I’m all for getting out in the open as much as possible with the children. Fresh air and sunshine is medicine and solves all your problems, however living in the UK, sometimes you get stuck inside. Whether it’s due to bad weather, an unexpected school closure, or some other reason, being stuck indoors can make your kids get cabin fever quickly, especially if you’re not prepared. That’s why it’s always good to have a stash of indoor activities for kids, up your sleeve. You can always turn to arts and crafts, DIY projects cooking or baking. Their favourite puzzles and games, a good book, a movie or a TV show. But here’s some more quirky ideas for you to try.
Time to bring out all the markers, glue, paint, paper and whatever other odds and ends you have around the house and let the kids go to town.
Break out the Board Games
It’s the oldest idea in the book, but if you really want some screen-free family time, old-fashioned board games still do the trick. Get your competitive spirit up and get ready to play. Jigsaw puzzles are great as well because everyone can do them on their own schedules — just leave one out on the table, and the family can float by and try to fit in a few new pieces whenever they have a few minutes to spare. Plus, studies show that puzzles improve collaboration and cooperation skills.
Bake & Decorate
Indoor days are the perfect time to try and get creative in the kitchen. Whip up some kind of make-your-own dessert bar by putting out toppings that kids can add to either a bun or ice cream. You could also involve everyone in dinner-making by setting out pizza dough for each family member with lots of different toppings on offer.
Bring the Outdoors In
Forts made from blankets and pillows or pop-up tents, you can create a camping experience without having to deal with the outside. Don’t forget to make s’mores and tell ghost stories around a (pretend) fire.
You can do lots of different science experiments at home with very little prep and set-up, often with items you can just grab from around the house. For example, if you sit a “cloud” of shaving cream on top of a jar of water, then add drops of blue water one-at-a-time, when the “cloud” becomes saturated, you get blue rain — teaching the water cycle, in a jar.
It’s easy to rig up an indoor finding game. You could come up with a scavenger style list of items your child has to find all over the house, or put together a series of clues that lead to one big prize at the end.
We think of reading as a solitary pursuit, but the truth is some kids never get too old to find pleasure in being read to. If you don’t have the time to read out loud, let someone else do it for you with a great audiobook.
Write a Letter
The art of letter-writing is a dying one, but you can keep it going a little longer by encouraging your kids to send a message to a loved one. (Little ones can do postcards or draw in a greeting card.) They might even get the thrill of receiving something back!
Karaoke & Dance Party
It doesn’t matter if you have an official karaoke machine or not. All that matters is you can hit the high notes when it counts. Even better the other siblings can create a dance routine for backup dancers or singers too!
My go to is a simple sensory bin, every time! Fill a bin with rice and other treasures, plus a few toys, and you have yourself an instant hit with the little ones. Kids can scoop and pour the rice or dig through to find the prizes you’ve hidden.
Movies, I-Pad and TV are my last resort. But if we are stuck indoors for an extended period of time, at some point I’m going to give in. But rather than just watching anything, I try to give them an app tailor-made for their age in the hopes that they might learn something.
There are lots of fun, hands-on learning activities that secretly give kids extra practice in reading, math, etc. I always have workbooks kicking around for the boys to use when the dreaded ‘I’m bored’ comes out!
Much love Rebecca