How To Keep Kids Occupied Indoors
Sometimes there’s no choice but to stay indoors but for children who are bursting with energy it can be boring and even frustrating. If your children are finding it hard to keep themselves amused, here are the best ways to give them something to do.
Baking is always fun, and children get a sense of achievement from making something they can enjoy eating. Cookies and muffins are relatively child friendly. There’s not too much that can go wrong. Not that details like that matter much to them. Most children enjoy everything to do with baking, from greasing the baking tray to getting hands on and mixing the dough.
2. Create A Scavenger Hunt
Who doesn’t enjoy a good scavenger hunt? The children will be on it from the clue. Add the incentive of a prize at the end and you onto a winner. There is a little preparation involved but if you plan it out carefully it could keep them busy for hours. It’s a great chance to practice those higher reasoning skills like logic and reasoning.
3. Play A Board Game
When you are stuck inside playing a board game is almost traditional. It is not just fun but great family time. There are so many board games that can help sharpen their brains scrabble, chess, and monopoly are just a few. There is a huge variety of educational board games around that are designed to develop a wide range of skills from multiplication to descriptive writing.
4. Complete A Puzzle
Puzzles have always been a free time favorite, regardless of age. These days, there are many kinds available especially if your children can handle the challenges above the more traditional jigsaws. How about catching some downtime as you set them to work on a 3D model of the Statue of Liberty?
5. Become An Author
Once young writers discover the joys of story writing, there’s often no stopping them especially if they can write it, illustrate it and turn it into a real book. All it takes is folding or stapling a few sheets of paper together. There is a healthy collection of folding booklet designs available on the internet, including easy to follow instructions for making clever popup books.
6. Break Out The Construction Kits
We all know and love lego, duplo and stickle bricks but there are many other kinds of construction kits that will keep an imaginative child busy. Some are quite technical and focus on geometric design concepts developing spatial awareness or the more scientific associated with mechanical engineering. Whether you choose one that links to itself or uses nuts and bolts or magnets, because they can require manual dexterity, it’s best to choose a kit that is age-appropriate.
7. Play Cards
Most homes have a deck of cards tucked away somewhere and there are many card games suitable for children. Start with Crazy Eights or Concentration, which is a great game for younger children, or introduce older children to 21, Rummy or Poker. There are packs based on UNO, Pokémon or Top Trumps that are easy to find and pocket money friendly. Not only is playing a game of cards a great way to pass the time, but it’s also a great way to work on developing logic and reasoning, numerical memory and practicing mental math strategies.
8. Look At Old Photos
Spend time sorting through your old photos together. Many curious children love seeing pictures of people and events from the past. It’s fun helping them remember and will embed their early memories that could otherwise be lost forever. It is also an opportunity to introduce them to their ancestors and talk about your family history.
9. Create An Indoor Obstacle Course
Put the breakables away, clear some space and transform the living room into an American Ninja Warrior course or go all out and give them pillows, cushions and pegs and blankets to build their own fort. It’s outdoor adventure indoors that will keep the children active and stimulate their imaginations and role playing creativity.
10. A Spoonful Of Sugar…
Mary Poppins had this covered. It’s a lot more fun tidying up if you can make a game of it. There are ways to make it more interesting such as having to put on all the clothes they pick up. Give each child their own task and set the timer. There will have to be prizes for each at the end, of course, just to keep them all going. It’s an activity that will teach them how to take care of their personal space and belongings, and along with building that sense of responsibility will come a sense of pride in having done a good job.
11. Set Up A Spa Day
Get everyone into cozy pajamas and dressing gowns ready for a day at the spa. Have the children help prepare soothing cucumber slices for their eyes and an avocado or natural yoghurt and honey facial mask. Move onto mani and pedicures using lotions and creams made from natural ingredients. Stick with the healthy theme by serving fruit kebabs and smoothies then sit back and relax.
12. Write Letters
With the invention of phones and the internet, we could be losing the art of sending handwritten letters. Time indoors is the ideal time to practice and work on their handwriting and recounting their news. This will definitely make you and the children feel good, especially when there’s a letter back from a loved one to forward to.
13. Watch Old Movies
Old movies are not just movies but a way to relive childhood. The classics never get old. Start movie night by making popcorn the old fashioned way. Then settle down under a duvet with the curtains closed to enjoy an old favorite like the Lion King, Tarzan, Dumbo or Aladdin.
14. Cookies And Chat
Turn snack time into a special social occasion by getting the good crockery out and laying the table. Have conversation prompts written out ready and put them in a lucky dip box and help the children work on their speaking and listening skills. The topics to talk about can be anything, from what made you laugh last week to what do you think about some current event.
Although it is tempting to rely on the TV and internet to entertain the children, they always get far more out of real world play and meaningful interactions with an adult. For sure, there might be some noise and mess along the way and, at times, you will feel exhausted. For all to enjoy being together indoors, you have to let all that sort of thing go by the by. Spending time with your children shouldn’t fill you with dread. Their childhood is too short for that. But if you have just a few things to keep them occupied and show you are really interested in what they do, the time you spend indoors with your children now will be a time you’ll look back on with joy.