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Activity Ideas for Stir-Crazy Kids

Activity Ideas for Stir-Crazy Kids

The holidays may be over, but winter's here for a little while longer. So, how do you keep the kids you babysit occupied, entertained and engaged when the weather doesn't really invite outdoor adventures?
You'll need to get creative about things to do indoors! Luckily, we have some easy-to-implement ideas to inspire you.
At-Home Science
Make-your-own-slime is a clear winner with kids of all ages. The "recipes" are easy to follow and don't make much of a mess and the resulting product is good for hours of distraction. We like the variations explained on this site
If the kids run out of steam on the slime front, check out these other science-y things to do! 
Living Room Forts
Make the kids think critically and creatively by having to build a fort in the living room. Couch cushions, pillows or, if you're lucky, a big cardboard box leftover from holiday gifts or housing appliance sales all make great building materials. Just make sure to straighten everything back up when you're done playing!
Books & Literacy
You should obviously encourage the kids to read if they have any new books or old favorites lying around. But you can also spice up the literacy learning with fun, interactive games.
The paper plate alphabet game is a great way to teach letters to little kids and let them blow off some energy, too. Conversely, we also like alphabet yoga for kids of all ages who maybe need a little "chill" time. A game of good old-fashioned Scrabble is always a great option, too. 
Paper Airplanes & Origami
Paper airplanes (and contest to see whose can fly farther!) are always a good activity to eat away at the hours. You can also work on new origami variations with kids who are a bit more skilled at paper folding.
Homemade Bird Feeders
There are endless variations on the homemade bird feeder for kids. Some are made from milk cartons, others from pine cones and others from ... toilet paper rolls! But no matter how you choose to go about it, making a bird feeder is the activity that keeps on giving. Once the kids have hung it up outside, they'll be endlessly fascinated by the winged patrons who stop by for a bite.
Indoor Exercise
One of the biggest issues with being stuck indoors during the winter months is the lack of physical activity. As engaging as board games or arts and crafts may be, sometimes kids just need to let loose. When heading to the neighborhood park isn't an option, there are plenty of ways to exert some energy inside.
Even if there isn't a lot of indoor space, you can have freeze-dance parties, clean-up races or place balloon ball. This list from MommyPoppins has even more ideas.
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