Cold Weather, Crazy Kids

Although the sun peaked through today and the temp actually got up to 51 degrees, the past few weeks have been cold, snowy, wet, gray and just plain miserable!  As you may know, cold weather means completely insane little kids (and parents!).  So, what do you do with your children when it’s like this?  Here are a few ways I got my 1-year-old, Hannah, and 3-year-old, Jack, moving indoors (and avoided the most notorious germ-swapping locations around town):

Jump-o-lene – We got the kids this inflatable indoor bounce house/trampoline for Christmas (pic below).  It has been a HUGE hit.  They run, jump, flip, and roll around in it everyday (although I try to deflate it once a week so it doesn’t lose it’s appeal).  The major downside is that one of the air pockets already has a small hole in it that I can’t locate!  So, I have to re-inflate part of it once a day.  Takes about 10 minutes to inflate or deflate the entire thing.

Dance Party – I made a kid-friendly dance mix on the Ipod, and we make up motions and/or jump around to the songs in the living room.  Never seems to get old.

Freeze Dance – Dance while the music plays.  Freeze when you pause it. 

Follow the Leader – I’m sure you remember this one.  Take turns leading the other people around the house doing all sorts of random things:  hopping, walking backwards, acting like a dog, jumping on the couch, etc.

“Can you do that?” – This is a lame game I made up to occupy Jack while I was making dinner one night.  He happens to love it.  Whew!  I say with gusto, “Jack, can you run upstairs and jump on my bed three times?  Can you do that?” Off he runs to enthusiastically complete his task and then return for his next mission.  “Jack, can you run upstairs and do a somersault on your bed?  Can you do that?” Are you seeing the pattern here?  Running…but not just running…running UP the stairs to the FARTHEST reaches of our home and doing something ACTIVE.

Indoor sports – I have very few breakables around my house, so we do kick the soccer ball, play tee ball, etc. with soft balls in the living room or down the hall.

Jump on the bed – I know not everyone allows this, but it’s a great way to burn off energy!

Walk at the mall – We do this to get out of the house.  During our walk, we stop to look at the pet store, the carousel, and the train at Mr. Bulky.  Then, I grab them a bagel at Panera so they’ll sit in the stroller while I walk.  Yes, I’m now a mall walker when necessary! 

Elliptical Trainer – Unbelievably, my 3-year-old loves to “workout” or “exercise” as he says on our elliptical trainer.  It’s like a ride for him.  He’ll go for 3-5 minutes at a time.

Have you had any successes with indoor activities with your kids?  Would love to hear any other ideas.  As always, thanks for reading!

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