How can we occupy our kids when they are stuck inside? During the winter months, there’s no avoiding spending much more time indoors. It’s tempting to allow the kids to while away the time on devices or playing on their Xbox. But there are ways of keeping your kids off their screens and still having fun, even within the four walls of your own home. Check out our ideas for indoor fun and games for families.
Make a Cardboard Town
Get hold of a giant cardboard box or add lots of small ones together to make a town using large felt tips or paint. Let their imaginations run riot, and they can add cars and wooden/plastic people to make it more realistic.
Set Up an Indoor Treasure Hunt
Write some cryptic clues and hide a treasure trail of items for them to find. They may want to design one for you to do too!
Batten down the hatches, get the aprons out and be prepared for a tsunami of a mess in your kitchen. This activity is satisfyingly messy and great fun. Get your children to research how to make the best slime or play-doh on YouTube (it’s for educational purposes after all).
If you aren’t keen on the slime idea, get the kids to cook you a meal instead. This is satisfying for them but also a treat for you (hopefully!). Suggest they plan a three-course meal for dinner. Get them to design a menu and research how to make the dishes online or refer to some recipe books. I think getting them to look in the fridge and come up with some dishes with ingredients you already have teaches them a great a life skill too. A pasta sauce or an apple crumble are tasty, rewarding but simple dishes to make. If you have smaller children baking something simple like fairy cakes or biscuits would obviously be more appropriate.
Teach the kids the card games you used to play as a child. If you can’t get them interested in Patience or Gin Rummy, look up some cool card tricks for them to learn and show their friends.
Make Special Cards
Get out the art supplies and card and make some Christmas and birthday cards. Why don’t you get creative with Origami? My kids love making butterflies and birds and sticking them onto cards.
Have a Kitchen Disco
My favourite thing to do on a rainy day is to have a party in the kitchen. Choose the most appropriate room in your house and sort a great playlist of music that will get the whole family moving. Have a ‘dance off’ with your kids.
Make a Magazine
Set up a news desk in the house and decide what the magazine is going to be about. Think up a great name and get someone in the “team” to design the front cover. Send out some roving reporters to write some news stories and create some fun features. The whole family can get involved!
Set up a Racing Track
Use masking tape to create a huge car-racing track around the house or living room, create a second track alongside it and get the toy cars out and race away!
You could make an indoor obstacle course or try hula hooping or skipping in the living room. To make it more interesting, do some timed challenges. You could also create indoor hopscotch with masking tape.
Try Balloon Ping Pong or Table Tennis
Blow up some balloons and use some table tennis bats or make your own with some sticks and paper plates. Alternatively, if you have a table tennis set, drag out the dining table, set up the net and hold a tournament. Hours of fun!
This feature appeared in Families Magazine and was written by Claire Winter. firstname.lastname@example.org https://clairewinter.info/