As a parent, it’s your job to keep your children entertained. That can be doubly difficult when the weather isn’t cooperating and you’re stuck indoors. Fortunately, there are plenty of activities you can do around the house with your kids that will keep them happy, engaged, and (best of all) out of your hair for a little while! Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
1. Get Moving:
Just because you’re stuck indoors doesn’t mean you can’t burn off some energy! Put on some music and have a dance party, or set up an obstacle course using pillows, blankets, and chairs. If you have a trampoline, take it inside — when it’s cold, it’s the perfect time to get bouncing! You can incorporate all of these into one large obstacle house throughout the home. With such a tiring activity, you can expect your kids to settle down for a nap in the afternoon, too.
2. Cook Up Some Fun:
Kids love helping out in the kitchen, so why not put them to work for snacktime or a meal? You can grab some recipes from Custom Bake House for some easy-to-make, delicious pumpkin pancakes or some blueberry cobbler. Their quick No-Bake Energy Balls take only 30 minutes to make, too — they just require you to mix a pack of no-bake-bar mix, some peanut butter, and honey. If you’re feeling really adventurous, you can even try making a dish from another culture, such as chicken fried rice. It has a lot more ingredients and will require some cooking in a pan or skillet, but you can handle that easily.
Cooking is a great way to sneak in some math and science learning, too! Teach them about numbers and measurements to give them a head start over their peers. Show them how different quantities of ingredients interact with one another — for example, show them how changing the amount of flour in a pasta recipe can pasta too dry to form or too watery to knead. You can also teach them about how heat affects different materials and chemicals.
3. Arts & Crafts:
Whip out the construction paper, glue sticks, and markers, and let your kids’ imaginations run wild. You can even turn it into a contest and see who can make the best sculpture/painting/collage. If they’re having trouble with their project, always give them ideas what to do, but try not to take over their project. You can do it alongside them so that they can feel that you’re doing it with them. Examples of fun arts & crafts projects are papier mache, origami, and even Gundam hobby kits. Make sure that the tools and craft projects you start are appropriate to your kids’ age, too — a three-year old kid will definitely struggle trying to assemble a miniature robot.
4. Go on an Indoor Scavenger Hunt:
Hide small items around the house and give your children clues to help them find them. This is a great activity for building problem-solving skills as well as developing a keen eye for detail. Incorporate puzzles into the hunt to encourage your kids to think, and try to give them some creative freedom to deal with problems — after all, there may be multiple solutions to a problem.
To set up a scavenger hunt, prepare a list of items you want them to look for. Incorporating a story or a theme into your items and hiding places, such as pirate treasure or cave-diving, makes the game more interesting. For example, you would expect pirate treasure to be somewhere with water; indoors, this can be your bathtub or a sink. Mix up the way things are hidden to make it challenging, but leave clues so that they can still find them. Think of a way to give them hints without giving away the hiding spots. Remember to adjust the difficulty for the age of your children, too!
5. Tell Stories:
Sometimes the simplest activities are the most fun. Get cozy with some blankets and pillows and spend an afternoon sharing stories with your kids. You can make up tales from scratch or read from their favorite books. This is a great way to introduce them to two different hobbies: reading books, or playing tabletop role-playing games, such as “Dungeons and Dragons.” Give them options about what kind of stories you want to head, and once you know what kind of stories they like, you can look up popular novels or storybooks online. This activity is perfect because it stimulates their mind and lets them bond with you. It’s also a great way to teach them moral lessons and good values.
There’s no need to let bad weather ruin your fun! With a little creativity, you can turn any ordinary day into an adventure. The next time your kids are bored, try one of these indoor activities and see how long it takes before they’re asking what’s next on the agenda.