How to Keep Your Kids Delightful when the Weather Is Frightful

Celia Kibler, a family empowerment coach, offers tips for indoor activities for those dreadful days when the weather is too harsh for outdoor play.

Keep Up the Daily Schedule. Just Adjust the Activities

The kids are running around, they’re screaming, they’re yelling, they’re getting on each other’s nerves and YOURS! You sit pulling your hair out and praying for nicer weather. What’s a parent to do?

Let’s talk about that because actually, there is a lot you and they can do, aside from tearing the house and each other apart.

Set up a schedule for your day, and do this for every day. When the kids get used to a daily schedule, then the indoor bad weather days are not such a challenge. Here’s what you should include in your daily schedule. Chores; Reading; Active Game Play & Exercise; Homework; Meals; Hygiene/Baths; Religious time (if applicable); School/Work; Extra-Curricular Activities (if applicable); Medical visits (if Applicable).

In other words, there should be nothing left out of this daily schedule. Notice that although consistent, your daily schedule will probably change from day to day with the specific daily activities being added or deleted. Once this schedule is put into place, the kids and everyone will know what is expected for that day. Get in the habit of reviewing your schedule over breakfast each morning.

Now that your schedule is put into place, here are some great ideas to have at home that can keep your child(ren) active and interested when the weather does not allow for outdoor play.

All of the following can be played in any living space from apartments to single-family homes. Just remember to keep running to a limit when in an apartment, out of respect for neighbors.

Indoor Active Games

BALLOONS: Balloons are inexpensive, safe for indoor use and tons of active fun for all. You can play catch games with balloons, bopping games, kicking games and more. TIP: UNDER INFLATE your BALLOONS to avoid popping. Underinflated balloons will last longer, provide hours of fun and are easier to hold for little ones. Remember to watch your kids and listen for a popped balloon, so that you can dispose of the scraps as soon as possible.

BALLS: use BEACH BALLS or SPONGE BALLS for safe indoor play. If you can find an area in your home that you can spread out the furniture and open up space, kids can play a great game of soccer or hockey as they burn energy and get exercise. You don’t need a lot of room for kids to have fun.

POOL NOODLES (cut in 1/2 to 3’ size) provide a fun, safe, indoor or outdoor hockey stick for play. You can find pool noodles usually at your local Dollar Store and simply cut them in half with a serrated knife.

HOOPS: Small hoops are sold and run around 12” in diameter. These small hoops provide safe indoor play for hula-hooping or just as a goal to throw balloons or softballs through.

OBSTACLE COURSES: Cones, Tunnels, Furniture, Sheets & blankets, can all help kids to set up a fun Obstacle Course for play. Let their creativity shine and they’ll stay busy for a good long time.

IMAGINATIVE PLAY: Kids can drape a blanket over 2 chairs for a tent that allows them to pretend they are camping outside. Include a fun picnic lunch under the tent and they will have the best time being outdoors without being outdoors.

DANCE: If kids get too rowdy, put on some music, start dancing and they’ll join in shortly. You can freeze Dance too, by stopping and starting the song.

Cleaning the House is Exercise Too!

HOUSEHOLD CHORES “the FUN WAY”: Play THE DICE GAME*. Find one die, you can get bigger ones in Novelty Stores if you want. Make a chart to explain what each number on the die stands for. EX: 1: Dusting 2: Vacuuming… etc. Make #6 a FREE DAY. Each day at a specific time, your child(ren) roll the die and complete the activity that the number they rolled relates to. It’s fun, the kids look forward to it and you get your house cleaned (or as well as a kid can do it haha).

*For a printout of the DICE GAME, join PUMPED UP PARENTING Group on Facebook and look under the ‘Files’ Section.

More  Active Play (especially helpful for apartment-living)

COMMUNITY RECREATION CLASSES: Register your kids for active classes through your local school or Recreation Department. It’s really great if you can find a class that includes the parents in the activity so that you all can stay fit together.

NINTENDO Wii: A video system with a twist! The Wii games have kids joining in the fun by moving their bodies to play the games. Fun for the whole family!

VIDEOS: Enjoy doing exercise videos at home and everyone can exercise together.

WALKS: Dress appropriately and go for a walk. Even if there’s a little rain, grab an umbrella and go for a power walk. All kids love a puddle to jump in or to dance in the rain!

With a little imagination and some soft play equipment, your kids can have fun and stay active, regardless of what the weather is outside. Prepare ahead and your kids and your sanity will thank you for it. For more tips, contact Celia here.

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