Follow our family's journey as we seek to nourish our souls with music and literature, good company, great cooking, time spent in nature, and always, the love of Christ especially through the sacraments of His Church.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Summertime Cabin Fever?

Back in January's gloom, it would have been impossible to say or even think something so outrageous... but honestly! These last several weeks have seemed more dull and boring than a winter cold snap. We have been staying inside the house due to the soaring temperatures. If we were ambitious, we would get out early in the morning, but we're not that kind of people! Some days it's been too hot even to pull out the wading pool, because I have to be out there on supervisor duty (what with my gate still not replaced), and that's not happening when it's 96 degrees. Sorry. Even most evenings have been stifling and we stay in yet again. Too much time inside brings out some ugliness, doesn't it!

What to do when there is nothing to do? Well, thank goodness for media... lots of videos and internet time! Unfortunately that sometimes backfires and only causes more pent-up energy. We have read our big stack of 22 library books several times. Time for a new stack. My boys don't like coloring (what's up with that? I love coloring and always expected to do a lot of it when I had kids. Ha.)

But here's a look at some of the things we have tried. (Some older pictures, just to give you the idea.)

Lots of this:

and this:

Always, always Transformers:

Interesting structures appearing:

 Lots and lots and lots of this!

Thank you, Lord, for allowing me to live in the era of Legos. And AC. Amen.

I even resorted to this one day. Shhh! Don't tell anyone!

Here are a few other things we have been doing::
  • Making juice pops
  • Bendaroos (I hate those things!!)
  • Waterpainting
  • Completely disassembling a big wheel (Benjamin)
  • Activity books
  • Play-Doh
  • Board games - Candy Land, Guess Who, cards, HiHo Cherrio, Cooties, etc. 
  • Blowing bubbles in the house (gasp)
  • Taking pictures like this with Mom's camera:

So I realized this parenting thing may take some extra work under these conditions. I have come up with some radical ideas to bust the boredom. Well, OK, one radical idea. I am calling it the "Arctic Dig".

I picked out a few of our plastic animals - you all have a bucket of these, right?

I put them in different-sized containers and covered them with water. Don't use too much or you will have aggravated kids!

Then I put them in the freezer overnight. Please note that I did this when the kids weren't around. Otherwise I would have had to fend off their eager attempts to "check" the ice every 20 minutes for 2 days. Counter-productive!

When they were frozen solid, I tied them up in a bag and put them in the deep-freezer to await the perfect moment of insanity that I needed avert. Trust me, it came along fairly quickly.

I gave each kid a couple of blocks of ice, a table knife and random kitchen tools, and let them go to work. They were ecstatic! We used pans with high sides to catch the water as the ice melted. I also gave them each a container of warm water to use strategically for "power-melting".

They hammered away!

Molly got her own block.

When all else fails, try your teeth!

Finally, they freed all of their "fossils".

Oh, what fun! I am pleased to say this kept them occupied for fully.... 45 minutes.

But at least it redirected the craziness a little and they had so much fun that I think I'll fill up the containers again. Little cars and other small toys might be fun to try in the next  batch.

Looks like the summer will continue long and hot, so I need a few more ideas. What creative things do your kids do when the weather keeps them inside for too long? 


  1. My crazy kids will go outside no matter what the temperature is!!! Freezing little toys was a great idea :) Also, I would probably put my kids to work - fun stuff like cleaning walls LOL!

  2. Wow, freezing toys...what a great idea! I've never thought of that one before. Whenever the kids are really bored, they build a giant fort with blankets and pillows. Then they each get a flashlight and read books together underneath. So much fun! Sometimes I join them and we have a snack together and pretend we're camping. Good luck coming up with more ideas. I know how tough it can be to keep the little ones occupied hour after hour, day after day!!!

  3. Great ideas! Actually my kids would also be out in any weather, but since I can't let them out alone now (no gate, Molly is the problem mostly...we are in the city, more or less), I just can't stand the heat to be out there with them. I'm old, LOL. We used to be out in it all summer as kids too. Sigh.

    I have one that likes to vacuum, always fun... I also let them clean with a spray bottle and rags. Usually it deteriorates into a squirt fight though. :P Sometimes I shut the boys in their room and let them pull off their mattresses and build a fort/playground/battlefield and just jump and be crazy. Now that Molly wants to be in on it, not so safe though.

    Thanks for sharing what you do!! Great thoughts!

  4. Freezing toys... now that's something that I've never thought of. I did brave the heat today, though, and took the kids outside to play with the water hose. We all got soaked. :-)

  5. Ah, brave woman!! I put my big toe outside for two minutes and declared that I was going to DIE, (if not from suffocation, then from malaria as the mosquitoes swarmed.) So I made everyone come in. It was horrible out there. In a month or so, I will be fun mom again. Alas...

  6. I love your freezing idea and am going to steal it soon! My kids love, love, love dressing up in all sorts of things, so we do that a lot. Legos and lots of reading are a favorite here, too.