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8 Things to Do When You’re Stuck Inside

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They say April showers bring May flowers. What they don’t say is that it usually rains for a lot of May and June too, leaving you stuck inside nearly as often as you were during the winter. And even with some cabin fever, hanging around the house can sound so much better than spending 30 minutes bundling up your kids just to run errands.

Unfortunately, staying rooted to one spot for hours at a time isn't great for your well-being (and it doesn’t help your kids burn off all that energy). Luckily, there’s much you and your family can do to keep busy that doesn’t involve a single movie—and can even help you get in some physical activity. Take these ideas for inspo:

Have a family dance party.

Shake it out by turning up the volume on fun songs and doing some crazy dancing (you know, the kind you do when no one's watching). It's a safe space for wild moves, so the nuttier, the better. 

Pretend you're on a tropical vacation.

Want to take a trip to an island paradise? The good news is there's no service anywhere, so everyone has to put away their devices. Oh, but look—just so happens there's an extremely complicated board game some fellow travelers left behind in this jungle cabin. Setting that up will take all day and will require teamwork and brain power. The grownups will want to power through with a festive drink like this Maui Kapowee, which packs in nutrients like Vitamin C and zinc, thanks to Emergen-C Immune+ vitamin drink mix. Pineapple, orange, ice—yum. Bonus points for creating a Hawaii playlist and putting it on in the background.

Build a science lab.

There are lots of science experiments you and your kids can try using household items like zip-top bags, art supplies, water, and paper towels. Here are 11 you probably have the supplies for already!

Get your boutique fitness workout in your living room.

Is it pouring way too hard to get to cardio barre? You can easily set up in your living room with the jillions of free workouts available on YouTube. You can also download a fitness app like Sworkit or Freeletics Bodyweight to establish a more personalized routine. Pushing the furniture out of the way will be the warm-up to your warm-up. 

Finally cook that showstopping dinner recipe.

If you catch yourself hitting up your favorite delivery place one too many times, it's time to bust out that bookmarked recipe you've been meaning to make since forever ago. Yes, it will require a run to the grocery store, but then you can spend the day keeping from cabin fever by filling up the kitchen with delicious smells. Call on your little sous chefs to help with the prep—your homemade meal will magically taste better to everyone.

Turn games into exercise.

Blow up a balloon and challenge your kids to never let it hit the ground. Use painter’s tape to make a hopscotch board in your living room. Play Simon Says and include moves like “Simon says do five jumping jacks!” Got a delivery recently? Jump around on the bubble wrap until you’ve popped all the bubbles.

Start that spring cleaning you never actually got around to.

You had the best intentions in March, but somehow spring cleaning never quite happened. And now that it’s nice out, the last thing you’re going to want to do is stay in and clean out your closets. So take advantage of a rainy day and have everyone go through their clothes and pull out items that don’t fit or that they never wear, and pack them up in bags to donate next time you run errands. Got some old T-shirts that are too ratty to give away? Let your little ones tear them up into cleaning rags.

Build a blanket fort.

For some reason, reading feels more enjoyable when you do it in a makeshift cocoon. Create a comfy cave that fits the whole family with blankets and sheets, then crawl into it with your new page-turner and have a book-a-thon. 

Find more great health and wellness stories at Parents.com/Strive.