Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Things to Do In a Blizzard, or We're Bored

Okay, so we're not actually in the middle of a blizzard. We are in the middle of week two stuck inside, though. Last week, a major ice storm hit our area, and a record breaking number of people lost power - you may have heard about it on the news if you don't live in the Ohio River Valley. Fortunately, our family only lost power for a few hours, but the ice still has us feeling trapped. Everytime the ice starts to melt, it refreezes, and my car just doesn't want to take me anywhere in this. We were able to get out briefly over the weekend, but it's been snowing off and on since Monday I know there are probably a lot of other families in similar situations, so I thought I'd make a list of things to do when you can't get out your front door.

  1. Get a copy of The Toddler's Busy Book by Trish Kuffner (or any of her other books) and use it. She has lots of simple ideas for rainy days when your brain just can't think of anymore. I wish I'd bought it a long time ago. I'm thankful I had the foresight to request it from our library and pick it up over the weekend.
  2. Build forts. We like to snuggle under ours with pillows, books and stuffed animals.
  3. Have living room picnics. We don't generally eat in our living room, so sitting on a blanket and eating our snack while watching Scooby-Doo (more on this) is a real treat.
  4. Let the kids watch a little more tv than normal. I tried very hard to keep tv away from Abigail before age 2. She turned 2 last week, and well, we're getting a little stir-crazy around here.
  5. Play-doh. I've got the commercial variety - I am a kid at heart and bought a ton long before I had a child. In fact, I've got a huge box of the mini-tins that I bought as stocking stuffers and those are perfect for a toddler (one who you're pretty sure won't try to eat it anyway). I know there are lots of great recipes out there, though. Here are a few.
  6. Stickers. There has been quite a bit of sticker play around here the past week or so. I don't usually let her play with the stickers we receive from grandparents or freebies in the mail right away. I save them for a "rainy" day, and I'm SO glad I did.
  7. Read lots and lots of books. Fortunately, we have quite a stockpile that have been thrifted, hand-me-downed or given to us. I also picked up a few more at the library over the weekend.
  8. Start a craft project. It's a week until Valentine's Day. Making Valentine's might be next on our list. Since I don't like dictating what Abigail's art is, though, I will probably just have her color a few pictures to send to grandparents.
  9. Change of venue. If you have enough space for this, try playing in another room. We've moved into the guest room or a bedroom a few times to get at least some change of scenery from the living room.
  10. Watch the snow fall. Talk about gravity. Talk about the wind. Notice the beauty of winter (I can appreciate the beauty of it, even if I want it to be over yesterday).
  11. Make paper bag puppets. I drew a face on the bottom of the bag and then let Abigail decorate it with her drawings. She was excited to show it to her Daddy, and she thought it was great for holding her crayons when she wasn't trying to make it talk.
  12. Start a cleaning project. Give your kids a wet washcloth and let them clean anything they want (except maybe the tv).
  13. Go outside to play. Okay, gotta admit, we haven't done this. It's well below freezing, Abigail is 2 and I'm very much a Southern girl who does not appreciate snow. I'm unlikely to take her out. But I'm sure older kids would be able to go out alone.
I'm sure I've come up with a few more things, but right now I can't think of them. And I'm looking for more ideas! I know there were a lot of other moms in the area who ran out of things to do with their kids last week with school out. So I'm asking you for a favor. If you have any great ideas for things to do with kids to help avoid or combat cabin fever, please post it in the comments. I hope that we will all be able to come up with ideas so that anyone still stuck inside (like me) can reference this post. It will come in handy for the next storm, too (which hopefully won't arrive until next winter).

Also, I know there are people out there who are farther north and experiencing far worse weather who may be laughing at me. I hope that you'll get some ideas from this post, and that you'll tell us your secrets. I'm just glad it's not colder here!


Anonymous said...

Don't laugh but pull out a digital camera and do a photo shoot!

Anonymous said...


Pick your nose, Poop your pants, and irritate your mother!!! From Aunt Becky and your cousin Rich!!

Amanda Lockhart said...

Hey there - i did not realize that you were living in the cold...check out this blog...she always has great ideas and just posted on this topic!

Cat said...

A friend of mine wrote this article for Babble. Lots of great ideas here too.

Anonymous said...

Brave the cold and get out to a local museum, indoor nature or science center, coffee shop or even the dreaded fast food chains with indoor playground and free wi fi. Sometimes you just have to escape!

Anonymous said...

create skyscrapers out of raw spaghetti and marshmallows. It's almost as good as tinker toys!

Unknown said...

I let Vincent choose his favorite pictures from some old magazines, and we created a collage. It didn't take long, but I bet you could stretch it out if you're using poster board! =oD

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

Breedermama, I know where you're coming from. And that's what I did a few days when I was in Ohio in January, on the says it was safe to drive. Unfortunately, I live in a pretty rural area and the closest museum is 45 minutes away (not that we don't go ever, but I'm not going when the roads are bad). And when I said my car doesn't want to take me anywhere, it's because it was actually stuck in the ice until last night! My neighborhood roads were still covered in ice, and as a Georgia girl (where I grew up) I'm still not comfortable driving on ice.

Holly said...

Have you ever read the book _Snips and Snails and Walnut Whales_? I loved it when I was little, and I wonder if it's still in print. It has a lot of fun nature crafts in it.
I like singing and dancing with my niece, and it's never too early to start doing "shows," perhaps acting out favorite fairy tales.

momandkiddo said...

Some excellent ideas. Another one I like to do is set my son up with several plastic cups partially filled with cheap white vinegar. Then I give him a spoon and a box of baking soda and watch what happens! Make sure you do this on a waterproof mat. I use a shower curtain that I cut up into several pieces.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, I thought you were in Louisville! More ideas:
Make snow ice cream!

You can also do snow painting. Put a little food coloring in some water in a spray bottle.

Make a fort, pillows and blankets and furniture. Or set up a tent inside and go "camping".

Hopefully it's warmer now.