Fredericksburg Families

Amy Umble writes about family issues and kid-friendly events.

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Help! It’s raining! What are we going to do?

After four straight Sunday afternoons nice enough to hang out late into the afternoon at the park, it seems we’re finally coming to grips with reality. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read the sad report from our weather blogger here.

In my house, this will mean lots of running back and forth between the front door doorknob and the back door doorknob and looking longingly at the stroller before crying and yelling (I promise, the toddler will be doing that, not me.).

It’s time to start making the indoors more interesting. Here are a few good ideas curated from around the Web. No TV required. Please, share yours. We’ll all need them!

Make a clothespin wreath. I thought this was a really cool idea for getting kids involved in holiday decorating, and I love the idea of using it to hold holiday cards. All you need are clothespins, an old metal coat hanger and some ribbon. Check it out here on A Childhood List.

Organize a “busy bag” swap. My college friends have been talking about this idea from The Rigneys blog on Facebook for months. Even if you don’t want to do the whole swap (as a non-crafter, the idea of making 20 of some of these is a little intimidating), you can pick and choose from among these ideas to make for your own child. They also might make great handmade holiday gifts for families with children.

Fort! Fort! Fort! When my brother was little he used to call couch cushion forts minolopiters. I thought it was a pretty good name, but surprisingly there is no Wikipedia entry yet. Just in case you have lost this important childhood skill, Apartment Therapy has posted a how-to on indoor forts here. While this could be great fun for the kids, don’t be narrow-minded. That man-cave Dad has always wanted could be easier to create than you think!

BIG art. I liked the ideas shared in this Childhood 101 post on preparing for an indoor playdate, but it is totally unrealistic that my house would be that organized ahead of a playdate. Anyway, one of my favorites was the giant sheet of drawing paper with crayons in the middle. This is a time of year when many of us have lots of cardboard boxes arriving at our houses. Why not flatten out a big one and provide crayons or markers? Drawing on a canvas that large is sure to use up some good energy.

What are your plans for keeping small children busy during the winter?