Winter is here and it’s beyond cold in Connecticut. Cabin fever sets in quickly when you live anywhere with arctic temps during the months of January – March. It’d be one thing if we had some snow, but the real good stuff hasn’t fallen since November. To avoid going crazy indoors with Annabelle and Ailey, I’ve put together a list of activities to beat cabin fever with kids in the winter.
Generally I do not like to make a big mess of any room in our house. However, in the winter anything goes. Kitchen activities are always fun (and easier to clean up), so we spend a lot of time around the girls’ play table. Here are some things you can do in the kitchen with your kids during the winter:
My daughters have a playroom they love to demolish every morning by 10am. Once the room is trashed, they try to move to one of our two living rooms (despite the fact they aren’t supposed to play in any room but the playroom). Since we’re stuck indoors, I make an exception for a few special living room activities – like Fort building. All you need to build a fort is a couch, pillows, blankets, and maybe a chair or two. Annabelle and Ailey have become professional fort builders over the last year.
Dance Recital – I love teaching the girls little dances
Rock Star/Music Video – Use your camera phone to record their performances!
Anything that involves using your imagination to transform an empty space is all right with me. Annabelle and Ailey have the incredible ability to pretend the rug in our great room is an ice skating rink or a giant ocean. One time they brought their sleds into the room to pretend they were in boats, floating deep out in the sea.
The sisters love to play dress up and re-enact scenes from their favorite movies, like “Frozen.” Other times I play music and they sing into pretend microphones, pretending to be Taylor Swift.
Mess Free Games around the House
What better way to beat cabin fever than to get up and move throughout the house? There are so many fun games you can play around your house that don’t create a mess. For example, Scavenger Hunts are great for kids of all ages. I found a blog post with Clues for an Indoor Treasure Hunt using items you already have in your home (ex. the couch, a television, etc.) that’s very easy to personalize. We also love Highlights magazines that have sticker hunts and hidden puzzles.
Another mess free game to play indoors is Object Hide and Seek. It’s pretty self explanatory – someone hides an object and the other person finds it. You can add a little excitement to the game by timing the search or giving clues by saying “Hot/Cold.”
Brave the Cold and LEAVE the House
I am 100% guilty of staying indoors for most of the winter. While Moms all across the country have no problem layering up their kids to drag them out into the chilly weather, I avoid it at all costs. Annabelle HATES the cold, unless snow is involved, and I hate hearing her cry.
For my family, we will leave the warmth of our home if we are going somewhere worth our time. We love to visit the public library once a week, as our town has a gigantic children’s section with plenty of things to do. Other places you can find us visiting: Target, swim lessons, and dance class. Now that Ailey is a little older, we can take trips to the movie theater ($5 Tuesdays!) and explore the children’s museums in Connecticut. There are so many family friendly indoor places to visit in every state – all you have to do is search “Indoor Family Fun + your state” online!
If you’re an adult feeling the symptoms of Cabin Fever, try any one of the activities above for yourself. There is something calming about painting… and who wouldn’t want to drink wine in a blanket fort while watching Netflix on your laptop?