As you've probably heard, it's going to get real cold across a huge swath of the country — brace yourself, Midwest and Northeast —later this week. Forecasters don’t anticipate it will be quite as arctic in nature as the polar vortex that we experienced earlier this month — like all sequels, this bout of frigid weather won’t be as memorable as its record-breaking predecessor — but with temps dropping down into dangerous single digit territory, it’s enough to severely cut short your time spent outdoors. So enjoy that leisurely post-dinner constitutional around the neighborhood while you can. It’s time to, yet again, don your best house hoodie and hunker down for a spell.

That being said, weather-related confinement isn’t always easy. A couple of days being near-housebound and you may find yourself pacing, panicking, twidling your thumbs, arguing with yourself in the mirror, or watching reruns of “Magnum PI” on Netflix. Perhaps you’ll use the frigid weather as an opportunity to be more productive around the house — you’ll tackle that pile of bills, clean out the pantry, pen a long-overdue letter to your granny. Hopefully, you’ll also find the time to have some fun.

Below, I’ve rounded up a dozen DIY diversions and distractions to help keep restless minds sharp and your idle hands busy on days when the weather is too polar vortex-ish to venture outside — maker-minded stuff, much of handmade itself, that’s geared to help you merrily pass the time with our without company. Here’s hoping that you do have some company because, after all, Cat Bingo and Cocktail Dice just aren’t the same when you’re stuck inside by your lonesome.

Do you plan on picking up a new hobby, craft project, or make-centric activity when or if you're stuck at home this winter?

Shut Your Piehole Cross Stitch Kit @ Subversive Cross Stich (Basic kit: $14 Deluxe kit: $20)

Cast Planter Kit @ Twine ($14)

Indoor Snowball Fight @ Terrain ($28)

Flag Dominoes by Fredericks @ Mae @ Poketo ($100)

United States Chalkboard Map @ Terrain ($168)

Make an Arrow Kit @ ReForm School ($17)

"Knitting With Dog Hair: Better A Sweater From A Dog You Know and Love Than From A Sheep You'll Never Meet" by Kendall Crolius and Anne Montgomery @ ($29)

The PotMaker @ Lehman's ($14.95)

Cat Bingo @ ($14.30)

AquaFarm at Home Aquaponic Kit by Back to the Roots @ Abe's Market ($59.99)

Cocktail Dice @ Leafcutter Designs ($15.75)

Rizzo's Original Fortune Teller by Red Horseshoe @ Cog & Pearl ($12)

Related stories on MNN:

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

A dozen DIY diversions to get you through polar vortex 2.0
There's another cold front due to wrap the country in a frigid embrace this week. A perfect opportunity for crafting and Cat Bingo if there ever was one!