Monday, January 27, 2014

Cabin Fever Cures

Winter weather can be down right nasty, which means spending the day indoors with children who long to be active. No worries – here are a few suggestions to keep everyone active and moving even on those “indoor” days.

Bowling Bash
• Bowling Bash – Hallways work the best for this game because there are built in “bumpers” along the side, but a room with some length to it works just as well. Pins can be plastic disposable drinking cups, small water bottles or empty clean milk cartons. Balls can be balled up paper or a small ball (plastic or Nerf style are best). Using painter’s tape you can mark off the alley, throwing line and pin set up. Keeping score isn’t nearly as important as everyone having fun!
• Micro-Mini Golf – You can construct a table top or floor course with “hazards” from the toy box or kitchen. Be creative! Holes can be a plastic cup on its side (using a little weight in the cup or tape will stabilize it) or even a shape cut from paper. While I’m sure you can come up with lots of options for balls and clubs, we used some small plastic balls and gift paper tubes. Sometimes our courses ranged all over the house. Designing the course and set up is as much fun as the actual game.

Indoor Obstacle Course
• Indoor Obstacle Course – Look for opportunities to go over, under, around and through. Utilize furniture, blankets, pillows, boxes – get your thinking cap on and design multiple courses for hours of fun.
• Soccer – Using paper or soft Nerf style balls, we set up our field of play. Sometimes the goals were doorways or the area between the couch and chair. Make sure to clear the area of all obstacles or breakables, and clarify rules before you begin.
• Penguin Parent – This can be a fun variation on an obstacle course or played as a race. Using bean bags or small pillows as penguin eggs which are placed over the top of the feet of each player; the goal is to make it to the finish line with your bean bag still on your feet. Tiny steps and a true penguin waddle are keys to success. This one’s sure to bring out lots of laughs. Have your camera ready!
• Ready, Aim, Toss – Set up a course using small soft balls or bean bags and a variety of containers for some target practice. Varying the sizes of containers and their distance from the start line adds to the challenge. Assigning “points” can be fun for older children who enjoy some light-hearted competition.

Family Dance Party
• Dance Party – There’s nothing like some great music and the freedom to dance! Work with the children to create a special mix CD of their favorites. Varying tempos and music style brings out some very interesting interpretations.
• Sardines – This is an old favorite; a reverse of hide-n-seek. One person hides and as they are found by others more and more people squeeze into the spot until the last person finds them all. The last one to find everyone is “it” for the next game. Set boundaries about hiding spots to avoid problems.
• Shuffle Bump – This is like shuffle board or curling. Use painter’s tape to define goal areas (painter’s tape leaves no traces when you are done). Plastic bottle caps or small balls can be used. Try to get the most points while knocking your opponents out. A great game to lay down on your tummy and play.

No matter what you choose to do – indoor activities can make any day special. Enjoy!!

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