I remember it all too well as a kid. I remember the feeling of pure frustration and despair when the clouds would roll in and the heavens open up. And we would wait at the window willing the rain to stop, just long enough for a game of â€˜skop die blik’ or a bike ride to the top of the road. I remember the moment I would crack when it all became too unbearable being inside, where I would find my mom who was in the middle of housework or cooking dinner and exclaim in horror I’m bored!!! There’s nothing to do:. What can I do mom?????
My four-year old has only just become acquainted with this problem and although he is pretty good at just getting on with life indoors, he reaches a point these days where he goes a little nutty. At least once during the day now he will come to me, shoulders slump, all dramatic and say Mom what can I do??? I’m bored. What can I do??? And then he usually mistakes the boredom for hunger and proceeds to tell me:. â€˜I’m tired. I’m hungry. I’m bored. These three little words are ones i am starting to dread every late afternoon when the wheels start to come off. Add to that the fact that I have an obsessive need to control these lingering runny noses, means I am often defeated and we are forced to stay in doors for longer periods at a time.
So we have had to start getting a little more creative! I’ve tried to take a trip down memory lane and think back to my most amazing childhood memories living in a city (Jozi) where afternoon thunderstorms are as common as a granadilla lolly on Camps Bay beach. Here are a few ideas to get you moms rolling. Some are tried and tested and some I simply cannot wait to try out with my own kids!
1.Camp indoors!!!! If you are in it for the real and proper, authentic camping experience, please by all means put up a proper tent in your living area/playroom! For those with less space and a stronger need for simplicity, roll out the sleeping bags, fire up the lanterns, replace the torches with new batteries and turn out the lights!!! Eat hotdogs/braai meat for dinner and hot chocolate with marshmallows for desert. Read all their favorite books (using only your torch of course) and sing camping songs! A Must when a friend/cousin comes for the night!!
2.Bake and create: One thing I have not done enough of is bake! Which is so sad because my son simply adores it!! Find an easy sugar cookie recipe and spend the afternoon baking and icing cookies. One thing I HAVE become quite good at is watching the occasional episode of Mister maker with my son and its amazing the easy yet impressive crafty activities they show you. Most of them with stuff you have lying around. Better yet, look up a few activities and the next time you are out buy supplies for all of them. Create something everyday.
3. An indoor treasure hunt: I can’t wait to try this. After an Easter with countless Easter egg hunts, it became clear the novelty of finding a surprise would never be lost. You can write little clues and put them in envelopes with clues to the next one. Ideas for treasures? The crazy store /R5 store offer cheap little prizes and gifts like bubbles, stickers, marbles, puzzles, books, coloring in books, paints, bubble bath etc:: and the best part? Their treasures can all be enjoyed together when the treasure hunt is over. Hopefully these things will entertain them for another hour or two.
4. Do a huge puzzle!! My son loves puzzles thanks to my moms’ encouragement and he is always asking to do his over and over again. The same ones: over and over again!!! I remember my mom used to put ours on a tray (I think my Gran did too with her) and we would take a few days to make one big one, usually on our family holidays. 4 years may be a young age to start but I think he would really enjoy the detail and time it takes to do a bigger more complicated one as a family. It’s worth a try! The tricky part is avoiding the younger siblings getting their sticky little fingers all over your masterpiece. If you have a baby in the picture too, this could be something one parent gets stuck into or when baby is sleeping. The nice thing about putting it on a tray is that you can pop it on a shelf or high out of reach at intervals.
5.Dress up and play pretend. This is such a great way to get their imaginations going. Moms with girls, pull out all your costume jewelry, accessories, hats and scarf’s. Paint nails and create a fancy hairstyle. If they have a friend over and they are old enough, all you need to do is set it up and they can get on with it alone. They can even put on a play or dance routine. Boys can use dads hats, bandanas, shoes, waistcoats etc Set up a make shift theatre in the lounge and watch the performance!! The last time we did something similar I recorded it on my iphone and my kids love watching the video over and over again.
6.Catalog all your favorite digital photos and head to the printers! My son is at an age where he loves not only taking pictures with my phone, but also looking through pictures over and over again! Sit together and go through all your latest pictures or arrange them in different categories. Select some of your favorites and get them printed when you are out for a milkshake and either put an album together or make a collage with the photos together. Better yet, fill those frames that have been lying empty for the last year.
7. Make your own play dough!! I have been making the most gorgeous dough the last few times using jelly. It gives the dough such a delicious smell and the best part is having all those gorgeous bright colors to choose from. Follow this link for the best recipe!!
8. Put a record on: I wanna dance with my baby! We are pretty crazy about music in our house, With a husband who deejays, we have turntables in our lounge where we enjoy rocking out to records on a saturday morning. In the winter, this becomes even more frequent and the boys love it. And with the added bonus of them burning off some energy, it’s a great one for when they are starting to hit a wall.
9. This is a great activity for any age and will keep them busy for hours! Whats even better is that the mess is wonderfully contained! No explanation necessary.
10.Create your own cinema experience at home with a movie marathon. We all know too much tv isn’t good for kids, but heck if you managed to get through all the other activities, you deserve a break. Make a huge bowl of popcorn, some healthy slushies and choose some cool family movies. For full effect turn out all the lights!
I hope this leaves you with some fresh ideas for curbing the winter blues and enjoying the winter months when you just can’t seem to get out the front door. If you do have the courage to get out, here are my Top ten places to hang out with my kids.
Share this with your mommy friends who you think will enjoy the ideas too!