Now that winter has really set in, there are many of us longing for new activities to keep ourselves and our kids busy. There are many options as long as you are willing to participate yourselves. I will list 10 options that I believe will have you and your kids, laughing, leaning and having lots of fun!
1. Build a fort. Take some chairs, bed sheets and lots of stuffed animals. Place the chairs in a formation and stretch the bed sheet over them, using tape to build the fort. The kids will love going in and out and playing house in this new fort. You can even pretend you have a princess and prince, a moat, a king and queen and oh so much more. Just let your imagination lead you and you will have hours of entertainment.
2. Color, Color, Color! Get out the paper and the crayons. You can color banners and tape them on the wall, color pictures for a loved one and send it to them in the mail, color your favorite pictures from a coloring book, or just draw a fun family photo! You can be really creative these days and print off pictures from your kids favorite websites so they can color their favorite TV show characters. They’ll have lots of fun pretending they are in the shows with their friends as they color. You can also take coloring way beyond crayons. Markers, colored pencils, and paints are also great options. Finger paints are lots of fun for little ones who can’t quite draw yet. You can get a big piece of poster paper and put it down on the floor and let the kids go crazy. One fun idea is to use chocolate pudding for finger paints! The kids will love eating as the color.
3. Play-doh, or any sculpture material. There are so many fun things to do with molding clay. At almost any toy store you can find an aisle filled with molds, and other sculpting tools. You can create food, dress dolls, make ornaments, valentines, Easter eggs, just about anything you can imagine. For permanent fun mix up a batch of salt dough, and bake the creations for 8-10 hours at 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Salt dough is very simple to make, mix one cup of salt, one cup of flour and about half a cup of water. You may need to add more water, or flour to create the correct consistency. You can mold the dough into just about anything and easily dye it with food coloring. After you create the figure you can paint it and preserve it with a polyurethane.
4. Reading. This is the most classic time passer in my opinion. Books take our minds to places far, far away, and develop a growing imagination in children. As you read, point out interesting pictures and make the story line come to life in the life off your child. Roll playing is a great learning activity and insures your child will dream about all they can do with their life!
5. Rearrange the kid’s room. This is an activity that is sure to bring about some excitement. Many kids have had their bed, dresser and toy box placed by their mother or father. Allowing your child to move each fixture to a new place creates a sense of self-worth and great excitement! The child will have so much fun in their “new” room, exploring new cubby-holes and new places to play. Even the bed will feel like a new place to them. If your child is older, they will have fun rearranging pictures, and organizing all their belongings.
6. Get out the pots and pans for some musical fun! This is also a classic. Every child longs to play with mom’s pots and pans. Grab some wooden spoons, turn on the radio, and the beat is on!
7. Video making. Now that most people have a digital camera, kids love to see themselves on camera. Make the activity even more fun by recording a video of the child and playing it back for them to see. Sing songs, do a dance, repeat the ABC’s, or anything else that your child love to do. Tape yourself reading a story and the child will love to watch you on the TV. Not much is more exciting than seeing someone you know on TV!
8. Scavenger Hunting. This is one activity that you can make extremely easy, or set it up for a day long adventure! You can simply ask your child to find some simple every day items and bring them to you. Once they have found 5, 10, or 20 items, they have completed the hunt and they win the prize. To make it a bit more difficult, draw a map, or draw pictures of the items you would like them to find. You could even draw up some clues and they have to guess the item they need to find. You can always make this activity new and exciting by changing up the items the kid’s need to find, different prizes, etc.
9. Bath fun. Almost every kid loves to take a bath. Maybe mom and dad have a special, large bathtub in their bathroom that the kids love to splash around it. They can feel like they are swimming, playing at the beach, or at Grandma and Grandpa’s lake cabin!
10. Dress Up. I think most kids love to put on their parent’s clothes! Shoes, dresses, sweaters, jewelry, and hats create lots of fun. Picture taking will complete the activity and leave you with many fun memories. You can also find many princess costumes, and to make extra fun, shop the after Halloween sales for the upcoming years dress up clothes.
So next time you are feeling cooped up with your kids inside the house, take out this list and try some of these ideas. Kids of all ages will find many of these activities fun, and I think you as the parent will too!