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Indoor Winter Fun

Things are crazy in our household this time of year, mainly because we’re all stuck inside with the weather what it is.  So, I’ve been looking for a few activities to add to my “collection” to break up the monotony (and the sibling fights).

  1. Picnics Aren’t Just For Summer!  Pull out a blanket and spread out on the floor.  We do the entire picnic fare: hot dogs, chips, raw veggies, bottled water, and my homemade brownies for dessert.  Sometimes we’ll invite our neighbor kids over to join us, and other times we’ll have a whole congregation of stuffed animals to keep us company at our picnic. 
  2. Strike Up The Band!  I’m not usually one for loud noise in the house, but “happy” noise is much more tolerable than “cranky” noise!  Pull out the (gasp) pots, lids and spoons for a percussion section, and create some of your own instruments as well.  Take a paper towel roll and use as a horn (or put waxed paper on one end and set with a rubber band for a kazoo), string large rubber bands around an open shoe box for a string instrument, and show your child how to blow across an empty soda or water bottle for a “flute”.  Put on a fun musical CD and create a parade!
  3. No-Snow?  No Problem!  My kids don’t get the chance to see “real” snow, so we make our own snowtime fun indoors.  On laundry day, roll all the socks into balls and divvy them up.  Find your “hideout” and let the snowball fight begin!  We love to use our couch and a chair as our “stations”.  The socks are soft and won’t hurt, and the boys have so much fun, trying to land one on Mom!

The important thing for me to remember during times we need to stay indoors is to be safe and have fun.  The pillows can be put away later, the sheets can be refolded, but times like these need to be enjoyed with my boys.

Making The Most Of The Storm

Our weather this year in Central Texas has been incredibly WET.  We’ve had more rain so far this year than the totals of 2005 and 2006 combined.  And, when your kids are accustomed to playing outside all the time, being inside during the rain doesn’t sit well.  So, my kids and I have come up with a few activities to keep you smiling when the sun isn’t shining.  Bring on the rain!

  1. Water Collection – Collecting rainwater is something I do anyway for my potted plants, but now it is a family event.  The boys grab buckets, plastic bowls and pails from the sandbox and set them up in the rain.  They are quite thoughtful in this process, too – where will the most rainwater collect in the shortest amount of time?  We also always have a pail with a ruler stuck in it and like to guess how much rain will fill the bucket.  Then, when the rain is over, it is time to water the plants!
  2. Boats – As long as it isn’t thundering, lightning or chilly outside, this is a great activity.  My boys love to find fallen leaves and grass blades to float down the street in the “ditch”.  They have races to see who’s boat can reach the next driveway first.  We’ve even floated wiffle balls once when the water was running quite strong.  They love to run down the sidewalk and watch their “boat” cruise along the “river”!
  3. Watercoloring – We each take a piece of paper and color any picture we want, as long as we use washable markers.  The more colors the better, and detail isn’t that important (my younger son is quite “abstract”).  Once the pictures are completed, take them outside in the rain and set them on the ground…watch the colors blend and “melt” right before your very eyes!  My boys are big fans of “Mary Poppins”, so this activity always brings back memories of the wonderful paintings on the sidewalk in the story.

What are your favorite things to do when it rains?  Inside activity ideas are great, too!  Comment and let us know!

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