Whether it's due to winter or wild weather events or illness, being cooped up in the house for too long puts a strain on everyone in the family. However, creative parents can alleviate some of the cabin fever boredom with fun indoor activities to entertain both kids and adults. Games, crafts, science and cooking projects can get your family talking, laughing and making memories of good times together that strengthen the family bond.
Board games come in many forms to entertain young and old alike. So when circumstances beyond your control keep you indoors, alleviate the tension by pulling out some family favorites for a few rounds of game time. Hold an indoor scavenger hunt. You can make it an ABC hunt where each person has to find something in the house that starts with each letter of the alphabet; or give your children a list of items to find such as "a storybook with 65 pages" or "a red, plastic cup" or "a piece of dryer lint." Design an indoor obstacle course that has your little balls of energy crawling under and over chairs, limboing under a string, jump roping, practicing aim and control by hurling small soft objects at a target or basket or holding a ring toss. Have a family story-telling session where each person adds one word or sentence to the story as it progresses.
Arts and Crafts
If your family is artsy, indoor time can be an opportunity to let your creative juices flow. String multi-colored pasta to make bracelets and necklaces. Cut out paper shapes to make decorations for any occasion and decorate with glitter or paint. Sculpt salt dough sculptures or magnets and paint. Mix two tablespoons of powdered tempera paint, one tablespoon warm water and one teaspoon liquid dishwashing soap to make window finger paints. The paints will wash off with a 50/50 solution of vinegar and water.
Science experiments with dramatic results serve to entertain kids and adults while opening your minds to discover how the world works. Make homemade soap bubbles and hold a contest to see who can blow the biggest bubble. Look up different ways to fold a paper airplane and experiment with which design flies the longest. Make raisins dance by mixing together one cup of water, one tablespoon baking soda and a few raisins. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vinegar to start the chemical reaction of carbonation that sets the raisins a-dancing. You can also erupt a volcano in your house by building a salt dough mountain around a plastic soda bottle. Pour in the water, baking soda and vinegar just like the raisin experiment to see it "explode" the lava. A building challenge can also engage the brain to beat the boredom blues. Try to build a straw or craft stick suspension bridge that will hold the weight of 100 pennies. Or design aluminum foil boats and test them to see how many pennies each will hold before sinking.
When the game ends in an edible treat, enthusiasm for the project seems to rise in anticipation. Try building towers using only straight pretzels and marshmallows to see who can build the tallest tower. Top sugar cookies with frosting and candy to make miniature dessert pizzas. Puree shelled peanuts in a blender or food processor to make homemade peanut butter to spread on toast, crackers or a classic PB&J. Fry thinly sliced potatoes to a crisp for homemade potato chips. Pack a picnic lunch and "hike" all the way to your living room to spread out a blanket for an indoor picnic.
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