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25 Indoor activities to keep your kids happy – and you sane

  • Build a Fort

    This old school entertainment is still good today. Get out the pillows and blankets and start piling them up. Then, after building the fort, let your kids get out some energy and crash down the walls. Diving onto a few pillows won’t hurt, and it’ll likely inspire a few giggles. Later, you can use the same supplies to create an obstacle course.

  • Playdate!

    Go to someone else’s house and use their toys – or, if you don’t want to venture out into the cold, invite them over and ask them to bring along a few toys or games to share.

  • Be Crafty

    Crafts can be a great distracter, especially when you’re stuck inside because someone’s under the weather. Get an early start on Valentine’s Day Cards by doing a little vegetable stamping – cut a potato in half, cut the flesh into the shape of a heart, then let your child dip it in some paint and stamp the potato on construction paper. Grandparents will love whatever masterpieces are created. Other craft possibilities include fun with stickers, gluing together paper chains, stringing necklaces of dried pasta, or sewing cardboard cards with yarn.

  • The Lava Game

    Imagine that the floor is covered in hot lava, and encourage your child to figure out how to get across the house without touching the floor. Note: this is not a good option for homes with a firm “No climbing on the furniture” policy.

  • Hats Off to the Chef

    Even kids as young as two can mix up some real – or fake – food. Make English muffin pizzas and let the kids pick their own toppings. Stir a batch of cookie dough. Roll up the little ones’ sleeves and let them knead some sticky bread dough. Follow a recipe, or just wing it and see what comes of combining maraschino cherries, oatmeal, almond butter and marshmallows. Best of all, they’ll have something delicious – or at least edible – to try afterward. Try http://pbskids.org/zoom/activities/cafe/ or http://www.weelicious.com for recipes.

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