Monday, February 16, 2015

The Lazy Parent’s Guide to Indoor Fun

Posted By on Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 9:00 AM

click to enlarge Romping inside the fort - HILLARY HARVEY
  • Hillary Harvey
  • Romping inside the fort

This is not your average suggestion list, filled with activities that involve a lot of prep time and DIY. Because let’s be really honest here. Are you lazy, or is crafting just not your scene? It took me a long time to admit the latter. It's hard not to feel guilty, seeing all the fun other people have with "easy", make-your-own, glow-in-the-dark bubble projects! And "easy", make-your-own sensory tables! But there’s fun to be had indoors that doesn’t require a shopping list. Here’s how my family makes our own on these long, end-of-winter days when the littles and I are hanging, or when my older one has a snow day.

Fun for everyone
• Stack a pile of books next to the bed and read the afternoon away under the covers. (All right, maybe this one is better if you first make a trip to the library.)
• Sip some hot chocolate together. Preferably with marshmallows.
• Pull out some coloring books and crayons and put on a story CD. You can also download free stories from Storynory.
• If you’re really helpless, check out this post on the best coloring books from Design Mom, my favorite parenting blog (because they never pretend that I can do any of the stuff there, and they fully admit that there's a paid staff).
• Blow up balloons and play ball in the house.
• Put on the radio and have a dance party. I fully support you if you sip some wine first. The cats at Kingston Wine Co. can help you pick the perfect one.

Preschool fun
• Build a world with blocks and let the plastic animals, superheros and dollhouse dolls claim it for their own. If you end up with a lot of border disputes, use furniture to separate the kingdoms.
• Stand up the couch cushions in a rectangular formation, and lay a throw over the top. Voila! It's a fort! Stock their digs with a tea set for hours (or maybe half-hours) of fun.
• Similarly, couch cushions make great lily pads for leaping. If you’re really brave, you can let them sled down the stairs on one!
• Make something in the kitchen. It can be smoothies, pre-packaged cookie dough (my family loves these), anything. Kids don’t care. They just love to help!
• Take a bath (and throw in some clean, empty containers). That one sounds weird, but nothing calms kids down like a chance to practice pouring. And then you win the Lazy Parent prize: the kids get clean, and you contain the mess!

There are lots of meanings for the word, crafty.
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