by Bianca Dowling
Lets face it, when you’re parenting young children it’s not unusual for the house to start looking like a preschool. Egg cartons with feathers, paintings that drop glitter everywhere and toilet roll sculptures all become part of the decor!
Coming from a teaching background, I love to set up activities for my daughter that foster creativity and keep her little hands busy (while I cook dinner at least). Here are 7 indoor activity ideas I keep up my sleeve for those days when you’re stuck inside because of the weather or when you really just need a ‘home day’.
1. Build a cubby house (an oldie but a goodie!)
Throw a sheet over the dining table or peg to chairs… chuck in some pillows, a few books, some snacks and invite the teddy bears for an undercover picnic!
2. Make a sensory box
Fill a large plastic container with age appropriate bits and bobs that children can sift through. For 3-4 year olds for example, you could add colourful sand (or rice), add some plastic gems, shells, buttons, cups and sieves or whatever you find around the house! My daughter likes to add toy cars and animal figurines and will happily dig for treasures all day if I let her.
3. Make a skittles rainbow
This easy science activity is a fun way to explore colour with littlies. Simply place skittles on a plate and add warm water! You could extend this activity by asking children to draw or paint what happens when the colours mix! Check out this awesome demonstration:
4. Make playdough: Over the years I’ve had a few playdough disasters but I think this recipe is a winner. You can also try using different colours, herbs, glitter, flowers and ingredients to create a sensory experience!
5. Get cooking
Kids of all ages love to be in the kitchen mixing, pouring and tasting! I usually try to do a cooking activity early in the morning so we have optimum attention span. It’s also handy to have all of the ingredients out on the table ready to go. We love making this Weetbix slice. Yum! And with Easter coming up we’ll be getting stuck into some easy Easter baking .
6. Get crafting
It can be messy and sticky, but that’s half the fun! If you invest in a few basic craft items, the options are endless. In our craft tub, we usually have paint, glue, coloured paper, cellophane, feathers, glitter, pom poms or cotton wool, felt cut offs, cardboard boxes, permanent markers and the most requested items at the moment- plastic googly eyes and dried pasta! Here are some clever craft ideas to do with little people
Last but not least, if you need to create a bit of calm, try kids yoga! Don’t ask me why, but my daughter loves watching this channel on Youtube. It’s not my cup of tea, however, it keeps her entertained for a good 30 minutes and encourages her to move her body. Sometimes I even try to follow along which usually ends up with fits of laughter from both of us!
At the end of the day if all else fails, and lets be honest not every day is a craft making, yoga doing one, I firmly believe in popping on a good movie (Let it go, anyone?), enjoying some popcorn and getting comfy on the couch!