Outdoor activities with an indoor twist
From windowsill gardening to makeshift mud pies, unique outdoor activities you can take indoors to entertain your kids and keep cabin fever at bay!
Don't let gloomy winter weather keep you and the kids from having fun! With a few supplies and a lot of creativity, you can turn these traditional outdoor activities into indoor rainy-day boredom-busters!
If winter weather is keeping you and your family from earning your green thumbs, try your hand at windowsill gardening. From small houseplants to herbs, all you need is a windowsill with just the right amount of sunlight to make your mini garden grow! Have the kids roll up their sleeves and help you pack the soil, plant the seeds, or transport cuttings from your favorite existing plants and root them in water.
If you're looking for plants that will do well in a windowsill, try gardenia, begonia or even hydrangea. Herbs also grow well in kitchen windowsills and are one of the few outdoor plants that can grow just as well indoors. Plus, you'll have fresh herbs for seasoning nearby when you're cooking.
Growing herbs in your windowsill garden isn't just a great way to combat cabin fever on rainy days, it also gives you an opportunity to teach your kids about the benefits of growing your own food. Just remember to give your windowsill plants a quarter-turn weekly so all sides of the plants are exposed to sunlight.
Makeshift mud pies
If your kids love to get their hands dirty but you don't want to drag the mess inside, sidestep the dirt and opt for edible mud pies! Whether you use chocolate cake batter, brownie mix, or create from-scratch dark chocolate cookies — with a little imagination, these sweet treats can be ooey-gooey pretend mud pies. Kids can get involved in every step of the process, from measuring and pouring to portioning. The best part about pretend mud pies is that this time they can lick their fingers when they're done!
On a recent rainy day we enlisted the tiny little helping hands of our 4-year-old son and made double dark chocolate mud pies. For an extra playful touch, we added crumbles of peppermint bark that look like tiny pebbles after they're baked into the cookies.
If your kids have a lot of energy to burn, but it's too soaked outside to let them run free, try a couple of rounds of indoor hopscotch.
Clear an area in your playroom or living room and grab some painter's tape, duct tape or colored packing tape. Make sure you plan enough room for all of the squares, including the sets of squares that extend out from the sides, as well as some extra landing space on either end for the big jumpers. Have the kids help you mark out the pattern of a hopscotch course on your carpet using the tape. Then, let them hop all that pent-up rainy-day energy away!