After living in the Outback for two and a half years Iíve had to come up with some fun things for the kids to do indoors. Because most of the time itís too hot outside or flies and mozzies are just too irritating, weíve had fun inside instead. When we move back to the city, Iíll probably use this list as my rainy day list. Hopefully it might inspire you to get creative too!
1. Baking. My daughter Eve just loves to Ďmix mixí, so every week we try to do some baking, whether we make cupcakes, cookies or homemade lollies. One recipe we use often is Banana and Oatmeal Cookies. Not only are they scrumptious, but they are also healthy with no butter, milk, flour, eggs or sugar. I substitute the raisins for dried apricots, but itís up to you what type of dried fruit you use. Give this recipe, by The Healthy Chef, a try and you might be pleasantly surprised, just click
here for details.
2. Make a teepee or a cave. My kids love being enclosed in small spaces so they have a great time in the teepee that we make. Using an old sheet I cut out four large triangles of the same size and sewed them together on the sewing machine. It creates a teepee shape which you can slip over the metal poles that we bound together using duct tape. It does take a bit of time and effort but itís well worth it. Otherwise, throw a couple of old sheets over the table and chairs and place a duvet and some toys underneath. The kids will love snuggling in under the table with the feeling that they are in a cave.
Having fun in the tepee!
3. Make some play doh. My kids love squeezing the home made stuff between their fingers and making creations. Itís easy to make and pretty easy to clean up afterwards (as long as itís not trodden into the carpet or mat). Give this recipe
here a try.
4. Play shop. Before my daughter got a cash register for Christmas (thanks Megan Miller!) we used to make do with homemade money and food. Hang on to old food boxes or tins so these can be props for your shop and make money from cardboard or paper. We used to use an old calculator for the cash register and taped to that was a small box on a string that acted as the hand held scanner. Just like a bought one!
5. Do some beading. Not a good idea for little ones, but my daughter who is three loves threading beads onto leather cord and making necklaces. She has obviously seen me doing it, so now when I sit down to make some jewellery (normally when Jack is asleep), Iíll give her a selection of beads to make her own. Be careful if youíre doing this around little ones though - my son has a habit of putting everything he finds on the floor in his mouth so we always have a good tidy up afterwards to ensure that none of them have fallen onto the floor.
6. Dance. My kids love to boogie, so weíve created a playlist of fun upbeat tunes on the iPod which we normally play after lunchtime. They love bopping along to the music and itís also good exercise!
7. Create a treasure hunt. I write a handful of clues on some paper and place them strategically around the house, with each clue leading to the next. Itís a great way for toddlers to learn position words like Ďnext toí or Ďaboveí or Ďunderí etc. At the end there is always a prize for finding all of the clues.
8. Make hats or crowns for dress up. What little one doesnít like dressing up? I know mine do and Eve loves it when we make crowns so she can pretend to be a princess. Use coloured paper or cardboard to make a cylinder shape and then cut zig zags out of it so it looks like a crown. Decorate it using sparkly stickers or sequins.
9. Drawing! I buy cheap rolls of wrapping paper from Crazy Clarks or similar and unroll the whole thing, stretching from one side of the dining room to the other. With the blank side facing up and the corners secured with Sellotape (lino underneath), itís a great space for the kids to go crazy with the crayons or felt pens.
10. Watch a movie. You know what? Everyone needs some time out, so sometimes when Iím fresh out of ideas and I need some quiet time for myself, Iíll put on a DVD for the kids. I used to feel bad for sitting them in front of the TV but now it saves my sanity some days. As long as your kids arenít watching hours of TV a day, I canít see the problem with them being entertained by the television for a little while. It gives me a chance to get some dinner on or do something I hadnít had the chance to get to yet.
If all else fails, you can't go wrong with a movie.
So there you have it, my list of inside activities to keep the boredom at bay. If you have any suggestions yourself Iíd be keen to hear them!