It’s safe to say, “Baby, it’s cold outside!”

That said, single-digit temperatures prohibit little ones from playing outdoors and staying inside.

It won’t be long before choruses of “I’m bored!” ring out — or maybe they already have. They did over Christmas break during a visit to my parents — from a visiting teenage niece! 😉

So what is a parent to do to quell the restlessness of remaining indoors? Well, plenty. Here are a few ideas:

Bring out the board games. Yes, actual games with pieces, dice, spinners and boards. Do you have the old classics like checkers, chess, Chutes and Ladders or Trouble? Heck, everybody stand up and play Twister. Did Santa bring any of those new, messy games like Pop the Pig or Pie in the Face? Have fun, laugh and don’t be afraid to get your clothes or face dirty. And yes, put down the cellphones and iPods.

Have a movie night. Make or order a pizza, pop some popcorn, slip into cozy pajamas and throw down lots of pillows and blankets for a screening in the living room, rec room, etc. And of course, select a movie or two to watch.

Make dinner or a dessert together. Most home improvement features note that the kitchen is one of the busiest places in a home, and one of the best places to gather friends and family. Find kid-friendly recipes and get busy, and make sure you all sit down to enjoy the fruits (or vegetables) of your labor!

Clean up, reorganize, rearrange. A radio announcer noted the other morning that January is, among other things, “Get Organized Month.” Really, it is. I Googled the official month’s name and an organization called the National Association of Productivity & Organizing Professionals (NAPO, www.napo.net) popped up at the top of the list. Yes, the group is promoting the month.

What better time to clean out the clutter and make some changes about the house than right after Christmas? As you put away the holiday decorations and Christmas gifts, take stock in what to throw away and keep. You just might feel a little lighter without all of the stuff that you accumulated over the past year (or years). The time spent organizing might even drum up some memories. Do the task with family members and it could become a nice bonding experience.

Read. Who doesn’t love a good book? Curl up with a cup of hot chocolate or coffee and enjoy the thoughts, words and adventures found between the bindings of a hardcover or paperback or on the screen of a Kindle. My daughter has already plowed through one of four books she found under the tree Christmas morning. She’s already started on a second book, and I’m sure she’ll be through the four by spring.

Visit indoor attractions. Take a look at your state’s or county’s visitors bureau website and look up places to go to escape the cold and have fun. Among the places to go within driving distance for the day, take a trip to Hershey and visit the new and improved Chocolate World (it’s free), then go shopping at the adjoining Tanger Outlet stores. The Works in Reading features go-kart racing for children and adults, a huge arcade and a trampoline/bounce area (fees apply for all activities). Like to color and create? Venture to Easton and visit The Crayola Experience, formerly known as The Crayola Factory. You can find lots of activities for young and old on the facility’s four floors.

According to weather forecasts, a “heat wave” taking Schuylkill and surrounding counties up to 41 degrees won’t happen until at least next Tuesday. Until then, bundle up when outdoors and have fun when cooped up indoors from the bone-chilling cold!

If you would like to share your ideas, feel free to do so in the blog’s comment section. Stay warm!