What to do?

What to do? That's often the question I find myself asking when it's -1 degrees outside. Now that everyone is healthy (please Lord keep us that way) I've been avoiding getting out of the house too much just to avoid any more sickness. That sounds strange I'm sure, but after the winter we've had so far I'm not so sure I can handle any more doctor appointments and long nights. It's the middle of January and we still have a few more months of winter left so...what to do? I've complied a list of winter activities that have helped us get through these cold days. I hope you find them helpful when you're looking for something fun to do with your kids!

1. Walk the Plank:

My kids have been into pirates lately. I remembered that we had some wood left over from a project in the garage that magically turned into a pirates plank for the kids. I was shocked at how long they played with a simple 2x4. The plank later turned into a race track and a balance beam. When trying to find indoor activities, sometimes less is really more.

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2. Baking for others:

Another indoor activity that MANY of us have done, especially with holidays, is baking! We decided to bake a few treats for some friends that were sick. After we had baked our goodies, we then delivered them. I liked that the kids were learning to be kind and helpful to friends,  especially when they are in need of some cheering up. It also gave us a chance to get out of the house for a bit.

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3. Tic, Tac, Toe & Balloon tennis:

I recently stumbled upon an awesome blog that has tons of indoor activity ideas. You can check out all of the activities here:

http://www.learnwithplayathome.com

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Although there were many activities to pick from, I decided to share: paper plate tic, tac, toe and balloon tennis. I really liked how simple these ideas were and the best part? These activities take about 5 minutes each to create! Below is a picture of the paper plate tic, tac, toe. Paper plates, a marker, some painters tape and there you have it! Easy, easy.

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Below is a picture of Balloon Tennis! 2 Rulers, tape, paper plates and a balloon. The rulers and paper plates become the rackets and the balloon is your gigantic tennis ball. My kids and I re-created this and they LOVED it.

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4. Classic Couch or Pillow Fort

Now, I know for a FACT each and every one of you grew up building forts! If you didn't...I suggest you stop what you are doing right now and go build a pillow fort. It will be therapeutic I promise. The kids absolutely love building these things and spend a while playing in them. For our kids, the forts turn into couch slides and the couch slides somehow become caves? (Gotta love a child's imagination.) We had our friends over this morning and they asked to build a bridge that turned into their slide that then turned into their ship. So imaginative and I was able to hold a conversation with my friend for more than 10 minutes. Winning!!!

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Overall, winter can be long and there is nothing wrong with turning on the tube to entertain the kids. (I plan on putting together a "What we are watching" blog post soon!) But, you can't have the t.v. on all day and there is something super satisfying about getting creative and watching your kids play together! Especially when they are playing with something as simple as paper plates! (I mean really, who needs toys?!)

I know that this list of activities probably wasn't earth shattering for you all, but I do hope it inspired you in someway and gave you an idea or two!  Sometimes reminding ourselves of the classic kid games are really the best games of all! So, hang in there parents. Only a few more months until warmer weather and OUTDOOR PLAY!!!! Whoo hoo!!!