The long dark days of January are coming to an end, but in Wisconsin, it’s just the beginning of winter. We still have February and March to get through. While you need to embrace the winter months and get outdoors to play, some days are just too cold. 

Entertain the Kids Indoors this Winter in Your Custom Home 

There comes a time every winter when no amount of bundling up can keep the frigid cold from sending Wisconsinites indoors. Living in a beautiful, custom home during the slower months allows the opportunity to read books, play games by the fireplace, paint and draw, and just generally slow down. Of course, cabin fever may set in, especially with young kidwho become restless and chase each other in circles around the house screaming. This is when it’s time to break out the list of indoor ideas. 

10 Fun Ideas to Keep your Family Active Indoors: 

1. Build a cardboard play house (or rocket ship or play dome)

Pick up a large refrigerator box from a local builder, furniture store, or other wholesale distribution warehouse (often they are happy to give away big boxes). Tape one end shut and reinforce the sides with duct tape, then help your child cut a door and windows. Encourage your child to add control panels using things you have around your house, such as string, bottle caps, toilet paper rolls, or other recyclables. 

2. Make homemade play dough

This recipe smells a whole lot better than the store-bought stuff, plus your kids will have so much fun making it and then playing with it after it cools off. 

3. Sumo wrestle

When the kids need to burn off some steam indoors, clear out a space in the living room and line the corners with pillows. Let your children borrow an old t-shirt of yours, stuff it with pillows in the front and back, and let them wrestle each other. Go ahead, try to hold back your own laughter while you referee the match.

4. Make marshmallow structures

Use dried spaghetti and mini marshmallows to build anything your child can imagine! Experiment with the strength of different shapes and configurations to use this opportunity to introduce geometry to your little ones.

5. Board Games!

Pull out the Monopoly, Checkers, Backgammon, and card games and enjoy an afternoon of playing old fashioned games. Better yet, create your own board game as a family.  

6. Let your child take a “Mad Scientist” bath

Gather up various sized plastic cups, small containers, spray bottles and funnels, and set up a plastic stool in the bathtub. Let your child take a bath in the middle of the day without the goal of getting clean; rather, let him or her use the stool as a table to line up the “experiments.” Add soap and bubbles and see what she or he comes up with.

7. Make a marble race track

Cut a pool noodle in half lengthwise using a serrated knife to make two racetracks. Then set them up side-by-side on your stairs or propped up against the couch. Let the kids race their marbles or small cars. 

8. Indoor scavenger hunt

Hide clues around the house for a hunt that will keep them busy solving riddles and working as a team. Leave a “treasure chest” at the end with a few treats for an extra special surprise.

9. Build a tapestry table

Pick up an old coffee table frame at a secondhand store and staple a large piece of burlap all the way around the edges. Use scraps of yarn, string, and large plastic children’s sewing needles and let your child learn to sew on the tapestry table. It’s great for their fine motor skills, and when they’re finished, they can hang it on the wall in their room. 

10. Make a reading nook

You can always turn to books! Check out a giant bag of books from your local library and when you return home, build a reading nook in the most comfortable spot in the house with pillows, blankets, and favorite stuffed animals. Then join your child for a reading marathon.