Have Fun Indoors!
It’s raining again! Don’t despair! Here are some creative ideas to help you have some fun with your children indoors.
Rainy Day Art Materials Box
Be prepared in advance for winter or a wet day by making up a rainy day box. This could include the following types of art materials: Crayons, felts, coloured pencils, colouring books, scissors, cello tape and glue, paints and paint brushes, stencils, old magazines and greeting cards, glitter, Easter egg tinfoil, an ink pad, stamps, pens, empty toilet rolls, glitter, chalk, cardboard, and paper. A drop cloth or old newspapers can also be kept with the box. Add to the box regularly with new supplies, even junk mail that can be cut up.
Those Old Toys
Toys that are put away, or stored up high for safe keeping and not used much, can be brought out at a time like this when you are stuck indoors.
Build An Indoor Play House
This is usually a favourite activity with most children, and doesn’t require much work. Simply throw an old rug or bed sheet over a couple of chairs or a table and you have an instant house. By adding a few accessories like a cardboard box as a TV your children will probably play for ages.
Burn Up Some Of That Energy
Put on a video or cassette tape with some upbeat music and dance until you’re all exhausted. This is a good activity just before an afternoon nap with a slow warm down, settle down period, followed by a snack and drink.
Take A Long Bath
Fill up the bath; throw in some bubbles and lots of plastic toys. You can jump in yourself if you dare. You’ll all get really clean and have lots of fun at the same time. The best kinds of bath toys are things that you would find when you unpack the grocery shopping i.e. plastic scoops and jars, funnels made by cutting up a milk bottle or soft drink bottle etc. Adding some food colouring to the bath is also exciting for little children. You could show how colours are made by putting a couple of drops of red food colouring at one end of the bath, and a couple of drops of blue at the other end. Put your children in and let them swish the water around to make purple.
Play n’ Work
Since children love to imitate adults and get involved in what they are doing, get out your feather duster, floor mop and bucket, a soft broom, vacuum cleaner and an old rag and set to cleaning. Give your child a job that is age appropriate to them, and you will find you are able to get your housework done and entertain at the same time. You could put on some music and move around as you work and make it look like fun.
Hot n’ Cold
Children usually love to find hidden treasure. For young children that can’t read clues on paper yet, play the hot n’ cold version. Hide something, even morning tea, and then as your child walks around the room, say, "hot, warm or cold" depending on how close they are to the hidden object.
Be Brave, Go Out
Wrap everybody up warmly, and head out somewhere undercover like a friend’s house, the local library to read books and do puzzles together, a restaurant with an undercover playground, or a relative’s house. Another alternative is to invite a friend and her children over to play. "The more the merrier" as they say.
The Plastics Box
Every house with children should have one of these. It’s a medium sized box filled with clean, empty and safe plastic things to play with such as wet wipes containers, plastic formula scoops, spoons, cups, film canisters, face cream jars, lids from hairspray and shaving foam cans, peanut butter jars, straws, plastic bottles etc. Add to this box regularly as you’ll find whenever the box comes out, the new object in there is the first to be spotted and played with. This box is also useful to look in when you need a jar to catch a bug in or for another reason that may crop up. Never add anything to the box that once contained poisonous chemicals like bleach bottles.
Have a Baking Session
Pull out your easy recipes and get your young ones assisting you. They can pour in the ingredients or stir the mix, and of course, they will love to help you eat the goodies that you have made together.
If all this fails to keep away the boredom, just before you scream and pull out your hair, suggest a nice game of hide and seek - they hide and you pretend you can’t find them for a while.
Howick, New Zealand