Thursday, May 1, 2014

Indoor (Survival) Activities

So being a writer who can't look at a computer screen is problematic. It's kinda frustrating, but out of my fear and trembling of another migraine I will not look at another computer screen today. I can tell my brain is still...tender. So I'm sitting here audio recording my next blog like a dweeb. Yes, a dweeb because nerds have become cool and I really really don't feel cool right now. But nevertheless, I've been thinking today about what indoor activities I do with my kids. A friend asked me recently to make a list and post it, and after my poor husband had to be stuck inside alone all day with our three littles I thought it might be a good time to share a survivors guide to indoor activities with little kids.

Child Survival Activities
1. Build a fort

2. Color

3. um...I had a number three...let me see...Oh! Build towers and then knock 'em down.

4. Dance party.
     4b. Dance party with the Frozen Soundtrack.

5. Wrestling/tickling.

6. Reading

7. Playing dress up.

8. TV/Movies. Sometimes I dress it up, make it look a little better: make little cute snacks...sometimes I just put on Sesame Street and walk away to do laundry.

9. Play pirates or Super Why or whatever the kids are into at the time.

10. Cardboard. Seriously put those pampers boxes to use!

11. And most importantly: If you have multiple children and they are playing well together or if you have one kid and he/she is playing independently DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES interfere with the happiness that is happening, because it probably won't last.

My kids are ages 1 to (almost) 4 years old. If you have itty bitty babies your list would probably include a baby swing. If your kids are older your list probably includes far more independent or school related activities.

OH! I just thought of number 12...bathes. Yes, bathes. I know that like every book everywhere says you should do that before bedtime to create a relaxing and soothing bedtime routine...but that's just how wild and and rebellious I am...I do bathes during the day. Bathes are fun at our house and it's a productive way to kill half an hour if you ask me!

Mommy Survival Tips
1. Loosen up, stop imagining that everyone else is sitting around with Pinterest wins and reading american short stories to their toddlers. Mostly we are all having Pinterest fails and reading Go Dog Go a million times.

2. When the opportunity arises for coffee (see Child Survival Activity #11), drink the coffee.

3. Text a girlfriend something crazy or gross or sarcastic and do what me and my friend, Robin, do... and hashtag #canttweetthat Get a laugh out of the cabin fever.

4. Make a playlist of fun music that you actually like to listen or dance to with your dance crew.

5. Do some quick loads of laundry while/if the kids are playing happily so that you can read or shower or craft during nap time.

6. Tandem nap times are vital.

7. When you can, have playdates but only when it works for you and your kids. Don't do a playdate at the expense of your sanity.

8. Jesus. Find Fight for a time everyday to spend time in the Word until it becomes a regular part of your routine.

What are your indoor survival tips? I have one friend with a miniature bounce house and I'm campaigning for that to be a Christmas gift of 2014. Share your successes in the comments section...I need some ideas, where I live it's May and it's still chilly outside!

**I "dictated" this post to my iPhone yesterday after two killer days with a migraine.


  1. I have a coloring suggestion. If your kid blows through coloring books like my son get an old three ring binder and stock it with lots of white paper. I decorated the front of the binder and called it Jenkins' Color Folder. This simple idea is good for a few reason: 1) It keeps the page steady for a one year old 2) it keeps all their beautiful creations together so they can look back on them 3) it creates a hard surface so they can color in the middle of the living room or outside or even in the car 4) and you can always add in more paper when all the pages are dripping with marker.
    This changed color time at our house

  2. Oh one other indoor suggestion. Teddy bear fight! We gather up all his teddy bears or stuffed animals and put them in the middle of the living room. We stand across the room from each other and count to three, then rush to the middle and start slinging some teddy bears. It is also fun to pick them all up and put them back in the center of the room and start over again. You can end it by saying "Ok, now its time to play and quiet game."