If you are worried that your kids are going to come home wound up after a day where they were forced to stay inside - plan ahead. Whether you are anticipating rainy days, snow filled afternoons or freezing cold temps, it’s a good idea to have a few activities up your sleeve for after your kids have finished their homework.
Here are a few ideas:
Grab a 1000 or more piece puzzle and lay it out on a table where it won’t be disturbed. Put a couple pieces together, then move away and challenge your kids to complete it.
Make some playdough and let your kids create! www.pbs.org/parents/crafts-for-kids/no-bake-play-dough/
- Pour water into a large mixing bowl.
- Next add food coloring. ...
- Add the dry ingredients ( flour and salt) to the mix. ...
- Next add 2 to 4 tablespoons of oil. ...
- Knead the ingredients until it is soft and pliable
Bake cookies, cupcakes or a pizza. Assign roles - one child reads the recipe as another gathers the ingredients or mixes them together. If adult supervision is scarce, have your kids mix the ingredients and wait till you get home to power up the oven.
Have a toy hunt - give your kids a large plastic bag or plastic grocery bag and ask them to fill it with toys that they would like to donate to a local shelter.
Movie afternoon. First - select a book that you think your kids will love. Use your bedtime story to read to all of the kids. Now show the movie version on one of your weather challenging afternoons
Write a letter to grandma, grandpa or another relative. Have your child include some home grown artwork and make sure they decorate the envelope. If your relative lives are out of state, take a moment to find a website with a map and point out for your child where on the map grandma’s house is. Have your kids guestimate how long it will take their letter to arrive.
Set up your own pint sized photo studio and encourage your kids to take pictures. Whether they create their own sets, use dress up costumes or include the family pets, let your kids act as photographers. Using the camera on your cell phone allows you to immediately view and download pictures for collection in homemade photo albums.
Sock puppets. Use some old socks to create puppets. Your kids will need some help with the hot glue gun. I’ve linked this suggestion with a utube site with great instructions. And if you can find an old appliance box your kids can create their own sock puppet theater. This is sure to fill many an afternoon as your kids come up with new script ideas.
Create a space craft. Use old shoe boxes or cereal boxes for your kids to create their own spacecraft. Make sure that you have crayons, pipe cleaners, aluminum foil and more for your kids to use. Then have your kids connect for Nasa for kids. There are so many neat things here! Make sure that they stop by the Kids Clubhouse to play games, download coloring sheets and to learn more about space travel!
Imagine your own restaurant. Have your kids create their own restaurant complete with menus, play money and more. Kids can craft their own recipes, envision how they might decorate their own restaurant and what might their waiters wear. Compare and contrast their restaurant with another similar themed spot at dinner that night.
Create a bag for the collection of toys, books or dirty laundry. I’ve linked you to an inexpensive one. Give your kids paints to decorate their bags. Consider making stamps out of apples or oranges to be dipped in the paint and then placed on the fabric. Cookie cutters and other shapes can also be used. When done, consider filling the bag with books they no longer need or toys they don’t play with or clothes that they have outgrown. Take the bags to a local shelter for donation. Or fill the bags with stuffed toys, books or games for later use.
Create your own town using left over, washed out, milk cartons. Cut out doors and windows and stack cartons together to create a city where small cars and figurines can rule. I’ve linked you with a great example. Cartons turned sideways can add spice with homemade garages and store fronts. Now have your kids write a story about the town they created. Who lives there? Where is the town? What’s the weather like? Are there any schools?
Hand Paint a rock or two. The only limitations are hoe creative your child can get!
Create No Sew fleece Blanket. Simple to do for boys or girls. the link will lead you to simple to follow instructions.
The secret to success is planning ahead. Gather your materials now and be ready to engage your kids in some pretty cool activities when the weather gets rough!