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10 Activities to Remedy Cabin Fever

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Even with the excitement of the holidays, active kids can sometimes feel dizzy with pent-up energy when "the weather outside is frightful." Back away from the TV and counter "I'm booored" with these ten indoor activities.

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Chilly winter weather giving your kid a serious case of the fidgets? Racking your brain for something to do as you're watching him running around in circles? Read on for ten indoor games to keep your little energizer bunny busy and happy when it's just too cold or stormy to play outside.

Puppet Theater

Got a huge cardboard box you've been meaning to break down? Make a puppet theater instead! Let your kid decorate the theater with markers while you hunt down un-mated socks (you know you have a bunch). With a few leftovers from the craft box, socks become puppets with personalities of their own. The best part? Not only have your kids gotten busy building, they now have an excuse to exercise their imaginations and confidence by making up stories and acting them out.

Box Transfiguration

Only have small boxes? Stack them on top of each other to make a miniature house. You can use a hobby knife to cut windows and doors for your child, and she can draw rugs, curtains, and decorations on the walls. If a spaceship is more her speed, help her use foil, drinking straws, and cellophane to make a longer box into an astronaut’s high-tech digs.

Impromptu Limbo Party

Balance a broomstick or pool noodle between two chairs and turn on your kid’s favorite tunes for an instant limbo party! If you’ve got some limbo pros on your hands, have them try going under the stick backwards. Little ones can also get some extra energy out by dancing to the music between turns!

Masking Tape Recess

Masking tape is to carpet as chalk is to the driveway. Set up a playground in your hallway by using masking tape to make a hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, or shuffleboard pattern on the carpet. Cut out big X’s and O’s from construction paper for a few rounds of tic-tac-toe, and use some soft foam balls for modified shuffleboard and hopscotch. And once your tyke is all tuckered out, clean-up couldn’t be easier!

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Bottle Bowling

Reuse those empty bottles before tossing them in the recycle bin! Write a number on each bottle with permanent marker and set them all up in the hall for a bowling game that sneaks in some math practice. When your kid knocks over the bottle bowling pins with the ball, he can add or multiply the numbers to get his score.

Balloon Tennis

To put together a makeshift, indoor tennis racket, glue or tape a popsicle-stick handle to a disposable plate. Use a line of tape as the “net” to play a game of tennis with the proper rules, or just see how long everyone can keep a balloon in the air without it touching the floor.

Life-Sized Board Game

Using construction paper, make a simple life-sized board game! Write directions on the paper spaces, like “do ten jumping jacks,” “sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star,” and “say two numbers that add up to 15.” Cut out some numbers and stick them to the faces of a toy block for dice. Kids can hop the number they roll, and follow the directions on the space where they land. Slip some tricky directions in, like “go back two spaces” to make the game more competitive.

Arts and Crafts

There’s no activity more tried and true for a day indoors than good ol’ arts and crafts. Crafts give a chance for kids to tap into their creativity and express their individuality, but between school, soccer practice, and piano lessons, you may not normally have enough hours in the day to fit them in. Take advantage of the downtime and browse our Activities page for thousands of craft ideas, from a cut-and-tear collage to egg carton goggles.

Get Scientific

Think you need a laboratory to do cool science experiments? Think again! Check out our collection of fun-packed science projects that are sure to keep cabin fever at bay. Grab yesterday’s newspaper to learn how stripes help zebras survive in the savanna, play archaeologist and make your own fossil, or dip into aerodynamics by testing different paper airplane models. These activities are more than busywork—they’re fun, hands-on ways to get your child interested in science!

Bake Up a Storm

What's better than warm cookies on a chilly winter day? Kids will love mixing the dough together with their hands almost as much as they'll love chowing down. Get out your cutest cookie cutters and most colorful sprinkles and let your little assistant have free rein to decorate them as she sees fit.

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Even the best behaved kid tends to get a bit antsy when trapped inside all day. Drop the TV remote and get creative with the stuff you have lying around the house to help your child shake off those ants in his pants!

Need some more fun games to pass the time? Check out these printable board games!

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