The short days and cold temps have us spending much more time indoors these days. I've found that if I don't give a little structure to our indoor play, it quickly degenerates into wild bed-jumping, tussles over toys and pleas for TV. So, I've revived some old favorites, borrowed a few ideas from other moms and parenting magazines, tweaked them a bit to fit our supplies and the boys' ages, and enjoyed giving these games a whirl at home.
Very little good indoor play is without peril, and this one is no exception. As you'll notice, Buddy Boy thought it was a really great idea to rain rice on the floor. So, this activity was immediately followed by a family vacuuming adventure. But that was fine, too. The boys moved the furniture out of the way, pulled the vacuum out of the closet, and took turns pushing it across the floor. It's noisily rewarding to vacuum up a bunch of dry rice and beans, so they had a great time. All the surviving rice and beans went into a baggie to be used next time.
~sink play: This is a year-round favorite. I put the faucet on a cold trickle and give them a few cups, spoons, sponges, or funnels.
~boxes: Any package we receive is much heralded for the box it comes in. We color them, sit in them, drum on them, and make them into tunnels or race tracks for toy cars.
~pipe cleaners: Pipe cleaners are pushed through the holes of an upside down colander or used to string dried noodles.
~recreational bathing: Bath time is frequent and long in the winter. When we're really making a go of recreational bathing, we bring in toys not usually allowed in the tub, like Legos, or pull out the bath paints and have a nice, long soak.
~home videos: I record the boys playing and talking, and let them watch themselves over and over.
~laundry: Another year-rounder, by necessity. The boys haul the laundry in, dump it all out on the floor (which they find to be thrilling, as it just seems like something that would be against the rules), and help me sort it. Then, I check it for stains and spray it, before tossing it to them. Standing on stools in front of the washing machine, they make a game of throwing the laundry into the washer. Wet, clean laundry is also thrown into the dryer. There is much cheering and jubilation. It's a homemaker's version of basketball.
Please share your winter games in the comments!!! I'd love to try out some new ones.