Staying Sane in the Winter Months with Kids

Winter can be a tough time for many people, especially for those who have young children. With the cold weather and shorter days, it can be difficult to stay active and entertained, especially when it’s not safe to go outside or when you’re stuck indoors due to a seasonal illness. However, it’s important to find ways to keep yourself and your kids happy and healthy during the winter months. Here are some tips for staying sane and having fun while spending more time indoors with your kids.

With the turn of the new year, there are plenty of things to think about for making changes to your lifestyle for a healthier, happier household.

  1. Get moving: It’s important to stay active, especially during the winter when you may be spending more time inside. Encourage your kids to dance, do yoga, or play active games like tag or hide and seek. You could also try going for a walk or doing a workout together as a family.
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Photo by Rebecca Mabey Photography
  1. Get OUT of the house! Go to a trampoline park, the mall, the dollar store, the library, and a fun museum. Recently we enjoyed taking the kids to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
  2. Take breaks from screens: It’s easy to rely on screens for entertainment, but it’s important to limit screen time and encourage other activities. Set boundaries for screen use and schedule regular breaks for other activities, such as reading, crafting, or playing a board game.
  3. Get creative: Winter is a great time to tap into your creative side and try new activities. Encourage your kids to draw, paint, or build with blocks or other materials. You could also try cooking or baking together, or creating your own homemade playdough. We do a lot of photoshoots to help me prepare for the busier seasons and the kids have fun with me with those themes, even if they are off-season.
Photo by Rebecca Mabey Photography
  1. Stay connected: It’s important to stay connected with friends and family, especially when you have been apart for a while. Set up virtual hangouts or plan a socially distanced outdoor activity with loved ones. We have a google hub max screen in the kitchen and the kids can call family whenever they want.
  2. Get OUTSIDE! Take the kids sledding, ice skating, build a snowman. Have fun. We live in Colorado and the days can get pretty short here at this end of the time zone. I find I get depressed if I do not get enough sunshine! So important. So when the day is warm enough, we bundle up and try to make an effort to breathe some fresh air and really soak in that sun, even if that means a ten-minute walk or a full winter picnic at the park (weather permitting). And of course, there is playing out in the snow! Read about having a successful snow day here.
  3. Take care of your mental health: It’s normal to feel a bit stir-crazy during the winter months, but it’s important to take care of your mental health. Make time for self-care, such as reading, meditating, or taking a relaxing bath. It’s also important to talk about your feelings with your kids and encourage them to express themselves. With my very busy ADHD brain, I find putting on a meditation playlist at night helps my brain slow down and relax. For the kids and for bedtime we love the Moshi App. It works wonders for sleep and meditation.

By following these tips, you can help yourself stay sane and have fun while spending more time indoors with your kids during the winter months. Remember to take breaks and prioritize self-care, and don’t be afraid to try new activities and get creative.


10 Backyard Activities to do during Quarantine

Keeping those stir-crazy little bodies busy during quarantine is not easy!  So I have come up with 10 fun activities to do in the backyard to keep those little imaginations busy, energy to be set free and family bonding to grow.

  1. Create a Fairy Village

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  2. A little magical world to play with and enjoy.  Welcome!  Let’s explore.
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  4. At the base of this fairies house are little finds.  Old broken bits from dishes and such. A little story in and of itself.  And stepping stones of little sliced wood that I got from Micheals.
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  6. Our collection of seashells from the beach are put to good use as we used them to line our fairy village and make a creek.  Little sparkle blue beads made for an extra touch of magic.  One day I will make a fairy village with a running water creek and mini solar power pump.
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  8. A little lantern sits on this table as fairies like to flutter and light up the night as they enjoy their mushroom pie
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  10. With all our nature walks recently, we enjoy finding unique sticks like this curved one and imagine what use we could make of it for our fairy garden.  This is where the imagination and engineer aspect of building fairy gardens comes in.  A perfect three-pronged stick perfect for a supportive swing set.  Little wired roses decorate the base.
  11. Fairy-Village (33)Fairies are most welcoming with an open door.
  12. Fairy-Village (35)Since is it only springtime this little autumn fairy is taking a snooze on one of her pumpkins.  She won’t be needed for a while.
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  14. This green thumb fairy is the keeper of springtime and always has fresh blooms right in her own garden.
  15. We skowered the yard for our own little mini flowers to add to her collection.
  16. Fairy-Village (41)A little rocking chair awaits this fairy when she comes home from collecting fresh forest finds for her soup.
  17. Fairy-Village (42)Little fairy crossing the stream to her friend’s house.  Fairies are too small to get the coronavirus and may visit their friends as they please.
  18. Fairy-Village (45)I used a small drill tool to drill holes through two sticks and smaller sticks to weave through them.  This little ladder is a cute detail.
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  20. When I find little things around the house, like this little bottle, we add it to the fairy village.  Perhaps a bit of extra fairy dust is stored in it.
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  22. These vibrant flowers we found on our walk around the block and collected as many whole leaves as we could find.  Then attached them to a teepee base with some good old red duct tape.
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  24. Other little critters make their way around the fairy garden.  A slug of a friend.
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  26. Slice of gooseberry pie anyone?
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  28. A red mushroom chimney top.
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This fairy house (below) was built by myself and my 5 and 2-year-old.  It was not hard and they enjoyed helping!  We had a round block of foam (like the kind you put in fake flower vases) and collected sticks from around the yard and stuck them into the foam.  We painted the base and put a floor of glue then fake moss for the carpet flooring.  I used green wire to weave the structure together is a sturdier fashion and small vines and flexible sticks to weave it all together like a basket.  A few large fake leaves made for the roof.

  1. Fairy-Village (64)Fairy-Village (65)
  2. Come fall we will collect all the fairy village pieces, clean them and put them away to be pulled out and enjoyed next spring.  This activity had the kids entertained in their imaginary play world for hours!  And it is a very calming activity too.  With all that is going on in the world right now, we could all use a little escape of a project that is calming and soothing for the soul and something that is a fun little bonding activity.
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  4. Build an obstacle course

  5. backyard activity ideas during quarantine
  6. This was actually part of a school assignment!  For fun!  My daughter had to build an obstacle course she planned and drew out and pick a song that you had to accomplish the course before it was over.  We had fun hopping around the yard to “Happy Birthday to You”
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  8. Have an Easter Egg Hunt, no candy required

  9. No need to prefill eggs for this one!  We had to teams of our group of four.  Two would hide the eggs with the others were inside then they would come out and run around and try to collect the most with their little baskets.  I found these cute foam decorative eggs at target earlier this year.  But any will do.  The kids just had fun with the whole process and played this game for over an hour.
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  11. Make a paper mural of the Solar System

  12. We rolled out a giant roll of art paper across our front sidewalk for this last summer… but the back deck/ patio will do.  Creating a group art piece like this one was a fun team effort.  We learned the names of the planets and painted them out and were not afraid to get a little messy.  Markers followed for details like aliens and space ships.
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  14. Realistically this is a two-day project.  One for painting/ spraying paint for the space sky… and then let it dry.  The next for the planets and details.
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  16. We hung this up in our home school area for some time and it made for a wonderfully colorful addition to our outdoor classroom area.
  17. Play Nature Bingo

  18. Write or print the ABC’s 4 inches apart on a poster board OR use chalk and draw the abc’s on an open space.  Then have the kids collect as many items around the yard to fill in those abc’s. L for Leaf, R for rock, S for stick, D for dirt, T for Toy, F for Flower etc.
  19. Put on a Backyard Play

  20. Last summer we hosted a talent night and it was a special event to bring our neighbors together.  While we are limited for a full audience, we can still facetime in a few family members to enjoy the children’s rendition of a fairytale.

For our play, we merged a few favorite fairytales and characters together for a humourous outcome.  Robinhood joined Rapunzel and took her on an adventure as an escape from her boredom (sound familiar).  We didn’t need to go all out on costumes. Mr. Robinhood wore his “hooded” sweater as his costume.  Rapunzel’s hair was created from some yellow yarn and ribbon.


  1. I seem to have too much fun playing the cackling witch for my character.  And my nose I made out of air-drying clay haha.
  2. Have a drive-in Movie Night

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  4. As it starts to warm up take your family movie night to the backyard with a projector.  We found a basic $99 one off of amazon some time ago.  Add to the fun with making it drive in style. Let the kids make their own box cars our of cardboard or let them bring their car toys if they have them. Take turns being the service to bring popcorn and drinks.
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  6. Put on a pretend restaurant

  7. Since going out is on hold, why not bring the restaurant to you!  Have the kids make menus of the planned dinner with a few simple varieties such as milk or juice. Don’t forget to tip your server!
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  9. We have done all kinds of fun themes and even did a fairytale banquet once… When else do you really pull out the nice stuff.
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  11. My daughter wanted me to be the queen.  Well alright, I guess if I have to lol.
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  13. I found this cute outfit by Melissa and Doug. Kids love to do pretend.  Playing a waitress is a hit! There is also this adorable waitress costume from Princess Paradise. We loved that one too doing a donut themed family costume one year for Halloween.
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  15. I save everything!  Here are some old menus from a restaurant I use to work at.  Great inspiration for dinner and making a menu for fun!IMG_20200225_152355IMG_20200225_152407menuIMG_20200225_152643MVIMG_20190720_204606_1
  16. Build a fort and put on a backyard Salon

  17. My daughter got this idea from Fancy Nancy’s book: Fancy Nancy: Ooh La La! It’s Beauty Day! Where she gives her mom a beauty treatment in the backyard.

We love to do little spa days around here so what a fun idea!  We used a big lightweight pink canopy tent intended for a teenage girls’ bed, leftover from my college dorm days lol. But has sense had many uses. The kids love this instant “fort” effect and it shaded us on our sunny back lawn. We laid a thick quilt down and even had treats.


We’ve enjoyed “spa days” for birthday parties too! But since those are also on hold, at least we can do the spa part.

  1. Work in the Garden as a family

  2. With this extra time together as a family, we have fewer things keeping us busy out there, and more time to spend slowing down together.  Yes, those little ones keep up busy but the garden provides many learning opportunities in teaching our kids.  Faith.  Consistency. Working hard. Not letting weeds take over.  Many examples of hands-on activities that can lead to a deeper more meaningful discussion to engage with our littles.


May you stay healthy and be safely gathered in and out in the backyard during this time of turbulence.