Indoor Fun When You Can’t Go Outside

If you’ve been following along with my #150hoursoutside Project this year, or if you’ve just been around the natural learning world for awhile, then you’ve likely heard the phrase: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” And while I believe that to *almost* always be the case, the reality is that sometimes… there IS such a thing as bad weather.

I’ve lived in places where the wind chill gets to -50°F – you can’t go outside in that safely, especially with children!

I’ve lived in places where the heat index gets to 115°F – you can get heatstroke even if you’re outside naked!

I’ve lived in places with tornadoes and hurricanes and blizzards and crazy lightning storms/wind gusts…. (Yes, I’ve lived a lot of places)

Sometimes – we just can’t go outside safely. And that is perfectly ok.

SO… what do you do when you’re used to spending time outdoors and for whatever crazy weather reason, you’re stuck inside?

Here are five of my family’s favorite ways to enjoy our time together and have lots of fun adventures when we can’t step outside because it’s far too hot or far too cold or some other weather roadblock is presenting itself…

BUILD A BLANKET FORT – Generally for us, this is always as epic as it can be. We bring a mattress into the livingroom, pile up all of the pillows and stuffed animals from around the house, drape sheets to cover the entire thing, hang twinkly lights inside, and spend the entire day snuggling, watching movies, playing games, and snacking inside our fort. Epic blanket fort tip: string twine or heavy duty string from opposite walls (I usually take down a picture on each side and use the existing screws/nails), then you can easily drape sheets/blankets from a higher level.

SET UP AN INDOOR OBSTACLE COURSE – Obstacle courses aren’t just for the outdoors! With some simple reconfiguring of furniture and gathering of random materials around the house, you can set up a fun obstacle course for the kids to go through over and over again. Incorporate a variety of physical and mental challenges… headstands, yoga poses, and jumping from one couch cushion to another are great physical challenges that can be done indoors. Solving a riddle, arranging objects from largest to smallest, and writing their name upside down are great mental challenges! Get creative and set up something for your kiddos!

BAKE SOMETHING NEW – Bringing the kids into the kitchen isn’t just a great way to pass the day indoors – it’s FULL of awesome learning benefits! Make a breakfast smoothie together by letting your child pick fruits and veggies they think would make a nice blend. Dig into your secret family recipe book and share an old favorite together (or better yet, Facetime Grandma and ask her for her favorite recipe!). If you need some ideas for healthy, easy, kid-friendly recipes, grab a copy of my Preschoolers Cook ebook!

HAVE A MEGA GAME COMPETITION – When is the last time you got into your game closet? If you’re going to be stuck inside for a day or two, pull out every single game in the house and have a friendly family competition as you play through your collection! Keep a running tally on the fridge for who wins the most games. Maybe whoever wins the competition gets to pick a new game to buy for the family?! Bonus for this: it helps you automatically declutter that section of your house… after you play each game, ask the family if it’s one they want to keep or pass along to another family. 

SPA DAY – This might be one of our family’s favorites, because it’s a great way to double up on kid time AND self-care! Run a super giant bubble bath with some relaxing essential oils. Cut up some cucumber slices for everyone’s eyes. Brew some tea or make spa water to enjoy while you soak. Throw bathrobes or towels in the dryer while you’re in the tub for something warm and cozy to step into afterwards. Make a lunch of fancy cucumber sandwiches and tiny cookies. Paint everyone’s nails. Use the fancy lotions you hide away. Splurge all around and enjoy pampering yourselves!

Hopefully these ideas get you through those “just can’t go outside today” days that will inevitably pop up from time to time. I’d love to hear your favorite ways to pass the time indoors! Share your family’s faves in the comments below!