As you might have seen on the news (or be experiencing along with me right now), the DFW area was hit with record levels of solid ice and sleet all Thursday night and temperatures haven’t risen above the 20’s since then. Because we live in Texas, we did not own any salt with which to ice our driveway, so we’ve been stuck in our house with both our kids since then. My children, who wake up every morning asking “Where are we going today?”, are NOT accustomed to staying at home for this long. Frankly, neither am I. I am so glad that today it is getting up to 40 degrees! We just spent a little over an hour breaking the ice on our driveway with shovels so that I can drive to the studio and teach a 2pm Lagree Fitness class. It will feel so good to get out of the house and to do a workout! I can guarantee that I will be purchasing driveway salt as soon as it is available again in this area. All you northerners, I’d love to hear your suggestions on other good preventative measures!
So, we were stuck indoors with 2 preschoolers for 2-3 days. What did we do?
To begin with, let me be clear: I am not one of those Pinterest moms who has great ideas on creative and educational activities. And my children have seriously destroyed most of the creative ideas I have tried. Like the sensory bin using beans – that was a TERRIBLE IDEA. They put the beans in dozens of containers which they carried around the house for days. I was finding beans all over the house for months. Literally. It was very creative, what they did. But not at all what Pinterest had in mind. Apparently most children leave the beans in the bin. Ha!
I got a lot of good ideas from my Facebook friends on what to do with 2 preschoolers indoors. Here I will list them for you. Please note that these are ideas from other people, not me:
- homemade play doh
- baking Christmas cookies (we did bake breakfast cake, and that was so much sugar that I had to hold off on the cookies)
- marshmallows and toothpicks
- pipe cleaners and kitchen strainer
- use duct tape on hardwood floors to create a hopscotch grid
- go outside and play
- play with cardboard boxes
- empty toilet paper/paper towel rolls
- play in the bathtub
- If you don’t have beanbags, fill reusable sandwich bags with beans or lentils or even coins, give the kids a cardboard box, and let them toss the bags.
- Have a color scavenger hunt. Call out a color, have them find as many things of that color in one room that they can.
- Write out numbers 1-10 each on a piece of paper, tape them to the floor, and have them hop to each number, calling that # out when they jump. You could also make a homemade twister board. If you don’t have colored construction paper, have them help by coloring paper.
- Draw shapes (geometric, but also apples, snakes, houses, animals, etc) and let them practice scissor skills. Start with straight lines, then slightly curved, wavy/scalloped, then circles & shapes. Many of each for practice.
Which of these activities did my children actually do?
- imaginary play involving two ninja fighting sticks, winter hats, and mittens
- painting with glitter glue
- fighting each other
- I gave them an empty egg carton and they randomly played with that for a while
- destroying our Playmobil advent calendar
- watching shows
- doing activity books
- using every single toy in the house to create an elaborate play scenario in their imaginations
- dumping the toys out of their toy bins and sitting inside them (they do this a LOT, actually)
- talking about doing yoga but not sitting still long enough to do it
- reading books
- we did go outside, LL peed on herself after 10 minutes and had to come back in
So, there you go. Maybe these will be helpful to you if you’re stuck in side for 3 mind boggling days with children.
And also: sorry to my friends with great ideas which my children rejected in lieu of beating each other with ninja sticks. I thought your ideas were better, too.