This seems like the longest part of winter. February rolls around and all we want is warm weather and sunshine. The kids are bored and restless, which compromises parental sanity. You want to shoo them outside to play, but it is just too cold and miserable. One of the most effective ways to relieve boredom from being indoors for too many months at a time is to get the kids moving again. Here are a few ideas to spark your imagination:
Scavenger hunt– Take a few random toys and stash them in remote hiding places throughout the house. You can make this as simple or as elaborate as you want. If you have the time and ambition, you can draw up maps or give fun clues. And who says Easter egg hunts have to only be done on Easter? If your kids are older you can hide whatever you want- beads, buttons, miniature candy bars, etc. If pranks are encouraged in your home, send the kids looking for something you didn’t hide. That should keep them busy for awhile. (Note- you can only get away with this once.)
Dance parties– Is there anything more fun than getting down with your kids? Whip up a playlist of funk-tastic tunes that everyone likes and get jiggy with it! (Your participation in this will be cheerfully accepted until your children become pre-adolescent. Then you will be disinvited from dancing with them or their friends until they get older.)
Balloon Toss– Blow up those left over balloons from the last birthday party you hosted and cut the kids loose. Have them toss the balloons over a net, around furniture, into a “goal”- like a box. See how many they can keep in the air at the same time. Turn balloons into “kites” by drawing faces on the balloons with markers and taping yarn to them for hair. Now your kids can take their new friends/kites for a walk around the house.
Silent ball– This genius gem of an indoor game was engineered by clever parents because it is an ACTIVE, SILENT game that kids think is purely for their enjoyment. The active and silent part makes it a real crowd pleaser for parents too! Kids use a Nerf ball, and a leader tosses the ball to others around the room, however they choose, in no particular order. Someone is “out” when they talk, make noise, breathe too loud (okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme) or drop the ball. The last person standing is the new leader. Teachers LOVE this game, and so will you.
Yoga– This type of exercise is suited to all ages and levels of fitness. And kids love to imitate adults. You can either buy Yoga for kids on DVD or simply go to YouTube.com and type in “Yoga for kids.” Soon they will be “downward dogging” and “tree posing” their way to a less restless state. Yoga can be very relaxing, so parents might be in for a two-fer if their youngster follows up Yoga Time with Nappy Time.
By Kat Hobza