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With Old Man Winter almost here, it’s time for long, lazy days indoors. Wait — what if all that 2020 quarantine has you stuck for ideas on what to do?
When you’ve already built so many birdhouses that you have to pressure-wash the ground beneath your trees to clean up the droppings, you need fresh material. Here are ten lazy day activities for your family to enjoy this coming cold season.
1. Do a Puzzle
When was the last time you got out a puzzle so challenging, it took days to piece it all together? If you can’t remember, now is the time. If you have kitties, you’ll need to cover your creation to keep it safe or locate your building table behind closed doors.
Budget-minded mamas and papas alike, rejoice — you can find tons of jigsaw puzzles for a buck at your local dollar store. If mental, rather than manual, dexterity is more your game, you can find scores of sudoku and crossword puzzle books there, too, sometimes two for $1.
2. Build a Fort
Remember the fun of building a fort when you were a child? You can recreate the magic right in your living room. Gather up all the blankets and pillows you can find to use as bricks and mortar and get imaginative! Maybe you’re building a space station on the moon or a wild west outpost.
Once you erect your fortress, make sure all family members have a flashlight for telling scary stories in front of the campfire — or fireplace. What if you don’t have a chimney? If Junior has a chemistry set complete with a Bunsen burner, you can use it for toasting marshmallows.
3. Break Out the Board Games
How long has it been since you played “Chutes and Ladders?” Even the littlest members of your family can get into this fun board game that reinforces emotional intelligence while you play.
For older kids, why not consider introducing them to the game of chess if they show interest? With the success of Netflix’s limited drama series “The Queen’s Gambit,” they might develop a similar passion for the game of kings.
4. Put on a Puppet Show
Here’s another fun lazy day activity for your family that you can put together on the cheap. You can even make it free if you know where to look.
Start by building a stage with your little ones. You can have your local grocery put aside some large boxes for free cardboard, or, if you’re handy, snag a gratis pallet from your local lumberyard and use the wood to build your version of the Globe theater.
Then, clean out your closets and repurpose those holey socks into puppets. You can also use dolls or stuffed animals as your characters. This activity helps teach your child abstract-thinking skills and engages their imagination.
5. Make an Obstacle Course
Who said that you could only create obstacle courses outside? Of course, if the weather isn’t too dreadful, you can head out and make a mini ninja warrior course in your backyard.
However, if it’s a lazy day due to rain or a howling nor’easter, you can do the same inside. Pull the cushions off your couch and stack them against it to make a tunnel for tots. Use pool noodles and Command Strips to set up limbo bars down your hallway.
6. Go Birdwatching
Remember all those birdhouses you built in the spring? Have you checked out who’s dwelling within them?
Purchase a birding guide or app and learn to identify the varieties living in your yard. When you get tired of window-gazing, take your binoculars outdoors and hit your local nature center.
You can bring along a notebook to jot the species you see and observations about their behaviors. Who knows — your little one could use the data for a future science report.
7. Reel ‘Em In
If the weather isn’t too frightful, why not head out to the old fishing hole? You can even don your duck boots and try ice fishing once the local pond freezes.
Before you and your tykes venture out, make sure to check the regulations in your area. Some offer only catch-and-release, while others let you take your catch home and fry it up in the pan.
8. Visit a Museum
If you feel safe heading to a museum, and they remain open in your area, why not plan an outing? Give every family member a notebook and have them reflect on their favorite exhibitions as you spend a lazy afternoon wandering the displays.
Don’t worry if safety concerns keep you indoors. You can take a virtual tour of the Louvre or other famous museums from your living room.
9. Get Creative in the Kitchen
What’s for dinner? If you haven’t yet transformed into Martha Stewart, why not use a lazy day to try your hand at a new recipe?
You can get the entire family involved. A quick Google search reveals plenty of recipes to bake with your children — you decide if they can lick the beaters clean.
10. Have a Movie Night
You can make movie night so much more spectacular than merely crashing out on the couch and flipping to Netflix. Many libraries have curbside pickup available — why not see if you can rent a projector for free or cheap?
Then, fire up the outdoor firepit or bundle up warm and make a “drive-in theater” in your backyard. If you do live on acreage and can invite the neighbors to pull up to your back 40, even better. Save some of those popcorn balls you made for the tree and feast away while you enjoy a hit on the big screen.
Try These 10 Lazy Day Activities With Your Family
The next time you have a lazy day with your family, try one of these ten activities. You’ll feel closer and have a blast.