Bad Weather Keeping Kids Stuck Indoors?

Guest post from Jenny Wise.

Jenny Wise homeschools her four awesome children. As any homeschooling parent knows, every day is an adventure, and Jenny has begun chronicling her experiences at She hopes to use the site to connect with other homeschoolers and to provide helpful advice to parents who may be considering a home education for their kids.

When January rolls around, kids have it rough. With winter break behind them and summer break in the distant future, children have to sludge through new lesson plans, standardized test preparations, and less time outdoors.

Harsh winter weather and shorter days mean less sunlight for kids to play in. Kids rely on outdoor play time to help them focus, increases memory and learning functions, and reduce behavioral problems. The vitamin D they soak up while playing in the sunshine also helps to increase energy, support mineral absorption in the body, and prevents mood issues like depression.

If you fear lack of outdoor playtime is causing your child to feel the winter blues, there are a few actions you can take:

  • Make sure they are eating a healthy, well-balanced diet.
  • Try out light therapy when sunshine is unavailable.
  • Help them get enough sleep by restricting caffeine and sugar, winding down all activity an hour or so before bedtime, and making sure their minds and body are sufficiently stimulated during the day.

To help fill in those hours when your children need to be active but can’t play outside, try encouraging them to do something other than vegging out in front of the television or spending hours playing video games. Fun, educational activities are all around you. Not only will you be helping your kids get through the season, but you’ll be giving them a physical and academic edge over their more sedentary peers.

If you’re looking for ways to encourage your kids to stay active and entertained when the weather is bad, try out these fun and educational ideas.

Have an Indoor Dance Party

Dancing is a great way to encourage children to be active while also stuck indoors. It helps them burn energy, increases muscle mass, and improves balance. Furthermore, dancing is a way to help kids be active while expressing themselves creatively. It’s a form of exercise anyone can do, no jock skills required. However, even if your child loves spending time playing sports outdoors, dancing can help them feel liberated while fine tuning their coordination. Put on their favorite music and let them dance freestyle to express themselves. Or find fun dance lessons for kids online that teach them new moves while improving their listening and instruction-following skills.

Interest them in Learning with Dog-Themed Lesson Plans

Kids love dogs because they understand each other. In a world where communication, emotions, and relationships become increasingly complex as we age, both children and dogs see things as simply as they can be. Plus, they are both really cute, so they have that in common.

If your child seems uninterested in at-home learning or supplemental education, consider piquing their interest by adding a canine spin to your lesson plans. Not only will you be able to hold their attention better, but you’ll be able to go above and beyond reading, writing, and arithmetic and teach them about higher-level topics like humanities and biodiversity.

Craft a Riddle Scavenger Hunt Around the House

If you want your children to learn to think critically and solve problems creatively, a riddle scavenger hunt is a great way to do so while burning up an afternoon. Pick 10-15 things around the house your kids can find and write down simple riddles to describe them. Read your children the riddles and have them figure out what it is and find it in the house. They’ll work out their brains while also getting a few steps in searching for it.

Need an idea for where to start? Try these fun ideas like “The more I dry, the wetter I become” (a towel).

Bad weather and shorter days can leave children feeling the winter blues. Help them get out of their slump by encouraging fun and educational activities that are both entertaining and help burn off all their excess energy. A dance party is a way to get them to exercise while expressing their creativity. Dog-themed lesson plans teach them higher-level topics while appealing to their interest. Finally, a fun filled riddle scavenger hunt is a great way to spend the afternoon while your children improve their problem solving skills.

Hi everyone, Renee here. It was a pleasure to share my blog with Jenny today and relive those days of winter with younger kids.

In the corner of the world where we live winter has always been about snow play, and we're fond of saying, there's no bad weather just bad gear. When the snow wasn't great for playing, or had all melted, we did a lot of crafts on bad weather days (and all weather days). But if crafts aren't your gig, or if they are but you need more variety, Jenny offered some great and easy ideas in this post for mixing up the indoor activities on dreary winter weather days.

Thanks Jenny for sharing your ideas and experience.

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