have repeatedly gotten something down and used it. Usually they bring it up to the dining room table, play with it, then bring it back down and put it away. I noticed the same thing when I moved the games out into the open onto reachable shelves.

Kids occupied! Wins all around 🙂


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