We live in a climate where the high temperature this past Monday was -12 F (I didn’t even look at what the low was, it was too sad!). Needless to say, we haven’t gone outside much these past few days and it’s starting to take its toll on my children.  

Kids do need to run around, even at a gym or indoor playground, and get their energy out. But if you can’t leave the house and need something to do, here are five ideas that might keep those stir-crazy feelings from completely overwhelming your family. 

5 simple and frugal indoor activities for kids, for when you're feeling stir-crazy during the cold months!

Make a new snack together. These Strawberry Graham Snackers (made with graham crackers spread with cream cheese & fresh strawberries) are fun for kids to assemble as are the classic “Ants on a Log” and our new favorite “Robin Bread“. And because they’re pretty healthy, they won’t drag down your immune system during the cold and flu season.

Pull out “busybag” activities for something new and different! There are loads of busybag activities to be found all over the internet. Here are a few we’ve enjoyed: 

Our daughter is working on one of the activities from Animal Doodles. They keep our kids busy for a really. long. time. Love!

 

Use food items for play! Last winter I grabbed a large canister of dried kidney beans and dumped them onto jelly roll pans. Our older two spent about 45 minutes making roads, hills and tunnels with toy vehicles and the beans. You could do this with rice or oatmeal too but the beans were less messy!

Make a fort! There is nothing better than grabbing blankets and making a fort out of the furniture. Yes, it gets a bit crowded and the “home” designs trickle over into different rooms but imaginative play is the best kind of play. 

Get creative with Less-Mess Fingerpaint. I found this idea some time ago on Pinterest and it really does work. Getting messy is perfectly okay–sometimes–but if you need a break from sticky fingers, this is a clever idea. Just take some finger paint (I used gel fingerpaint but I think tempera paint would work better) and squirt a few colors into a plastic zip-top bag.

Close the bag tightly, making sure to get all the air bubbles out, and tape it over a white sheet of paper onto your surface. Then just let the kids use their fingers to create designs as they desire.

 

{Okay, so the first thing the 16 month old did was pull it off the table and squish it around, but hey, it kept him occupied! :) }

What do you do to beat the winter blues with the kids in your house? I’d love some new ideas! You can also check out some other stir-crazy activity ideas on my Pinterest board!

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12 Comments on Five Frugal Indoor Activities for Kids During the Cold Weather (and Thrifty Thursday #43)

  1. Pingback: Meals In Jars -
  2. I LOVE those ideas! I’m pinning this on my kid craft board along with the Fabulously Frugal Thursday board.

    I’m running to the craft store this morning now with fresh inspiration from your post!

  3. Ahhh! This is just what I needed! Thanks so much. It is cold here, and we do a lot of tent/fort building as well. I love the other ideas, and I’m so excited about the paint! I saw this on pinterest (might have even pinned it?) and forgot about it!
    God bless

    You can visit me at http://www.abundantjoy04.blogspot.com

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