Don’t let the weather get your family down. Because there’s no better occasion to enjoy cozy indoor fun.
Try some of these ideas to brighten everyone’s spirit and strengthen your family bond.
Make a tent or fort. Indoor tents and forts make fun play areas as well as cozy retreats for reading or watching movies. To build a tent, take several bed sheets, tablecloths, or blankets, and hang them over tables or backward-facing chairs. For a more permanent structure, connect PVC tubing into the shape of a box. Then drape it with sheets.
Hold an art workshop. Gather the basics such as paper, paint, and markers. Then scrounge for a variety of recyclables such as boxes, toilet paper rolls, plastic bottles, caps, old magazines, and anything else you can think of. If you have any crafting supplies such as yarn, fabric, or glitter, pull those out as well. Then let your family’s inspiration flow, and create to everyone’s heart’s content.
Do a family read-in. First, head to the library and have everyone pick out some books. When you return home, pull out pillows and blankets in the family room, and spend the day lounging and reading. Another option is for everyone to take turns reading aloud from a book that’s geared toward all ages.
Learn self-defense. Rent or buy a martial arts DVD on basic self-defense. Then gather the whole family to practice techniques that could help them escape a dangerous situation.
Hold a magic show. Pick up magic trick books or watch magic videos online. Then practice up, and invite the neighborhood kids to come and watch your act.
Have a dance-a-thon. Crank up the volume to some pop, hip-hop, or whatever your kids’ favorite music, and see who’s energy holds out the longest.
Play bakery. What better way to warm up on a chilly day and enjoy family time than to bake up some tasty treats? Make a day of it, and get all your baking done in advance for an upcoming gathering or so you have treats to store. After you’ve sufficiently sampled the goodies, freeze the remainder.
Sizzling science fun. Search online for fun experiments you can conduct at home with basic household products and ingredients. Perform a few. Then make a video of a really cool one to post on Youtube.
Have a family workout. Physical fitness is vital for the entire family. Look for a HIIT, Zumba, or another cardiovascular exercise video with today’s hottest music and moves.
Paint a wall mural. Is your family artistic? If so, choose a wall in your basement, garage, mudroom, or playroom in need of a personal touch. Before you begin, draw your mural idea on a piece of paper. Then buy 3 or 4 quarts of primary color paints plus a quart of white and black. You can mix the colors at home to create additional colors and shades.
Hold a family game night. Pull out the cards and board games, and gather some snacks. Then start keeping score to see who will be the night’s grand winner.
Enjoy a picnic. Who says picnics are only for outdoors? Put together all the fixings of a picnic complete with a picnic basket, if you have one. Then spread out a blanket in your family room, and enjoy the grub.
Tell stories. Write a dozen or so story prompts each on a separate piece of paper, and toss them into a bowl. Then take turns pulling out a story prompt and telling a story. Another option is for one person to start the story. Then, go around the room, and each of you adds a sentence to the story. See how long you can keep the story alive.
Get cultured. Choose a culture your family would like to experience and learn more about. Look for recipes from that culture online as well as mealtime customs for a fuller experience. Then have everyone pitch in and help cook the international fare.
Perform a puppet show. Pull out old socks or brown paper lunch bags, and make your own puppets. Draw on the faces, and use yarn or string for the hair. Then take turns performing your acts.
Kimberly Blaker is a freelance writer. She also owns an online bookshop, Sage Rare & Collectible Books, specializing in out-of-print, scarce, signed, and first editions; fine bindings; ephemera and more at sagerarebooks.com.