Holidays are in full swing and as much as we are looking forward to a few weeks at home with our little rugrats and not having to keep to a schedule and wake up at the sparrows fart every morning, we might also feel a little nervous as we approach the long stretch at home. It’s a long holiday, so don’t beat yourself up if you feel threatened by the amount of time you’re going to have to watch over your little ones, ensuring they keep stimulated and have a good amount of fun.
I’m sure many of you are going away for a part of the holidays, which is always great for connecting together and having some time outside of your normal everyday surroundings. But for many, life continues as usual and kids are needing to be entertained for at least a couple of hours in a day when free-play seems to have been exhausted or when the weather simply won’t allow it.
So here are a few tried and tested activities that have become firm favorites in our household. We have had to think creatively as we have had to take into consideration the different capability levels fo three kids between the ages of 2 and 8 years. And most of these activities are great for littlies even if they have to be adapted or simplified.
Here are our top 10 indoor activities, perfect for a rainy day:
- Decorate a box. We get a LOT of deliveries and there are always empty boxes waiting at the back door to be thrown out/recycled. I noticed how my children would always go get them and ask, “Mom are you using this? Can I make something out of it? And I was SO surprised at the things they would create from something so simple. At first, they would simply draw on it and use each side of the box for different pictures, then they began to use other elements like foils, cotton wool, sticks, sand, and even sweet wrappers. Hunter loved watching the boys do it that she caught on too, only with her I simply put her inside the box with her crayons to keep it more contained 🙂 Do one trip to your local toy/craft shop and get everything from cardboard, crayons, glitter, stickers, etc… Or though its really so easy to make it a cost-effective exercise and use whatever you have lying around at home.
- Practice your drawing skills by mastering some YouTube drawing tutorials. I started doing this with my older kids a few years ago and recently they have become obsessed with it again. So obsessed in fact, that for whole 48 hours they barely do anything else! (*GASP!) We love this guy who does the drawings with his son (or nephew I’m not too sure!) as he’s super chilled and encouraging and pushes them to try and do it themselves. It’s always such an awesome thing to witness them achieve what they think is impossible. And of course, it’s so good for their fine motor and creative skills. We are hooked! (Obviously Hunter is too small to do the tutorials but she still gets in the action with her own drawing book and wax crayons. :)) Or we simply schedule it for when she’s enjoying a nice long nap!
- Make an EPIC fort. Okay, when I say “fort” I don’t mean using every blanket and chair in the entire house. Although if you’re into that, then be my guest. For the last few years, I’ve made them EPIC forts which basically just entails using our big dining room table as the main structure and hanging blankets down the sides or a big sheet draped right over. It’s so effective and big enough for all three of them, PUS half their toys. Get some torches, books, snacks and even a movie on the Ipad, and they will be happy for hours.
- Create an indoor treasure hunt on a rainy day. It might be a good idea to think of what new games they may need/benefit from and then use this in the treasure hunt. Perhaps each child has two big treasures and the rest could be smaller items like stickers, coloring in pencils, small packets of sweets/fruit, gimmicky toys (bouncy balls, spinning tops, marbles, bubbles etc…) and hide them all over the house. If you have more than one child or your child has a friend over, mark each item with 1,2,3 …. so that it’s fair and each child scavengers for their own gifts. The things they find on the hunt can be enjoyed for many hours after.
- Put together a 2000-5000 piece puzzle on the dining room table. This could happen in stages over the whole holiday, but it’s super fun to fill in those little pockets of time where boredom seems to creep in. Get the whole family involved for an hour or so after supper and watch your beautiful picture take shape little by little. If you’ve done a 2000 piece, challenge your family to a 3000 piece. If you’re anything like our family, you take your challenges very seriously!!!
- Put a kid’s workout/dance sequence video on in the lounge and get them to master the moves. It’s such a great way to get them moving and learning rhythm and different dance styles. We usually put on music in our house and go crazy dancing but Noah and Brody LOVE copying dance sequences and learning new dance moves from the pros. And Hunter isn’t far behind them. 🙂 I know this one will be a real hit with young girls, especially those between the ages of 4 and 12 years.
- Bake a big batch of holiday cookies/fudge/brownies/muffins and either gift them or sell them around the neighborhood/to close friends. Knocking on neighbors doors with bright cheery faces and the offering of delicious homemade goods is bound to put a smile on a few people’s faces. I plan on baking some banana muffins with the boys and wrapping them up with ribbon before we head out door to door. If they do sell the goods, give them a lesson on costing and make sure they work out their profits to understand how hard work pays off!
- Make a Christmas bed in the lounge and watch movies all day. Is there anything more fun than a movie marathon with all your favorite movies? Get the popcorn (or homemade treats) and snuggle up under the covers for a day-time movie extravaganza. Let them each choose their favorite and settle in for a good old snuggle fest. (or carry on with your work/admin while they enjoy!)
- Have a games night/day with some close friends. Get out the Actionary, Pictionary, Scrabble, Monopoly, twister and every board game in the cupboard. Get some healthy snacks and treats and take each other head-on in a serious games session. Obviously, the younger kids will need some assistance, but you’ll be surprised how quickly they catch on.
- Put on a world-class show. This is so fun and the kids just can’t get enough knowing it’s their time to shine. Tell them to spend 15-30 minutes practicing a few skits, songs, dances (maybe their new dance sequence!) and then have them put on a show for the adults. This is great when you have friends and family over for lunch or dinner, but they simply love practicing their acts no matter the audience. Get them to set up a stage, seating area, props, etc… and watch them shine!
And there you have it, don’t forget to let me know if you try any of them and also, if you have any tried and tested favorites of your own. 🙂