The fact that it’s winter, and we can’t play outside unless we want to freeze had me trying to get creative on things to do indoors. Flu season has been terrible where we are, and so sometimes I like to play it safe and stay home, even though I am the kind of person who craves getting out of the house at least once a day.

I love having a very active and hands-on learner, but it has honestly challenged me so much to think outside the box. I learned and played completely different when I was a kid. I can’t wait to see what our next babies learning and playing style is. For all you seasoned mother’s out there – send me ALL the advice and techniques because we are still in the EARLY stages of all of this.

I did, however, want to share a few things that have been really fun and work for us. We are one of those families that do believe in tech time. After all – my husband is in the tech world. Everything in moderation. So beyond playing outside or the limited tech time, we allow a day here are some ways that we play and learn together inside:

Change up mealtime. Sometimes you need to change up your routine a little bit, and if the weather isn’t nice enough to be outside, it’s okay to throw your Gathre Mat or quilt down and have an indoor picnic. Little things like this can be a big deal for kids and make the usual unusual in a simple way.

Use what they love and expand on it. Right now, for us, it’s dinosaurs. So instead of just reading and playing with our figures, we pulled out the playdough and built a Jurassic park with streams, grass, rocks etc. It helps them use their hands and get creative in the building. It may not be dinosaurs for you. Maybe your kid loves barbies or trucks and you can build a doll playland or a construction site. Changing up what they love and teaching them it can be bigger are fun ways to help them learn and also helps them from getting bored inside with the same stuff all the time.

Read, Read, Read. Reading is one of the best ways your kids can learn and helps spark their imagination. I try to make sure Cove sees us reading too. Not just our phones, but actual books or Kindle. Cove has developed such a love for it, so we can read books with him for hours at a time. I hope it always stays that way. I am going to put together a post soon on our favorite children books.

Art. I think this one can sometimes be challenging because as mom’s it requires more clean up work from us, but on cold days it can be such a fun and bright thing to do together. We like to have certain craft items on hand, and then sometimes we will go out and get special things for DIY projects and crafts.

Build. This isn’t just for boys. Build your full train set. Learn to hammer and glue wood together. Build the blocks up into a fort or something that they can continue to play with. We have this great set from antsy pants where you can build lots of different things or let your child come up with something all on their own.

Work out or Dance Party. I typically try to work out during nap time or after bedtime, but some days you just have to whip out the yoga videos, fitness blender or whatever it is and do it together. It probably won’t be the best work out, but it can be fun for your kid to do with you. If you aren’t in the mood for fitness, try turning up the music loud and having a dance party. It’s the best way to burn off some energy inside.

Sensory and Fine Motor. If you can get them sitting for a little while, try getting them to string macaroni through yarn, play with a sticker book or put together a puzzle. If they can’t finish or they get distracted, come back to it in a little while and start it with them.

Cove loves the Gathre mat, and always ask to pull it out when we are playing inside. We have a mini (I carry in my purse for diaper changes and now that we’re past that as a mat for playdough at restaurants), a midi which is what you see above, and a maxi which we use for park dates, beach days or big play activities.

You can also find my cozy and comfy every day sweater here, and the rest of my outfit details below.

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