Tuesday

Winter Weather Fun {Giveaway}

My part of Texas isn't exactly known for SEVERE WINTER WEATHER.

But somebody should tell that to my toes because they are so cold! We recently spent 4 days in a row below freezing last week and that's some kind of record around here.

And before you make fun of my not-so-cold-weather *cough-yes, I'm talking to Northerners here* it's scientifically proven (maybe) that since Texas bodies are acclimatised to warmer weather, when it gets colder here, we feel it just like when it gets (very) cold up north. So there. But don't quote me on that because I sorta made it up.

But let's just say it was too cold to play outside, so we did some fun indoor stuff, like BUILD A GIANT FORT WITH BUNGEE CORDS. Because that's how my hubby learned it in Fort Building School.

This was a serious structure that encompassed our entire stairwell.


And all the spare sheets/blankets in the house:


Why, yes, THAT WOULD BE ROPE & BUNGEE (we don't mess around):

This was the biggest and most sturdy fort ever constructed in my home. (I'm so proud). We left it up for days. My kids read books by themselves and to their little sister, ate lunch, played spy games and SLEPT in this home-0f-sheets.


It definitely helped pass the hours of not being able to play outside!

I'm participating in Campbell's 32 Days of Winter Weather Fun and they are offering a $50 Visa gift card to a random commenter who share their fun ideas for those cold winter days.

Your comment is your entry and this giveaway will end next Tuesday when I announce the winner and share some of your great Winter Weather Fun ideas!

This post is sponsored by Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup who wants you to know that 32 feet of fresh egg noodles go into every can. For lots of fresh ideas about how to keep your kids entertained and the chance to win $500, check out Wintery Weather Fun at DivineCaroline.


146 comments:

mirandalea said...

One day while my hubby and I and my 2-year-old son were snowed in, we got out a bag of balloons and blew up every one of them. They covered the living room floor and offered endless hours of entertainment. My son LOVED it when Daddy stuck half of them to the ceiling with static electricity and they would fall at random. Then we piled all of the balloons in the play pen and put him in it. He had a blast in his very own "ball pit" kicking and bouncing while we batted the flying balloons back into the pen. It was a fantastic day!

Jill said...

Hey yours wins hands down in my book. I love it!!! What memories and what fun. And a mom who would let them live in their fort...that's got to be the best childhood memory of them all.

Jo said...

That looks amazing - I made cubby houses for my sons when they were little - we lived in the tropics and it was hard to keep to active boys entertained during the monsoon season. But yours wins hands down!! Jo

Linda said...

your fort is awesome! My kids had a pop up tent and they played in that it was wonderful.

Stacy said...

Well, we don't get snow but we get rain and mud. So we stay in and make playdough and ooblick (cornstarch and water).

Rita said...

I live in San Diego, and it can get VERY cold here. Basically, any type of weather that requires a jacket is "very cold" to me.

Julie said...

We try to go outside no matter how cold it gets, but sometimes rain and mud keep us in. On those rainy days, we have picnics in the living room or set up a tent.

Let'sMakeADifference said...

Our favorite outdoor campfire treat becomes an indoor oven treat during long spells of cold weather...banana boats. Peel, but don't remove the banana skin. Carefully remove top one-third of banana. Fill up space with mini marshmellows and chocolate chips. Replace banana and skin. Wrap with tin foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. Yummy!

Sarah said...

We play "mailbox." Each of us finds a little spot to be our mailbox. Then we color and draw and attempt to write letters to each other. I usually throw a fun treat in the boxes every once in a while.

Kathy said...

I load up the kids and head to the library. We all head different ways getting great books. Once home, we make hot chocolate, sit by the fire and read all day. We all love those days!

thediaperdiaries said...

Here in the tundra that is Michigan, we brave the outdoors. We love to ski, sled and build forts and snowmen. This winter I would like to see if the family can handle ice skating too at the outdoor rink.

Janet said...

We'd had day after day after day of extreme cold. We were all sick to death of it and feeling down about the bleak looking forecast. We decided that if we were going to get our happy back, we had to embrace the cold. After dinner, we got out a stopwatch and took turns running outside with no coat on, running back in when we couldn't stand it anymore. From Dad down to the youngest (4) we ran out and did jumping jacks on the front sidewalk. The 12 year old had the record of two minutes, 24 seconds. We all had a great time and followed it up with hot chocolate and snuggling up under blankets.

CourtneyKeb said...

Paper snowflake making is the ultimate winter craft and great to do with the kids.
No matter what they end up looking like it's nice to make a big banner of them hanging from the mantel or walkways.

Megan said...

Up here in the Buffalo NY area, we spend half our year inside it seems! Thank goodness for Crayola, Playdoh, and Disney:)

Joyful Living said...

Oh my! Forts were a regular part of my life growing up and now I see my kids doing the same. It's amazing how forts magically transform my kids into little humans who LOVE eachother and not bicker and meal times become a joy and not a burden to get them to eat! We love to do movies and popcorn on days we are truly frozen inside (below zero) or have "rock concerts" in costumes!

pendy said...

My kids were always BIG on marathon Monopoly games when stuck indoors...

AmyNaab said...

Funny, I currently have a fort covering 90% of my living room! They have also been endlessly entertained with a giant box. It is a fort, house, cave, and various other things daily.

Alex Hall said...

We LOVE drinking hot cocoa and playing cards when it's cold out, that is, of course, when we're not out playing in the cold!

Sarah said...

I will try not to make fun of the *ahem* cold. Here in the North they play outside at school unless it's below zero. Because let me tell you, that would be one stinking long winter if they didn't. But we're also prepared for that kind of weather because it's basically guaranteed. And even when it's below zero, you will see some hardcore sledders outside. The colder it is, the better the sledding snow.

The other day we had a big tea party, entirely prepared by my 6 yr old. She got out bologna, peanut butter crackers, cheese sticks, etc. And I let her. It was kind of a moment for me. I also have a couple of play tents set up in the dining room. The girls decorated them with house numbers, their names, and decorations. Then they visited each other.

Bailey's Leaf said...

In NE Ohio where it's been so cold that 34 degrees felt like a heat wave and I opened the windows for fresh air for a half hour (wait . . . I need to breathe), we do lots of crafts inside. Snow out? Bundle the kids up to make them look like Ralphie's brother and send them out to play. Yes they will fall over in the snow and flop about, but you can get some great pictures while you are actually supposed to be helping them up. Oh, and then you find this 3 1/2 weeks later that once the snow has finally melted, the reindeer didn't get to eat all of the carrots left behind on Christmas Eve right before the Stomach Virus that Took Out Christmas occurred.

The end.

The Semi-single Mom said...

My husband works offshore so when he's gone the girls & I like to pile on my bed watch movies & eat popcorn & drink hot cocoa.

MommaJen said...

we bought a package of coffee filters from Sam's --- giant package and we've spent hours cutting out snowflakes!

Ashley said...

My favorite thing to do in this cold weather (It's been the coldest winter I can remember here in East Tennessee) is to curl up in front of the fireplace with either a good book or a ball of yarn and a crochet hook! I learned the basics of crocheting in October, and since then, I've become addicted! Crocheting is very simple, and there are some easy patterns that even little ones could enjoy!

Heidi said...

The fort looks like SO much fun! We love to play board games when we have to spend alot of time inside. Marathon games of Trouble have gone on in our living room!

Molly said...

This is a great fort! I loved making forts under the dining room table when I was a kid! Fun!

Laryssa Herbert said...

That is awesome! We used to to things like that when I was little. My kids make forts now too.

Amy @ Finer Things said...

Popcorn, hot chocolate, and "old" home movies. Our kiddos LOVE seeing themselves on screen.

Sue Heimer said...

In central Illinois it can be below zero for days at a time. Hot Chocolate and roasting marshmellows inside over our electric stove is a fun treat. We also love to bake on cold days. Board games,puzzles and card games are stacked on the dining room table and played at random. Our kids loved to make forts under the kitchen table with blankets draped over the table and chairs.

AbbyR said...

I was the middle of 3 girls. We had are share of fun. But the one thing we always did was play school. We would pull or desk out into the livingroom and set up the chalkboard to make our class room. We always traded off who go to be teacher but it was hours of fun!

Traci said...

My husband and four year old daughter have Nerf gun wars. They really enjoy it! I, on the other hand, am still finding stray "bullets" weeks later!

Deann said...

We are in your part of Texas too and boy was it COLD! Anyway, not that it's so much fun for me, but my kids LOVE play-doh on days when they can't go outside and play. They'll play for hours.

O Mom said...

We like to have picnic lunches and dinners, right on the living room floor.

em-jay said...

We love to build forts also! We also bake cookies, read books, play with Legos, and sometimes we'll even put on 17 layers and trek out into the cold *gasp* to throw snowballs, make snow angels, or slide down the plow mountains. But it's still my favorite part when kiddos come in with those rosy cheeks and pick out all the inside fun! Ooh, now I'm inspired to have a fort day!

bridget {bake at 350} said...

32 feet! That's a lot of noodles!

Let's see...we do a lot of reading and playing with Legos. We do that to escape the heat in the summer, too! ;)

Tammy Griffin said...

On those cold days when playing outside is out of the question we get out the food coloring, icing and graham crackers and make colored squares. We make up a game with our squares like dominoes. It's fun and imaginative and our home becomes a place of fun and warmth.

Carrie said...

Very Cool Fort....I love it...

My cold weather treat would be to gather on the couch with lots of blankets and all the children (5 in our case) and snuggle in and read books...both aloud and quiet...having hot cocoa (now we KNOW this is fantasy, because what mom would let FIVE CHILDREN drink hot cocoa in the livingroom) with homemade peppermint marshmellows....yummmy....

Katrina said...

We live up north and we get lots of cold weather and snow. My son is two and doesn't like to be out in the cold for too long so on the really cold days we'll bring the snow in for him. We fill up a pan of snow and let him play. He loves it.
We've also filled a pan with shaving cream and he LOVES playing with that!

Tammy B said...

if it is truly too bad to go out, we will build a fire and roast some marshmellows; then when they're all sticky and sugared up we pop some corn and bring out the games, oh, and the lanterns. all 3 girls have their own battery operated lanterns, and if the weather is really bad, wether we lose power or not, those lanterns are out and on!

Angie Kerr said...

Our favorite activity when it is raining out (we're in So. CA) is to stay in our jammies, bring all the pillows and blankets out and watch movies. Popcorn and hot chocolate usually are included. Naps are optional, but almost always happen. Very nice, relaxing time together!!!

Tonya said...

We're a fort building family too....but not quite to the extent of y'all w/your ropes and bungee cords! ;)

Another one of our fave "stuck inside" activities is an indoor campout. The kids drag their sleeping bags or mattresses into the livingroom. We have an indoor picnic. There are games and of course wrestling since the mattresses are out! Super fun!

shana said...

we live in Minnesota where it REALLY gets cold. sometimes we have "summer" days. turn up the heat, put on shorts and pretend it's not below zero outside!
shana

Jackie said...

Being that I live in Wisconsin and it is always cold :( we like to stay inside, watch movies, and snuggle on the couch. My daughter is only 8 months old so we haven't gotten to fort building yet although I loved doing that when I was a kid.

Amy B said...

My daughter had her first snow about 3 weeks ago (when it was below zero, We are in Arkansas so that's cold for us) and she HATED it. She would cry "my boots, my boots" (she likes shoes like her mommy). So we stayed in alot, sitting by the fire.

She likes to help me cook when we are stuck inside.

taradon said...

Sometimes it's too cold to go outside but the kids want to build a snowman. We get a big dishpan full of snow and let the kids build a snowman in the bathtub. =)

Superchikk said...

Last year we bought our son a slide for Christmas, and it came in a big box. I made the box into a "house" for him. He played in it last winter, and when I was tired of having it around, I folded it up and stuck it in the garage. When the weather got cold again, we brought it back out, and he's enjoying his house for the 2nd winter in a row.

We also bring snow inside in a big bowl and the boy stands at the sink and plays in it.

Arya said...

Our rainy/snow day activities include craft projects. I like to do holiday crafts projects for any upcoming holiday or just make something random and fun with the kids.

Being creative helps keep the craziness under control, for the most part that is.

mommieof4munchkins said...

We like to spread huge blankets out on the living room floor and have a Pajama, Pizza, Picnic party.

Anonymous said...

Days and days in an old box filled with pillows and books! LIfe is good!
June
Kennlaff@comcast.net

Jennifer said...

We love building forts, too! Cold days are also great for baking together--my kids love to get creative in the kitchen.

Brenis said...

Ooh love your fort! The stair rails are perfect for it!
Let's see... big boxes become rocket ships, houses, etc. My kids will paint or color the boxes, decorating it to be what they see it to be. They add things on the outside like flowers and a mailbox and windows. LOL And if there's a mailbox, well then... you need mail! So we all have mailboxes all over the house. No talking aloud, write a note instead! :)
I have taught my kids how to make card houses. BIG card houses that take up the living room, and you have to tip toe thru the room so not to knock it over! :) Paper dolls, cutting your own and designing outfits can take up an entire day. Playing "store", writing receipts and making change can entertain for hours on end. My oldest still loves to play "restaurant"! Makes her own menus, seats people, cooks for them, delivers the check, makes change... cracks me up. :) But you can only eat so much!!
And painting. In the fall we collect big smooth rocks, or odd pieces of wood left over from projects, and on cold days we break out the paints and create masterpieces! :D

Beth said...

Being stuck inside on a cold winter day always puts me in the mood to bake. Lately, we've been doing a lot of cut-out-cookies (With Bridget from Bake @ 350's recipes). The kids love rolling out the dough over and over and over...and I enjoy eating what we create! Usually there are mugs of hot chocolate with marshmallows keeping us warm while we "work."

Sandy@ Jesus and Dark Chocolate said...

When my kids were younger they were big fort builders, actually quite similar to yours! :)

I also used to set up a cool, indoor obstacle course. ( I have active kids) Like jump on the 3 couch cushions, jump up and touch the balloon hanging from the ceiling, run under the sheet, crab crawl through the hallway, go around ever so carefully the block structure we built and don't knock one block down. etc etc. You get the idea. It was so fun, and we always changed it.
As they were learning numbers I used hang them from yarn from my ceiling and have them jump up to the numbers I would call out.
And who could forget, going to the grocery store collecting lots of leftover boxes and giving the kids some duct tape and let them create stuff with all the boxes.
And just when they were about to drive me looney, we would go outside for a winter picnic. Lots of fun, I would pack warm soup, hot chocolate, and chips and warm rolls. The kids still talk about the winter picnics!
Yes I survived winter with a smile on my face! :)

Megan said...

I like to pass the time baking things. If I get out of control and make more than we need, I can give it to others, which brightens their day as well!

Lori said...

We found a stack of old National Geographic magazines outside the library one day. We took them home and my daughter made some awesome collages with all the awesome pictures - minus the ones of war and naked people that I removed. :)

Hope you stay warm!

LANA said...

We go outside in the snow storms (there are many in Ontario) and play. My sons LOVE to shovel..not so handy when they are 2 and 4 BUT could be beneficial in years to come.

Luke's Mommie said...

I have four year old and on really cold days I put him in the bathtub with a can of very cheap shaving cream and let him "paint" the walls and himself and whatever else. He loves it and I usually get a huge pile of laundry folded right outside the bathroom door while keeping an eye on him. Then I just spray down the tub and the walls. He loves it!

Marie said...

What a great fort, I'm really impressed! My kids would love it.

When it's too cold to go outside but we want to feel like spring isn't too far away we think of fun things to do that have to do with nature. We recycle jars and make terrariums -- the kids love to decorate them with rocks and small animal figures. Milk cartons also work for miniature gardens.

If it is close enough to spring but still too cold to go outside we start seeds for our yearly veggie and flower garden -- that's always fun because then when it's warm enough we can move them outside.

And there are always crafts to get ready for spring gardening like decorating plant markers (Popsicle sticks) or painting clay pots (for container gardens).

marielay@gmail.com

chapfan said...

We played Sardines the other day in our cold, wet Washington weather. You know, where one hides and everyone else hunts, then the hunters hide with the hider until everyone finds the hiding spot. My almost-three-year-old was adorable. He kept giving himself away. :) Our game lasted a good hour and no one got bored - amazing! It was a ton of fun.

Tanya said...

My kids are still a bit young so they default to movies in a tent when the weather is frightful. One of my fondest memories of a snowed in day (which was many, growing up in New England) was making a family newspaper. I followed everyone around getting "the scoop" and spent the afternoon constructing my paper. Funny thing is, my Mom still has it!

Wade's World said...

Jackson and I made an awesome fort the other day with all of our kitchen chairs and some blankets. It was defintely a fun way to spend a cold day!

Whitney said...

We have been cooped up for the past few weeks and with a one year old- it has proved challenging. We have watched videos and read books. I also try to allow him to "help" me with the daily chores to make it more fun.

Kim said...

Excellent idea - I think we will have to try that - my kids would love it!
My Winter Weather Fun activity is usually a picnic in our family room with a family movie. We lay out a blanket, turn on the fire, I make burgers, fries and shakes and we hang out and watch movies or play a game. Its always a treat for the kids cause I NEVER let them eat in the family room.
I hope it warms up for you soon!

Mary B said...

That is an amazing fort! What a mom you are! Living in Michigan the cold doesn't necessarily trap us inside. We love to cross country ski, sled and just play in the snow. On really cold days its a big pot of soup and games, movies and the Wii! Basically its always family time!

Johnlyn ~ said...

It's cold here in South Dakota a LOT!

My kiddos love building forts as well. Although I must say yours is much fancier than ours!

We played charades over the New Year and it was a ton of fun!

Sharon said...

A good old-fashioned game of hide and seek is always fun! My kids loved it and my grandkids do, too. The two-year-old popped out of his hiding place in the closet and declared "I found me!" Yeah, I think maybe he's on to something more profound than the rest of us.

Kelly said...

I let my son play in the sink or tub with his clothes on. He loves playing in the water and makes a big mess, but it's just water, so it's easy to clean up.

Danise said...

I love the blanket tents in your house... brings back memories!

When it's cold outside... I am all about keepin it cozy inside! Warm fire, candles burning, throw blankets on the couch. :)

I starting following you on twitter... so sorry to hear about the cat thing, I can only imagine, what a mess!

Have a great day

Jessica said...

We like to play with cars...matchbox/hotwheel types. We make elaborate paper towel tube and wrapping paper tube tunnels to drive them down and through...down the stairs etc. They make great ramps! :)

Angie said...

We used to turn on the music and have a dance party when the weather was unsuitable for outside play. I'd get a workout too from all the twisting and shouting! Great fort idea!

Chick Hatchers said...

I love that fort! My kids would have a blast in it. When it's cold, like now, we keep the house set at 68 in order to keep the heat affordable. It's still cold in the house! So, we pass the time by adding more layers throughout the day, watching movies, playing games, doing laundry (because with that many layers, the laundry accummulates fast!) and eating lots of soup and stew. Sometimes we'll actually go somewhere warmer (like the library) to have fun. Yep, we are very exciting, I know. ;)

mychildsview.blogspot.com

Jingle said...

Forts are a GREAT idea! We also like to do indoor picnics complete with a blanket and a picnic basket! Fill that sucker up with warm comfort foods like KFC for a treat and don't forget the dessert!

jennibell said...

We have not much liked the cold weather that has kept us inside this winter either. And being out of school for days on end. . .the kids made forts and dragged televisions inside to watch movies, they played school, lots of board games and baking, and when they were younger I'd bring the "snow" inside. . .give them a huge dollop of shaving cream on their high chair tray or on the table and they would create with their "snow". (I saw another commenter said she did the same thing in the bathtub...another good place!) Hopefully this cold-weather-can't-go-outside is OVER because my house is DIRTY from 5 people who didn't get out for 3-4 days (my husband got to go to work).

Cathy said...

We're total nerds here. My daughter was given a science kit for Christmas last year and we broke it out and did acid/base experiments all day. But even my 4 year old can now tell you that bases turn the paper blue and acids turn it pink. :)

Maria B said...

My kids like to put on spring clothes and flip-flops, spread out beach blankets, and watch a beach themed movie, such as Lilo and Stitch. I make smoothies for them to enjoy during the movie. Sure helps to beat the winter time blues!

Bombtastic Belle said...

My husband and I blow up our air bed and put it in the living room, we pile it with comfy blankets and pillows and have a movie-camp out all night. It's silly, but it's something we did from the first year we were married and hope to carry it on to our future kids.

Ashley Benz said...

It's old fashioned but my family could survive days on charades alone. Animal charades, movie charades, members of our family charades. It's hilarious!

Amanda T said...

We build igloos. http://www.trenttribe.com/718562835/to-make-an-igloo/
(By we, I don't mean me. The husband and kids.)

laura said...

forts are a favorite in our house, too! we've also done plenty of painting, coloring, playdough, cookie baking & book reading this winter!! when all else fails, we lay out a big blanket in the living room & have a "picnic" - generally accompanied by a video & popsicles. :)
kyrie24 at gmail dot com

Rebecca said...

At the beginning of winter, I made a rule that here in sunny-yet-chilly Colorado, whenever the temp was over 40 at lunchtime, we'd go on a walk.

So how come it's 42 right now and I'm perusing blogs, my daugher is reading, and my son is playing guitar?

I love your fort. I'm wondering if you have a second staircase that you used for second-floor access during the time it was up. Or how many times you wished you had a house like the Cosbys or Full House or any other TV shows that had front and back stairways.

Tamara said...

Forts are the best! I was also going to suggest making play dough. The kind you can eat!

Lorie said...

Thanks for the chance to win. I'm sorry I don't have a tip right now but I'm having a hard day with the kids right now & can't think straight.

Alaina @ Three Ladies and a Dad said...

Pajamas and movies...the best way if you ask me. Thanks for the chance m'am!

anotherlisa said...

the best "it's too cold" day was when we were readying a room for painting, and we invited all the other bored kids over. everyone got a brush and a color or two of (leftover, quart samples, etc)paint, and they got to decorate the walls, before we painted my then-7-yr-old's room. she loved it so, we held off painting for 6 months, while she enjoyed her friends' & neighbors' works of art.

Bloggin' Mama said...

My boys (6 & 3) love it when I line them up and list off exercises for them to do (jumping jacks, pushups, hopping on one foot, etc.). We have contests to see who can hop the longest w/o touching the other foot down or who can balance on one foot the longest. Even the baby (she's 16 mo.) tries to join in and it's quite funny!

Celeste said...

Have a "snowball" fight with large cotton balls-fun!

rachelizabeth said...

On the coldest days, we have movie day. We rent a couple of movies and spend the day lounging in front of the tv.

I also get out the box of blank newsprint leftover from moving and cover the table with it. We get out crayons and markers and the boys will spend hours coloring. They fill up both sides of the newsprint - to where no paper can be seen!

Melissa R said...

Board games! Galore! We try to mix in the ones we love best (and thus play very often) with the ones that we like but never seem to get play time. And, of course, there is the making up of your own board games. Making the pieces, the board, and the rules.

kristy said...

hello the situation that I had commented about before has checked out thank you for praying




Kristy

Kristin said...

We put all our pillows on the floor, then run down the stairs, jump off the last step and land on the pillows. We also throw a bouncy ball around and crawl all over looking for it. My kids are 3 and 18 months, so it totally kills the time and burns off energy.

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

I have to say that as long as it is over 32 degrees we play outside every day. That's whole we roll here in south Jersey.

But when it snows we like to break out the lids to our under the bed storage boxes (Sterilite/Rubbermaid) and so "sleddin". Yeah, it is a stylish endeavor.

:)

ndisilvio @ gmail . com

Kristen Bieber said...

When we were in Florida before Christmas it got down into the 60's and we were in the pool. I heard a family that was walking past say, "they must be from up north" yep, they were right! I thought that was funny!

Shelly said...

We have been playing a lot of board games, video games and watching DVDs.

Shelly
shell_anna@msn.com

grammy said...

Great idea
Just think of this day care Grammy
stuck in the house for more than a month because of freezing temps and no slushy melting snow

I have a CD mix someone made for me with crazy music...think Chicken Dance, and the Hokey Pokey
we actually clear out a big space in a big room
and run around in a big circle (o: It is crazy and great exercise!!!

Lee said...

Lots of art work: paint, gluing beans, glitter glue...
Puzzles
Collapsible tunnel
Races on the hardwood floor with blankets
Lots of board games
Bounce House
Indoor play place at the mall

Vanessa Washburn said...

On the cold days I sit with my little one and sip hot chocolate. In the mornings we play in the bed for what seems like hours, taking comfort in the remaining warmth of the sheets. I love seeing my 5 month old smile as the sunlight rushes through the exposed windows, which reveal inches of unmelted snow on the porch, but keeping us warm inside, snuggled under the blanket and our favorite footie pajamas.

Sue D said...

On cold winter days my boys made forts too--out of snow. One of them even slept out there! If they had to be inside we did a variety of projects--baking, reading and of course legos.

Brandi said...

Well, I live in the desert. It rarely rains, and when it does it doesn't last for too long. :)

As for too cold--that rarely happens either!!!!

If it did, though, we would read novels, play endless board games, and bake. (We usually have to get creative in the summer around here since it gets way too HOT to play outside.)

Lyndsi said...

We live in Austin, TX so the days don't get that cold so we rarely use our wood-burning fireplace. It was a real treat during the freeze to light the fire and have a hot latte while playing a board game with my husband and his best friend.

~Alison~ said...

As a kid, I remember playing long games of Monopoly with my brother (or any other board games) in front of the fire with mugs of hot chocolate.

Or, just sitting with my crayons and coloring books...filling in the pages while trying to stay in the lines!

This year, Over the holiday, I did some baking to pass the cold days! Cozy watching the snow fall out the kitchen window while cookies were baking in the oven!

Great fort, by the way! My mom would have a fit if we would have tried to build one on the stairs. We used the furniture to prop up our blankets and sheets when we were kids!

Lisette said...

We had enough snow this year to make snow ice cream! It was so yummy!

http://buyonsaleandsavethedifference.blogspot.com/2009/12/snow-ice-cream.html

Gina @ MoneywiseMoms said...

We keep a big box of recyclables (egg cartons, TP rolls, plastic lids) and pull it out on long days to make art projects. Glue, construction paper, and a big mess. It's fun!

Kelly - 2 Kids (and a mom) Cooking said...

My kids would be soo jealous if they saw that fort...very nice.

Up here in MN where it does get super cold, we spend lots of time in the kitchen, cooking up whatever we can think up. Then we get to eat it. We're also big on fort building, but we do like family games like monopoly and the Wii too. Or just watching a Movie together :D

Nancy said...

Your cold weather is what we call "spring" around here! Our most recent winter weather fun was ice fishing. My daughter lives/works at a Christian camp that is on a lake and she's been asking her dad to take her ice fishing for the past couple years. Finally we went last weekend. It was the first time for me, too. Our southern friends call it "hard water fishing!"

Rhonda said...

I know how you feel. We stayed in too here in AR with single digits! We set up a tent and made smores out of the fireplace! The boys loved it and weren't too disappointed that I wouldn't let them out in the snow!

Terri said...

We have been having absolutely frigid weather in NC this year (except for the past few days!). My hubby, my teen, and I have been having some mean Sequence tournaments!!! We love that game! Blessings!

Fairion said...

Snow means baking and crafting here. We made snowflake cookies and decorated them and painted.

I love your forts.

Amy @ Raising Arrows said...

My kids make "book houses". They use mostly board books to create 2 and 3 story houses and towns and businesses all over the living room! Great fun!

MaryBeth said...

When my girls were younger (too young to roller skate) I took them to the roller skating rink/ bowling alley on the yuckiest of winter days and the great people there allowed them to run sock footed and dance/ sing for several hours at a time... the skate side is usually closed during weekday mornings.

Nancy said...

For some warm indoor cold weather fun, take some clothes from the dryer while they are still toasty warm and wear them! Put on some warm mis-matching socks (the crazier the better) and read books indoors. Stop once in a while for a hot chocolate break! Add many mini marshmallows to your cups, of course! Enjoy!

Nancy
allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Alicia P said...

My fun ideas for cold, winter days is having a box of special toys and art supplies that only come out on certain days (rainy or too cold). I also think that family naps and lots of family cuddling time on the couch is great :) Love your kids fort though :)

My email is aliciamarie112 at hotmail dot com.

Andrea H said...

The kids and I have a lot fun baking on cold wintery days. It warms the house and your heart.

Tracey said...

I love the house of sheets!

Jennifer said...

We're northerners, so it's been so cold most days that playing outside just isn't an option. When we had a bunch of snow recently, our dog brought some in inside her little fleece coat. (Short dog... lots of snow) We kept it and made mini snowmen inside! My daughter thought it was great!

Henley on the Horn said...

Our children just love crafts!! They have been creating books and pencil cups out of.... Campbell's soup cans!! I kid you not!!!

Kirsty said...

Sledding. Or if you have to stay indoors. A big warm bubble bath. If they are too big to bathe together put on bathing suits. Let them finger paint with shave cream and play with things that aren't usually bath toys. This bought me many days of sanity when my kids were smaller.

Struggler said...

Your fort is totally impressive! Great job.
This weekend was cold and rainy here in Northern CA, so my husband dug out his candle-making kit. He insists(!) on saving all the silly remains of burned out candles, then melts them down and makes me new ones.... It was quite romantic actually :)

Lisa H said...

Awesome fort - looks like a great time! We live in the northeast, so we have plenty of super cold, snowy days. When they fall on a weekend, we often have a "Pajamas All Day" Party. My husband makes a big batch of Snowman Pancakes (three small pancakes, chocolate chip eyes & buttons and a bacon scarf, with whipped cream "snow" beneath). Then we bring all of our comforters, pillows and sleeping bags into the living room and just hang out together - cuddling, talking and eating. It's one of our family's favorite activities.

Julie From Inmates said...

On our last School-called-off-stay-home-day, I made a batch of instant chocolate pudding and let my boys finger "paint" pictures on art paper. They had a great time and enjoyed licking their fingers for the better part of an hour! Fun times!

Amanda said...

Hey Kristen! It was great meeting you tonight. I have not thought of doing a fort on the stairs. We will have to try that next time!

thesavedquarter said...

We have had pretend camp outs lately. We set up the tent in the living room, build a fire in the fireplace, roasted marshmallows, and sang camp songs. Lots of fun for everyone!

Tamara B. said...

When the weather is frightful outside and we are trapped inside I love to throw inside picnic in the living room and watch movies. Or I will arrange a scavenger hunt.
tamben7996(at)aol(dot)com

SavannahsSmiles said...

We like to wear our pjs on cold days, play board games, have picnics by the fireplace, and pop popcorn.
christinaburrell@hotmail.com

Ginny said...

Holy crap, that is a huge fort! My girls absolutely love forts in the house, has to be one of there favorite activities.

When it is too cold to play, and I'm in Michigan so it actually IS TOO COLD To play outside, my girls usually drag all the Barbies, or ponies, or whatever toy of the day is & set up the entire living room.

I was always allowed to play & make messes growing up. I try to let my kiddos do that as well. Nothing is more of bummer in winter then having to clean up all your toys every single day, LOL

Laurie said...

It does get super cold up here in the north......but we have actually had some really nice tame weather (still below freezing) but to us that is tame! I do know what you mean by your toes being cold.....when my nose and my toes are cold, I feel so cold! LOL

Your fort is awesome!!! What fun parents!!!

One of our cold winter day fun things is to do some warm baking together. All four of my kids enjoy to help! ~ I may have to come up with some more creative ideas, like big forts with bungee cords!!

Dee said...

yep, cubbies were a fav. so was dress ups, craft, baking, reading, movies, board games. now they are older and it is computer games, movies, reading and occasional craft or baking. no more cubbies. :(

ikkinlala said...

That's the best blanket fort I've ever seen!

Even on cold days we usually go outside (I'm Canadian; if I stayed indoors on cold days I might as well hibernate all winter), but when I was a kid we used to bake bread on the very coldest days. We had a wood stove in the kitchen, so it helped keep the house warm, and it kept my brother and me out of trouble. When I was really little we used to shape the loaves like teddy bears.

Skooks said...

Sometimes I let my 2 yr old jump in the shower and let her go to town like it's a water park in there! Warms her up and she loves it. :)

Alexia said...

That is one awesome fort! I remember making forts like that with my brother when I was young - we lived in them too!

I've got toddlers so one easy winter activity we do over here is baths! My boys love the water so I run them a warm bath and toss in a collection of toys and their bath crayons and they can be in there for, literally, hours!

Megan said...

Great Fort!! My kids love them too, I'll admit we've never made them so cool with bungees!!

Katie @ Kitchen Stewardship said...

Sock wars. We pitch socks at each other till the cows come home! :)

Susan Kathleen Rodriguez said...

We have been getting hammered by snow lately and have had a lot of snow days (i.e., lots of time at home). The glow of Chrismtas toys has faded. We have read all our books. We have watched all our movies at least 1,000 times (seriously, I lost count after 33 Finding Nemo's). We have re-discovered our Library. There is a plethora of "new" books AND they have movies. FREE. Did I mention FREE? FREE. They also have puzzles and coloring books. Free wifi. There's that free again. Now, if they only had a Starbucks.........

Renee Holley said...

We're big movie watchers in our family. On cold days we love to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a good family movie. With three "expert" movie critics, one hoping to go to film school in a year and a half, we have some good discussions about movies.

Aleta J said...

This cold winter I've tried to keep my two year old engaged indoors with lots of "art time." For Christmas, Grandma took an old sewing box and filled it with small markers, crayons, glue sticks, and several inexpensive craft items like pipe cleaners to make my daughter her very own Art Box. Last weekend they used these suppplies to cut out and color paper birthday candles, which they then stuck into the mound of snow on top of our patio table to make Mommy's birthday cake!

Sheila said...

An indoor picnic in the sunroom (surrounded by snow with a space heater on) with all the luau party goods.

--Amie-- said...

During this past winter, I couldn't think of anything to do with my almost 3 year old to keep her occupied....Until I went into our bathroom!! I took the cans of shaving cream, put my baby girl in the empty bathtub, and let her have a field day spraying shaving cream everywhere!! It was easy clean-up, and she had a BLAST!! She's been asking to do it again ever since!! So I let her do it the other day on our coffee table! Cheap, simple, and and not too terribly messy!! :)

Keep It Classy, Jen said...

How fun and I agree whole we(Southerners) feel it more!

PS. Love your blog so I am featuring it today on my online radio show 12pm EST http://bit.ly/ffhumor

Lynn said...

Family dance time in our living room....gotta burn off that toddler energy somehow if running outside isn't an option!

A Charmed Life said...

Two things I do when major weather (or sickness) strikes:
Put food coloring in the bath and let the kiddos have a grand time! My little princesses just love a pink bath - and it is worth it - even if I do have to add warm water and more coloring 3 times!

Life Size Paper Doll Buddies. Read about them here: http://acharmedlife4us.blogspot.com/2010/01/15-min-break-stormy-solutions.html

Jessica said...

We go downstairs into the basement with our shorts and t-shirts on, start a HOT fire, play "beach ball" and frisbie (with a nerf one!) and make smore's and pudgie pies in the fireplace! Summer in the middle of winter!

Kim Wheedleton said...

This is just fantastic! Can't wait to show it to the kiddos - could be our weekend project...

Though not on such a huge scale as the stairway fort, my kids like to create pipe cleaner creatures and animals on "inside" days: dragons, cows, pigs, platypuses (my small son loves Perry the Platypus), and many others.

Anonymous said...

One word: cookies! I know it's not the healthiest, but it's the yummiest!

Thanks!
Becky
rahastings@juno.com

Carol said...

My kids are a little older, 11&14yrs, so I try to make it fun when they help me shovel snow. We throw snowballs, make snow angels and snowmen, then we come inside for hot chocolate and a game of Killer Bunnies!

Missy said...

Have $2 to spare? Then a pack of napkins is all you need for hours of entertainment.
After seeing the lady at the chinese restraunt make "napkin roses", my daughter(7) has spent tons of time making not only napkin
roses, but, vacum cleaners, torches, whistles, quill pens, and on and on...all out of napkins.
My boy likes it too, but of course the napkins become knives, swords, spears...etc :)

Erica said...

Okay, this is going to sound pretty silly, but we make snow angels in the living room. My girls like the look of the real thing, but they don't like to lie down in it because they get wet and cold. So we dump white packing peanuts all over the floor, call it snow, and throw it around and make snow angels in it. Then when we're done, we get out the sleeping bags, lay them in the "snow," and watch a movie. Fun, warm snow play without taking fifteen minutes to get off the snow clothes if someone has to pee. :)

Shel said...

Cold, snowy days here in NE Ohio either mean we layer-up and head outside to shovel a path for the mailman and make a few snowmen in the process or my daughter and I lock ourselves in the attic and fool around in my "craft cupboard" a place where I store all kinds of accumulated goodies. Last snow day, we spent the afternoon making our own collages from old magazines and then we tried our hand at making a beaded mouse ornament for our Christmas tree.

shel704 at aol dot com

happyenchilada said...

My kids are 8, 11, and about to be13 and 2 boys and a girl..sometimes it hard to find one thing they're all interested in ..but during this last wave of snow days I did find one thing ..Texas Hold'em poker!! I am an avid poker player I play online and myh husband and I go every month or so to our local casino and play at the tables. My oldest son asked me to show him how to play one snow day and before I knew it all three were gathered round. They caught on quick (must be in their genes!) and we started having little tournies (the winner gets stuff like the pick of a pay per view movie, or pick of what we eat for dinner or desert!). Of course I love it cause I get to do something I enjoy with my kids. Plus who knows maybe one of my kids is the next Johnny Chan!

kessandcrystal(at)aol.com