Spring has finally sprung, and that means your kids can finally begin to venture outside for their favorite outdoor activities.
But we all know that the next few months will not all be sunshine and smiles. When the rain rolls in, and when we eventually get back to cold weather in the fall, you’ll want to have a good plan for keeping your campers happy even when they can’t go outside.
But we can’t just let the kids’ park themselves in front of the T.V. screens to veg out when they stay indoors. Let’s take a look at some fun, active playtime that you can have with your kids even when they’re stuck inside.
Arts and Crafts
Probably the single best thing you can do when your kids can’t go outside is put their little fingers to work making some cute crafts you can both enjoy.
For example, use some construction paper and markers to make seasonal window decorations to hang on your windows.
Learn a New Skill
Another fun projects to learn together that they might use later in life (or shock a few friends with a hidden talent), like knitting, sewing, or crocheting.
These skills can be tough to teach at first, but once your kids grab onto them, they make for great ways to pass the time.
Keep the Craft Drawer Full
Keeping a variety of art supplies in a specific craft drawer that your kids are allowed to raid any time they’d like is a perfect way to keep those hands busy.
This means you’ll always be ready to have some craft time, even when there isn’t anything specific planned.
Give Them an Idea to Run With
Come up with a fun assignment like making the family out of construction paper or making snowflakes, and then I let their little minds go to work.
When the project is completed, everyone can have their work displayed and maybe enjoy a treat together after.
Fun in the Kitchen
Another great way to spend time on your day indoors is to work with your children in the kitchen.
This fun activity (especially when you set aside the time) also teaches a great life skill.
Show them how to prepare their favorite lunch or even bake a sweet treat you can enjoy later that day.
Your kids will be excited at the prospect of some delicious food, and you’ll get some extra helping hands!
One of my favorite activities as a child on a rainy day was to put on a play with friends or siblings for our parents.
What I love about this is each child can have a different task based on what they like to do.
Some of the kids will enjoy writing lines for the others. Some will want to put together pillows and blankets to construct the stage. Others can find props or decide on some music for the occasion.
Take your time to get everything set and then let your little actors delight the adults with their creation. Remember to keep things light and fun and make sure everyone gets involved. You’ll have a hit on your hands for sure.
Typically, homes have a strict ‘no ball-throwing’ rule (for obvious reasons). So, most kids know that most of their favorite sports are out of the question when they have to stay indoors.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t find some fun ways to play. The key to focus on is no-contact sports with very soft toys.
Take paper plates and cut out the inside to create a nice lightweight Frisbee.
You can either toss that around on its own or set up a stick in the middle of the room and turn the game into a ring toss competition.
It’s also fun to find objects like silk scarves or inflated balloons that float delicately in the air.
Children can have hours of fun just trying to keep a simple balloon off the ground, or tossing three scarfs in the air to practice their juggling skills.
Other items to juggle that are easily found around the home include wash cloths, tissues, and socks.
If your kids are stuck indoors, then they’ll be able to play their favorite board game for hours on end.
Or you can always find a new game they might enjoy and give that a try.
Look for games that will offer a new challenge to each of your kids, which can be tough to find if you have a big age range.
Get the Older Kids Involved
Sometimes, if you know the older kids won’t enjoy a particular game as much as the younger players, try appointing the oldest as the ‘game master.’
They’ll be in charge of setup, cleanup, and making sure everyone has fun. The little bit of added responsibility makes it a bit easier to stomach having to play the younger kid’s game.
If your family enjoys games, you may quickly find that your game shelf overflows with all the boxes of games you try once or twice before moving on.
Friend Game Swap
If you find yourself in this situation, try doing a game swap night with another family in your neighborhood.
Get together and try to play one game from each household. If you like the new game, either ask to trade for it or plan another game night with that family!
Imagination is Key
We’ve looked at many different structured activities so far, but there’s one big category you should never forget about. Unstructured playtime.
You’ll find that your children are always able to imagine a world of play that wouldn’t have even crossed your mind.
Now and then, try to take a step back and let your kids direct their play. It’s fun to just see what they come up with. Try to follow their lead and validate their ideas, helping develop their confidence later in life.
As you see, anything that sends your kids inside unexpectedly does not have to resign them to a day of sedentary blandness. You can always get moving or be creative, even when stuck indoors.