January 3, 2022

Three tips to make it through the winter when you are stuck inside with kids

Written by Lindsay Brillhart, parent and self-advocate

RL 2.8

Help! It is cold and dreary, and I’m stuck inside with young kids!

It is that time of year again.  In winter, the days are short.  It gets dark early. Some days it is too cold or bad weather, and you can’t go outside to play.  Being inside for too long can be hard for kids and parents. Kids have a lot of energy and need to let it out. It is a good idea to go outside and find a safe place for them to run.  It could be a park, a playground, or a walk in your neighborhood.

What if it is just too cold?  Or the weather is bad?  And you are stuck inside.  How can you keep your kids busy?

Lindsay gives us a few ideas for keeping kids busy when you are stuck inside.

1: Have an activity box ready to go.  Have things that your kids will like. Like for example, ours has small things.  It has bubbles, a can of shaving cream, a football, and a hula hoop in it. And a regular book and a coloring book.  You can find lots of good things at the Dollar Store.  If you have this ready to go you can pull it out when you need it.  It will be fun and exciting.  Kids like things that are new to them.  They like things they don’t see every day.  Collect things and save it for when you need it.  Or when you need a break.  They can play with it while you sit down (but still watch them).

2: If you have a kitchen, make a recipe with your family. That helps with being together and working on math skills and communication skills with your kids.  You can make something small.  You can just use a microwave if that is what you have.  It could just be hot chocolate or cookies.  Or popcorn.  Have your kids help.  They can measure.  They can mix.  It might be messy but that is okay.  They can help clean up or can play with the activity box while you clean up.

If you need recipe ideas go to the library.  That is another good activity.  The library might have a kid’s cookbook with pictures.  You could have it take more time and have your kid write it all down.  If your kid is old enough, they can copy the recipe from the book.  Add pictures if they help you or your kids.  You can get pictures from your school or therapist or print them yourself.  You can print them at the library too.

3: Plan a family evening event at home. Sometimes the family has a mom or dad that works during the day until in the evening.  You could have a movie night with popcorn. Or a talent show, or a dress up show.  Something fun!  Have the kids make fake movie tickets?  They can set up a food stand.  They can make fake money and pretend to sell popcorn or candy.  They can make a movie poster.  Make it a big event that they work on all day.

The thing about winter weather is that some people fall into depression. They want a lot more sunlight and they need fresh air outside. And if you find activities for the families to do it is helpful to not have as much stress in your family.  Even if the weather is not good, going out for a 10-minute walk every day can really help your mood.  And helps your kids get some fresh air.

I hope this gives you some ideas about things to do at your home when you are inside with your kids!

About Lindsay Brillhart

Lindsay is a mom of 2 girls. She is a strong self-advocate for her kids and others. She has (formally) worked with the ARC of Hamilton County and Hamilton County Developmental Disability Services. She currently resides in Cincinnati with her her partner Phil and 2 kids: Julianna 20, and Sara, 11. She was once on the People First of Ohio board. She is a Partners in Policy graduate. She is also a graduate of PATHS (Providing Alternative Thinking Strategies).  In her spare time, she loves to travel and to meet new people.