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10 Ways to Turn Cabin Fever Into Cozy Fun


If you live in a place where it's cold and snowy outside, chances are you've run out of ways to entertain the troops. For those times when everyone's getting cranky from being stuck inside, we've got some great ideas to help you and your kids beat the winter stir-crazies.

1. Have a Movie Day

a bunch of kids watching a movie

Some days you just need to have popcorn for lunch and put on a new or favorite movie. Put some pillows on the floor, wrap everyone up in blankets, and enjoy being calm and cozy for a while.

2. Bake Something

two toddlers baking in the kitchen

If your kids are a little bit older, they'll really enjoy helping to measure, pour, crack, and stir some tasty ingredients. Even if you have very young children, it can be interesting for your baby to watch you at work in the kitchen. Baked goods will fill your house with wonderful smells, and you'll have something delicious to eat when it's all done.

3. Play Dress-Up

a girl posing with sunglasses

Pull some clothes out of your closet and let your little one try them on. A button-down shirt can become a superhero cape or a fancy ball gown with the help of a belt or some creative buttoning. See how many hat styles you can create using a t-shirt, make crowns or superhero masks with construction paper and tape, or put on as much jewelry as you can find. When everyone is all dressed up don't forget to have a fashion show!

4. Have a Paper Airplane Races

a toddler playing in a basket

Paper airplanes are easy to make and can provide a lot of entertainment. You can have a race by seeing whose airplane goes the furthest, or you can test your piloting skills by setting up an obstacle course and seeing which plane can get through with the fewest throws. Even a young baby can be entertained just by watching the plane fly around, so grab some paper and get it airborn.

5. Have an Indoor "Snowball Fight"

a rolled up piece of paper

Want to have the fun of a snowball fight without putting on 10 layers of clothing? Crumple up some paper and start throwing. Paper is light enough that it won't cause any damage, but the excitement of trying to hit a running, giggling target will bring on maximum fun.

6. Play "Hide the Thimble"

a thimble

This one is like Hide and Seek, but instead of each person hiding themselves, you take turns hiding a small object that needs to be found. Guide your little one to find the thimble by telling them they're cold, warm, or hot depending on how close they are to where you've hidden it. For younger children, use a larger object to help avoid frustration--and make sure it's not a choking hazard!

7. Make Play Dough

homemade play dough

With just a few pantry ingredients you can create your own play dough at home. Our friends over at Learn Create Love have the simple recipe to help you and your little one spend a few hours getting messy and creative. This recipe is only made with food ingredients, so it's even safe for the baby who has to put everything in his mouth.

8. Do Funny Yoga

a mom and toddler doing yoga

Even if you don't actually practice yoga, you can still do funny yoga. You can be the instructor, or you can take turns being in charge. Funny yoga is as easy as making up a silly, crazy pose and having the "students" try to recreate it. It doesn't matter if your form is perfect as long as you're all having fun.

9. Have a Puppet Show

a range of homemade puppets

Using paper bags, socks, fingers, or real puppets, put on a funny show for your little ones. Make up a funny adventure, or if you're not feeling overly creative, just retell a well-known fairy tale or book. If your little one is old enough, make sure she gets a turn to entertain you, too. Don't forget to use the video feature on your phone to record the show—that way your little one can see the show she just put on, too.

10. Have a Secret Word

a pile of notes

Did you ever watch Pee-Wee's Playhouse? Pee-Wee would have a secret word that when said meant everyone in the playhouse had to scream real loud. Pick a word for your house and choose a reaction to it. You don't have to scream (because that could get really loud), but you could say, "Beep!", or whistle, or ring a bell each time somebody says the secret word. Keep everyone on their toes, and even give out awards at the end of the day for whoever caught (or said) the secret words most.

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