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Cozy Hideouts for Stormy Days

With the hurricane upon us this week, many of our normal outdoor activities have had to be postponed. While storms are serious and can be scary for little ones, it’s important to support their emotional wellness by offering safe ways to continue their play indoors.

One of our favorite ways to play inside and to feel safe during a storm is to create a cozy hideout, just like many animals we know and love! Creating a hideout inside with your explorer is a great way to boost feelings of safety, contentment, and joy. Connecting the hideout with animal homes also supports your kiddo’s empathy development and creativity. Check below for more about this play invitation for a stormy day and what your child is learning when they engage in hideout play.

Play Invitation

How can we make a cozy space in our home?


What animals do we know of that create cozy spaces?

What does a blue bird use to make its nest?

How does a mole make its burrow?

You can ask about any animals that your child has knowledge of and look at photos of their nests or burrows.

Some animals that we came up with that make cozy spaces:

  • Hedgehog

  • Red Fox

  • Rabbit

  • Mole

  • Squirrel

  • Blue Bird

  • Owl

  • Mouse

If your explorers are interested in writing and other tool based fine motor play, you can print out these animals for name writing, cutting out, or even creating smaller cozy hideouts for!

Let’s Play!

Do you think we could make a cozy space for our own bodies?

What do you think we could use?

What in our home helps you feel safe and warm and dry?

Once the cozy hideout is made, brainstorm with your explorer what they want to do in their space today. Do they want to include their animals in their hideout? Would they like to eat, read, or watch a movie there? The possibilities are endless!

What are we learning?

  • Thinking about the needs and actions of other creatures supports kids in developing empathy and in becoming animal allies.

  • Gathering and arranging objects, then crawling into the cozy space or putting a stuffy into the space activates several behavior schema such as transporting and enclosing. Behavioral schema are universal patterns of play that children all around the world participate in naturally. These patterns help to build their body and brain and form thinking processes.

  • Creating a cozy space can also invite problem solving and support the ability to persist through challenges.

  • Using objects from around that house that might normally serve a different purpose is a great way to invite imaginative play and develop creativity.

  • Having a quiet, cozy space to go to when afraid or stressed is a great way to help children learn emotional regulation.

Companion Book

The Mitten by Jan Brett offers a sweet and slightly silly chance to see animals thinking with creativity and imagination as they make a warm space together in the winter!


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