House Bound in the Vortex

Like most of the country, we’re being smashed by the Polar Vortex this week. Schools are canceled or delayed every day, cars don’t start, our favorite haunts are closed due to extreme conditions. Also? We live in a pretty small house with all my husband’s tools and bikes, so we’re pretty sick of the sight of each other by this point.

I’m having a hard time maintaining sanity and keeping the peace! One thing I’ve found is that many of the ideas I have to keep my 4-year-old occupied (tray of baking soda with spoons and bowls of food coloring + vinegar) aren’t really that great for my 20-month old and vice versa (for some reason the 4-year-old doesn’t want to name farm animals repeatedly).

This morning, we boiled a mug full of water and tossed it out the back door to watch it disappear in a puff of smoke. That was fun. For 3 seconds. Even with some follow-up discussion of the water-cycle, it still didn’t carry us past breakfast.

I’ve already dragged the space heater into the bathroom so I can plunk the kids naked in the tub with some shaving cream. That fills at least a half hour of time, plus bath afterward, with some sensory play. But, mostly, we’re watching television and snapping angry remarks at each other.

I keep seeing ideas online (blowing bubbles to watch them freeze, finger painting, baking things) but I guess I’ve reached the point of stir-craziness where I just can’t drum up the energy to try any of them. We might start an hourly countdown until the temps are predicted to be above freezing. That’s about the extent of my arts and crafts motivation right now!

Are you homebound this week? Leave us a comment to share your ideas for keeping your young family entertained.

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