by Kimberly Blaker
Freelance Family Writer
Pocono Living, Nov/Dec 2017
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Indoor Family Fun: Activities to Brighten a Gloomy Day
The warm sunny days of summer and early autumn have come and gone. But don’t let it get your family down in the dumps. The coming months are perfect for lots of cozy indoor family fun. Try these ideas to brighten your spirits and strengthen your bond.
Make a tent or fort. Indoor tents and forts make for fun play areas as well as cozy retreats for reading or watching movies. To build a tent, take several bed sheets, tablecloths, or blankets, and drape them over tables or backward-facing chairs. For a more permanent structure, connect PVC tubing in the shape of a box. Then drape it with sheets.
Hold an art workshop. Gather the basics such as paper, paint, and markers. Then scrounge around for a variety of recyclables such as boxes, toilet paper rolls, plastic bottles, caps, old magazines, and anything else you can think of. If you have any crafting supplies such as yarn, fabric, or glitter, you can throw them in as well. Now, let your family’s inspiration flow, and create to your heart’s content for lots of indoor family fun.
Have a family read-in. First, head to the library and have everyone pick a selection of books. At home, pull pillows and blankets out for the family room, and spend the day lounging and absorbing your new reads. Another option, everyone could take turns reading out loud from an age-appropriate chapter book or novel.
Learn self-defense. Buy or rent a martial arts DVD on basic self-defense. Then gather the whole family to practice techniques that could help them escape a dangerous situation.
Hold a magic show. Pick up some magic trick books or watch magic videos online. Then practice up, and invite the neighborhood kids to come and watch your act.
Have a dance-a-thon. Crank up the volume to some pop, hip-hop, or whatever your kids’ favorite music, and see who’s energy can hold out the longest.
Play bakery. What better way to warm up the day and enjoy quality family time than to bake up batches of scrumptious treats? Make a day of it, and get all your holiday baking done in advance. Once you’ve sufficiently sampled the goodies, freeze the remainder.
Sizzling science fun. Search online for fun experiments you can conduct at home with basic household products and ingredients. Perform several. Then make your own video of a really amazing one to post on Youtube.
Have a family workout. Physical fitness is important for the entire family. But if you live in a cooler climate, it can be especially difficult to do this time of year. Look for a Hiit, Zumba, or another cardiovascular exercise video with today’s hottest music and moves for the ultimate indoor family fun.
Paint a wall mural. Is your family artistic? If so, choose a wall in your basement, garage, mudroom, or playroom in need of a personal touch. Before you begin, draw what you want to do on a piece of paper. Then pick up 3 or 4 quarts of primary color paints plus a quart of white and black. At home, you can mix the colors to create additional colors and shades.
Do a family game night. Pull out the cards and board games. Pop some popcorn. Put on some music. Then start keeping score to see who will be the night’s grand winner.
Have a picnic. Who said picnics are only for the outdoors? Put together all the workings of a picnic complete with picnic basket, if you have one. Then spread out a blanket in your family room, and enjoy the grub.
Tell stories. Write out a dozen or so story prompts each on a separate piece of paper, and toss them all in a bowl. Then take turns drawing a story prompt from the bowl and telling a story. Another option is for one person to start the story. Then, go around the room, and each of you adds a sentence to the story. See how long you can keep the story alive.
Get cultured. Choose a culture your family would like to learn about and experience. Then find recipes from that culture online. Have everyone pitch in and help cook the international fare. Also, look up mealtime customs for the culture you’ve chosen so you can have a full-blown experience.
Perform a puppet show. Pull out old socks or brown paper lunch bags, and make your own puppets. Draw on the faces, and use yarn or string for the hair. Then take turns performing your shows.
Kimberly Blaker is a freelance family content writer.