We are now headed to the middle of winter. Cold, Cold, Cold! My motivation to be outside, for any reason, is at an all time low. 8 Fun ways to beat cabin fever with the kids will help on those frozen days when we are trapped inside with them.
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All of these ideas are not totally my own. I have borrowed them and tweaked them for my kiddos and my house rules. Please enjoy and I will link to my fellow bloggers where I can.
1. Scavenger Hunt Games
This is one can be played in so many ways! You can build it around any theme you can think of. All you will need are the objects to hide, time to hide them, and a way to list or show what they are searching for. Here are several example themes:
Another game with endless possibilities. You can get this cube here on Amazon (also pictured below), create your own from tape and cardboard, or get the awesome one with dry erase spots on it that I found at Dollar Tree (also pictured below)! On each side of the die, write or draw a symbol for some movement. The kids roll and do the movement the die says! Pick a theme and there are 6 options for movements you can fit on the die. Here are some cool examples:
Super Hero Moves (Hulk Smash, Superman Fly, Spider Man Swing, Batman Kick, Wonder Woman Shield, Cat Woman Pounce, etc.)
Animal Moves (stomp like an elephant, run like a cheetah, jump like a frog, hop like a bunny, swing like a monkey, swim like a dolphin, etc.)
3. Dance Game
I always keep some fun playlists on my Amazon Prime Music App. Its right on my phone and I can instantly play the kiddo favorites. Dancing is a great release of energy and an awesome way to reconnect with the kiddos when y’all have lost it to the cabin fever.
Another music and dance idea isGo Noodle. It is a super cool online channel with song and dance moves. My Kindergarten Kiddo does it at school during brain breaks. He loves to show us some of his favorites here at home. I really like the Friday Night House Party Mix. It has songs and dances to get them moving with some goofy challenges mixed in for fun! It is free and you don’t have to give your email but if you do, your favorites and settings can be saved across devices. Dancing is a wonderful way to beat cabin fever with the kids!
4. Arts and Crafts Time
My kiddos always have access to crayons, markers, pencils and paper. They get more excited about using these things when I give them a purpose. For example, draw your favorite Star Wars character, draw the grocery list, draw the birds at our bird feeder, etc.
Playdough, slime, and paint aren’t always up for grabs. They are messier and need more guidance. So it’s a special treat when I get these out!
Paper Air Planes. I have a really cool kit I have been saving for a rainy day. May have to break it out on a cold one. You can fold, decorate, and race these for entertainment.
5. Tape Games
It’s amazing the ideas people have created to keep kids moving and entertained with only tape and a few other supplies. Using masking or painter’s tape is the best so that nothing is damaged when removing the tape after play. Here is a list of some great “Tape Games”:
Line Walking- Trace out some fun lines (squiggle, zig-zag, dotted, straight, wavy) and have the kids travel around the place following the lines.
Alphabet Game- Trace out letters on the floor. Have the kiddos jump, hop, skip, or twist to each letter when you say a word matching its beginning sound. You can even do a scavenger hunt with these letters as well. Finding things in the house and placing them on the letter they begin with. Look at more ABC Games Here!
Sticky Spider Web- Tape up and across a doorway to create a sticky tape spider web. Let the kiddos have fun tossing small toys or crumpled paper balls to see if they can make it through or get stuck in the web. Bonus points if you craft a scary spider to sit at the edge of your web. Sticky Spider Web inspiration is here.
6. Balloon Games
There are many ways to play this game. Any parent knows kids will be entertained with a balloon for a long time. They are just fun and attention-grabbing. Here are some ideas to give that play direction:
Don’t let it touch the ground. Oldie but a goody.
Balance the balloon. Use a foot or a hand and see who can do so the longest.
Tape the balloon up high and have the kids jump to tap the balloon with hand or head. Count how many times they can do it in a row.
Waddle with a balloon between their legs pretending to be a penguin.
7. Sports Games
Everyone loves sports. They keep the kids moving all year round. Here are some that are controllable and safe to try out inside your house. Sports remind us of warmer times when we can be outside. So beat cabin fever with the kids and try out some inside!
Mini Golf. Keep to putting only and be sure to have some plastic practice golf balls to use. Lat year on Fathers day I created a whole mini-golf course for my husband to play with the kids. They playing it almost as much as they loved helping me create it (I promise a blog detailing how I created the course).
Soccer. Just set up a few cones like this or use whatever you have to pretend. Get a light ball and have each kid stand at the goal.
This last section is a combination of several games where you have to copy, mimic, or act it out.
Fashion Show. Gather your kiddo’s favorite outfits, turn on some music and get them to strut their stuff.
Indoor Snowball fight. My mom has a great basket of white pompoms at her house. Every time we go to visit my kiddos loves to pretend they are having an indoor snowball fight. I also have a fun blog about how to make a pretend snowball fight inside be educational.
Mirror, Mirror. This is a copy game. You do one thing and get your kiddos to stand in front of you and match what you do. Another way to adapt this is playing it like Simon Says (less moving for mom!)
I hope you enjoyed all these wonderful ideas about how to beat cabin fever with the kids this winter.
Many of the printables I create to help kids learn and play are in the Library!