Ducks 'n a Row: Keep Warm and Have Fun as a Family Indoors This Winter

30 January 2014

Keep Warm and Have Fun as a Family Indoors This Winter

Polar vortex. Sub-zero temperatures. As winter sets in, you and your family may be on the verge of cabin fever. The Chicago area is feeling the brunt of this year’s winter storms, and your list of indoor activities at home is probably dwindling by now. There are many ways to beat the winter blues as a family, and get the most out of your time indoors. When your kids are tired of the cold outside, use the tips in this post to make being stuck indoors more fun.

Make the living room a movie theater
If your family yearns for the great outdoors, put the Windy City on the screen. Several famous movies, including Home Alone, were filmed in Chicago. For teens, other local classics like The Blues Brothers, High Fidelity, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off are fun choices. Make a game of watching movies made here by awarding points to whoever spots, and is the first to correctly name, each Chicago landmark in the movie you are watching. The winner picks the next movie.

Chicago Post Office Building Turned Into
Chicago Post Office Building Turned Into "Gotham National Bank" 
One of my family's favorite is The Dark Knight, when we heard this movie was getting filmed in Chicago we had to get close to the set. That is definitely a perk to living in this great city. People want to film movies here.

Bring the kids into the kitchen
Children love to be a part of meal planning and preparation. 


Ask your kids to help plan meals, cut vegetables, and cook, based on the skills that are appropriate for their ages. Spending time together cooking is a great way to bond with your children, and the heat of the kitchen makes forgetting about the cold weather outside a breeze.  



Even if the meals are already taken care of, you can still have fun in the kitchen. Create homemade play-dough and finger paints using common kitchen ingredients and food coloring, bake together, and you will be surprised how much fun everyone will have. Recipes for play-dough and finger paint are easy to find online. One of our favorite homemade finger-paint recipes comes from The Imagination Tree, and is gluten free.

Indoors, not inactive
Burn off a little energy by playing more active family games. Twister is a classic that can you can make, even if you don’t have it on hand. Parenting Magazine provides a great list of indoor games that keep your kids in motion. If you have a Wii console, put on a game that the whole family can enjoy. Most kids don’t mind being inside, but they do object to the lack of physical activity. Keep them moving, and watch the cabin fever fade away.

Laugh together
The biggest challenge to being cooped up in the house during cold weather is boredom. Break routine by having a slumber party in the living room, and make each other laugh playing party games. Take turns choosing a board or party game to play. The more fun it is to be inside, the less you and your children will think about the bitter chill outside.

Jill Davis is the owner of a maid service company in Northwest Chicago. When she is not running her business you can find her at a local hockey rink with her 4 kids and husband. Follow her on Twitter and Google+ for cleaning tips.

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Photo Credit:
Chicago Post Office Building Photo Source Identified For Commercial Use
Child playing with playdough by Chris_Parfitt on Flickr Creative Commons

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