10 things to do when you're stuck in the house (Part 1)
Keeping children entertained when you're stuck in the house is no mean fete and, boy have we had to do a lot of it recently! This summer we're staying close to home as we gear up for baby no.4, so we'll be spending a lot of time in the house with 3 young children therefore it was about time for some fresh motivation and ideas! I've started compiling ideas for those days when I need a cheat sheet and I thought I'd begin sharing them with you here! Enjoy!
This is pretty classic, but it's a classic that really can get everyone involved, whatever the age. Encourage the children to help with measuring, stirring and adding ingredients (educational, you see), and you'll be providing some much needed entertainment swell as creating something delicious for you all to enjoy!
2. Potato stamping
The humble potato stamp. I love this craft. Make wrapping paper, create funky images out of shapes or simply use the stamp to swirl paint around, this is one craft that has children busy for AGES. Get them to help with choosing and cutting the shapes and voila, you've created two activities for the price of one!
3. Texture rubbings
Got a crayon and some paper? That's all you need for this activity! Have your children run around the house and create texture rubbings of different items. If you have a garden you can do this outside too and see how many textures you can find. Place the paper over the item and rub the crayon on top - the texture will appear on the paper! This works particularly well on rough surfaces like bark, decking and textured tiles, but see if they can get rubbings of toys, fabrics, furniture and flooring too. How many can you find?
4. Water play + toy wash
You don't need a water tray or tough spot for this - if you have a bath tub you are good to go! Get your children to jump into their swimming costumes (I don't know what it is about getting into swimsuits that makes this all the more enjoyable but there you go!), and run a bath. Fill it with various toys and items that are waterproof and watch them laugh the time away. Pour and fill tubs are excellent for this (Tupperware works great) and I find toy animals or figurines really engage the imaginative story play.
NB: Bonus - the toys get a much needed wash too!
5. Den building
When I notice that my kids are getting a bit of cabin fever then this activity comes busting out. If I'm totally honest, it's one my husband loves to play with them most, but occassionally you'll see me busting out the sheets and duvets to create a stellar den. Line up chairs and tables, drape large fabrics over the top and your children have an awesome den that they will play in for hours. Create a picnic plate for them and they'll eat inside it - you may even get a chance to drink a full hot coffee within an hour!
6. Have a random party
Who needs an excuse to celebrate? Last year the kids asked for a random party and honestly it was one of the best days that we've ever had. We filled the room with decorations (balloons and paper chains are all that's needed but you can go as crazy as you like), organised some simple games and shared a cake. Everybody got to blow candles out, we sang happy birthday to the weekday, and we laughed and laughed and laughed. Musical bumps, musical statues and hide and seek are great games that don't cost a thing, or you could invest in some small toys and wrapping paper and include games like pass the parcel too.
7. Make science experiments
If you're not afraid of a little mess then this one is for you. With some simple household ingredients (baking soda, milk, white vinegar and food colouring are great places to start) you can create a whole garage of science experiments for you and your little ones to do in the comfort of your own home. Making sugar crystals, creating chemical reactions, exploring viscosity, all of these simple science experiments can be found on google and your children will LOVE IT.
8. Host a fashion show
Do you have kids that just want to perform? This might be right up their street. Have them select outfits from their drawers and put on a fashion show for you in the lounge (or other suitable area). To make it more interesting giving them an MO - say things like, "something to wear on the beach" or "I'm going on an aeroplane" and see whether they can find suitable attire. Take photos and encourage them to pose to really add to that dramatic effect.
9. Build a marble/car run
Who doesn't love a marble run? I think I spent most of my summer holidays building marble runs around the house and inviting my friends over to play and those are some of my fondest memories. You really can make a marble run out of all sorts of material - but the best are pieces that have a curved edge to stop them running off. Make use of guttering pieces, skalectric or even train track! Can you make a fancy one with electric items or one that utilises items from around the house. Use YouTube and Pinterest for inspiration!
10. Nerf gun fight!
This obviously requires nerf guns (other brand names are available) but if you have them then you are in for a winner! It's time to turn the house into one giant nerf gun arena. Set your boundaries (rooms to avoid/how many bullets each person is allowed/where you're allowed to shoot on the body) and then go for it! When I tell you this entertained my children for HOURS I'm not exaggerating. But then again, I did have an overly energetic husband who was helping...
I hope these first 10 activities to do when you're stuck in the house has whet your appetite for finding fun in the home. Let me know your favourite activities to do too!
Until next time...