9 ways to burn kids' energy indoors (without breaking the house in half)

Jessica Ashley, Senior Editor

Growing up in Chicago in the era of "go play outside and don't come back in until your extremities are numb", I'm not sure my mother ever worried about what to do with kids trapped indoors. But a lot has changed in just one generation. Many of us have tiny yards or aren't comfortable letting our kids roam all over the city (or even neighborhood). We deal with squirmy children in the summer months by taking them to park district pools, leading them on leisurely bike rides, or organizing block-long hopscotch tournaments.

But how in the world can we help our kids burn energy when we're all stuck inside during the bitter cold, snowy, slushy, gray and dreary winter months?

Oh yeah, and how do we do it without going insane, begging iCarly to babysit, or breaking the house in half? It might actually be simpler (and cheaper) than you think. With a little creativity (from the part of the brain not still frostbitten from the early '80s) and maybe even a purchase or two, you can turn your house into a fun, de-couch-potatoed place to be on snow days, weekends, and cold-weather lock-downs.

Here are 9 ways to amp up...just enough.