There’s a brisk feeling in the air. Temperatures have begun to decrease, and some parts of the country have even experienced snow already! Winter, you’re going to be here before we know it. And while drinking our weight in hot chocolate and thinking about the upcoming holiday season are fun activities, the idea of being stuck inside with our children on long frigid days is… not. So, is there a way to prepare beforehand so that cabin fever doesn’t descend on your house? YES! We’ve got some fun ideas below. Just don’t wait… being prepared is the first step to not going bonkers when you’re stuck inside!

Dollar Store/Target Dollar Spot

Starting now, when you’re perusing the aisles at Target or your favorite dollar store, start stashing away little games, stamps, coloring books, etc. that are cheap yet entertaining for your kiddos. Stuff your finds in “The Cabin Fever Container” and when it’s time (i.e., your kids are whining/fighting/crying on a cold day indoors) let them pull out a fun surprise. The newness will keep them occupied for a bit and you from losing it.

Indoor Games

What Mom Loves has a great list of indoor games guaranteed to entertain your child and keep them moving (and ready for bed at bedtime!). We particularly love her “tape games” like creating a race car track and making a hopscotch outline, so make sure you have a roll of masking or painter’s tape on hand. Also mentioned in her list of game accessories: balloons! Who knew there were so many games you could create with them? Balloon hockey is a hit at our house!

Memory Lane

Wondering why you made all those photo albums that no one ever looks at, or have all those videos of your kids as babies, or better yet, you? We have a tendency to make or take photos and then not look at them again, but a cozy day inside is the perfect opportunity to dig them out of your closet and head down memory lane. Kids love to see themselves as babies and will get a kick out of your younger days, too!

Soothing Soup Recipes

A slow cooker or instant pot is a necessary kitchen item in the winter (and all year long, really)! Get a heads up by checking out Country Living‘s recipes online and consider what your child can do to help. Even if they’re toddler age and it’s just small activities like putting the napkins and spoons on the table, they’ll feel special knowing they helped put dinner on the table!