January means that winter is in full swing, and winter brings with it some bad weather & right now there’s a massive blizzard in parts of the country! Kids may love to play outside in the snow or go puddle jumping in the rain, but sooner or later you’ll be faced with bad weather that keeps kids inside for most of the day. Puzzles and cartoons will only get you so far; eventually kids need something active and exciting to get out some of their abundant energy. Keep these game ideas up your sleeve to avoid getting pent up with bored children.
Cardboard castle – this was one of my boys’ favorites when they were little!
What’s even better than a fort made out of pillows and blankets? A castle made out of cardboard boxes. Save any boxes you have leftover from Christmas or from other deliveries; the bigger the better. We found our best boxes at the appliance store. We let them know what we were doing & they saved them for us! Let your kids arrange these boxes into a castle of their own design. You can help by cutting doorways between the boxes, and kids can get creative by decorating the outside with whatever arts and crafts supplies you have on hand.
I love the two tutorials (links below). Using cardboard in a hallway is genius! The second tutorial is dear to my heart. I helped build and grew up in a geodesic dome when I was little. So I adore that there are instructions to make a cardboard version. LOOOVE it, and your kids will, too!
This is like musical chairs without the chairs. Pick out one of your kids’ (or your) favorite songs, play it, and dance like no one’s watching. We put on songs of the composers we’re studying. Before we start dancing, we all have to yell which composer it is.
Let out your silly side and encourage your kids to show off their goofiest dance moves. Then pause the music: everyone has to freeze in whatever position they’re in. This game is sure to burn off some energy and to bring out some laughs. My boys are now 12 and 15, and they still love this game! This is a fun way to switch off nasty attitudes, too. ♥ Seriously look at those sweet faces! My kids are awesome, and crazy, and adorable!
Image by Joe Polillio from Parents Magazine
Do your kids have toy cars or toy animals they love to move around? Let them design their very own road system. Kids can use painter’s tape or masking tape to plot out roads all around the house: on the floor, onto the furniture, and maybe even on you. Especially if you have older children, they might really enjoy planning out and designing a complicated road system complete with city landmarks along the way. Because it’s painter’s or masking tape, it’s easy to clean up, so they can make roads as long as they want. Then they can have fun racing their toys all along the roads.
Pillow Sumo Wrestling
Oh my goodness, look at our youngest’s toes!!! He’s seriously into this. Do you have some roughhousing lovers? Try pillow sumo wrestling to let them get it out of their system without getting hurt. Equip your kids with some adult-sized t-shirts, and stuff them with pillows. You may want to place some extra pillows around the “wrestling” area (don’t do it anywhere they can land on something hard or sharp). Then let your kids bounce around to their hearts’ content. You’ll probably want to supervise this one carefully to make sure no one gets hurt, but as long as no one gets carried away, it can be definitely get the cold weather wiggles out! These are my boys – even as big kids, they like bouncing around with their brother!
So enjoy! Have some fun with your kids, no matter what their age…they’ll love being a little creative and a little crazy with you!