3 Easy Indoor Activities for Winter Survival


inside activities winter survival des moines moms blogIt’s safe to say that cabin fever has hit in our house.

My 4 year old has taken to jumping on the couch yelling, “I have to get my energy out!”

All the new toys and games we got for Christmas have lost their appeal.

And it’s still 2 months until spring!

I was so desperate to get out of the house one day that I walked in sub-freezing temperatures with the older boys to an estate sale in the neighborhood.

It’s even harder for me to be motivated to get out of the house with a newborn baby and her nap schedule. But when you’re stuck in the house, there are only so many pajama and movie days I can have before I start to feel guilty!

I have had to get creative with finding things to do that keep my 2 year old and 4 year old boys occupied that don’t involve jumping on the furniture or throwing toys.

Here are 3 of our go-to indoor activities:

bean bin indoor winter activities des moines moms blogBean Bin

Next time you’re at the grocery store, pick up a couple bags of dried beans. Find an empty tub or container and dump them in. Then let you kids dig and scoop and pour and play in the beans.

Warning: No matter how many times I tell my 2 year old “the beans stay in the bin,” inevitably some (or all) of the beans end up on the floor. But I feel like sweeping up beans is a small price to pay for this activity!

I keep the bin hidden in the pantry and pull it out every couple weeks when I get really desperate! This helps keep it special, and it means I’m not sweeping up beans every single day!

Cornstarch “Goop”

This is a fun little science experiment. Use your hands to mix 1/2 cup cornstarch with about 1 tablespoon of water in a bowl. The resulting goop is a strange cross between a liquid and a solid. You can drip it from your fingers, or form it into a ball. Kids love it!

Again, this is a little messy, but it’s easy to clean up!


Fill the sink with warm soapy water, and let your kids splash and play to their heart’s content. I suggest taking their shirts off or even stripping down to their undies or diaper. It’s also a good idea to put a towel down on the floor.

Or throw the kids in the tub with kitchen bowls and strainers and bubbles to blow. Bonus: They get clean while they play!

Hopefully these activities will buy you at least 30 minutes of sanity!

If you want to get out of the house be sure to checkout our indoor play guide for a great list of places to take your kids when it’s cold outside.

What are your go-to indoor winter activities?



  1. Water beads are some of our go-to activities as well as fort building too! And we go on a daily walk around the neighborhood too. On Saturday we walked three miles to the library and back 🙂


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