Sometimes it’s hard to keep thinking of ideas when the kids need entertaining, the brain goes blank and they get noisier……if you just can’t think of anything else to keep them busy then read on, we have many indoor and outdoor ideas (see next page) to keep them busy. I’ve had great fun researching all the activities listed so far and will continue posting new ones to keep you and the children entertained.
Cake Decorating a very simple activity which has all the fun of making the cakes, decorating them and then of course eating them at their very own tea party after! Find a simple recipe for the cakes http://www.cupcakerecipe.co.uk/ this one works well but there are many others set to work in the kitchen baking. The kids will love this, I have my kids in their own aprons and they have whisks for the eggs and wooden spoons and far too many bowls but the end result is always tasty! Whilst the cakes are baking make a butter icing and find out all the silver balls, hundreds and thousand, writing icings and anything else that may look pretty. When the cakes have cooled I set out the kids at the kitchen table with everything they need to create and they love it. If you can persuade them to wait a little before eating too many we always have a tea party after with the full tea service, such fun! These can make lovely presents for the rest of the family too so if Granny is coming over the day after what a welcome she can have.
Junk Modelling always keep a selection of boxes, tubes, plastic bottles and other containers (they can always be recycled at a later date) Let the kids’ imaginations run wild with their favourite subjects, castles, dolly/teddy beds, play houses, car garages, whatever they’re interested in. Remember, there is no maximum size you can create, if you have very large boxes you could even make a child sized castle and paint or cover with lining wallpaper before decorating with stickers, glitter and glue, this could end up as a play house the toys could live in for days after. The possibilities are endless and such good fun. Here we have a rather big project which provided endless fun!
Fancy Dress Disco Party grab some torches, glow sticks and camping lanterns, maybe some facepaints, glitter and fancy dress costumes, draw the curtains and switch on the stereo! Play all your children’s favourite music and dance the day away at your very own disco party. Why not invite some friends too? You’ll be guaranteed very tired and happy children at the end of an afternoon like this! For the finishing touches why not create some juice cocktails/smoothies, something a bit different as a refreshing interlude to the dancing.
Papier Mache gather together old newspapers (lots), balloons, old plastic bottles, bowls and wallpaper paste. Cover your table with some newspaper and then begin the creative session. Cut up newspaper into approximately 4cm squares and make up a bowl full of wallpaper paste. When this is done cover whatever you are about to papier mache with a very thin coating of petroleum jelly before you begin and then start to layer the newspaper over the object. Keep going until you have a good coverage and then leave to dry ready for painting another day. The possibilities are endless here and you can make some excellent gifts for family members, for example bowls to put some nice soaps in or a vase filled with dried flowers.
Another great idea with papier mache is to create a landscape/seascape for small world playing at a later stage. For example my son loves pirates and was always wanting to put the pirate ships in water, sometimes this is just not possible so you could create a sea with a desert island with papier mache on a piece of board. (most large diy shops have offcuts for sale at very reasonable prices) When creating this you will need to screw up the newspaper into small balls before beginning to lay over your squares to create a textured finish. Create your desert island, rough or calm sea and when it’s dry you can paint and have a lovely play board for another day.
BINGO! now this may conjure up images of the blue rinse brigade on a Friday night but for helping younger children learn their numbers it is an excellent game that they will love and be learning at the same time. In our house we generally have my daughter being the glamorous assistant (!) and she rolls out the balls and reads the numbers and then we all play with our cards. Fun and educational, a big win on all counts, why not add some prizes for those to get their first line of numbers or the whole card of BINGO!
Time Capsule take some inspiration from Peppa Pig and create your very own family time capsule. Have a look around your home and see what you can find that represents you as a family in the present day and add this along with drawings, written stories, photos, today’s newspaper, maybe even a CD of the kids singing (however be aware, with technology changing as it is will you be able to play it when you open the capsule?!) When you have finished collecting and creating put everything in a box, label it with today’s date and either bury it in the garden (if you have one and believe that you’ll still be at your current home in 10,15 or 20 years’ time) or put it in the loft. Agree a date that you will open the time capsule and then you have something to bring the family back together to look at in the future.
Home Cinema this is great for when the kids need a quiet day of calm, we all know that the schedules of today’s children can be hectic so enjoy the rest and relaxation and just chill out. Keep an eye out for films they haven’t seen on TV to record or maybe invest in a couple of new DVDs prior to the day. Make some homemade popcorn and other snacks such as chocolate rice crispy cakes http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/chocolate_crispy_cakes_25316 for the “interval” before settling down to watch a couple of DVDs together. My kids like to close the curtains and bring out the snacks on a tray with a torch recreating the whole interval experience! Enjoy.
Salt Dough Decorations ideal for Christmas time but great for gifts and room decorations all year round. Make your salt dough with 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of water, adding together the flour and salt and then gradually mixing in the water to create the right consistency, knead the dough on a flat surface until it’s ready to work with. Collect together cookie cutters, rolling pins and pastry cutters to create lovely shapes and remember to make a small hole to tie your ribbon through before allowing to air dry. When the decorations are dry you can decorate them with paints, glitter, varnishes, ribbons etc with the children.
Pizza Party another adventure into the kitchen, yet a simple and fun activity they can enjoy eating after. Buy some pizza bases (or make them) and lots of different toppings, get the aprons out and let the kids make and design their very own pizzas. Cook them in the oven and serve for a tasy and enjoyable meal they’ll love.
Games Championship this can be of the board variety or with a Wii or other games console. Collect together all the games you have and draw a large score board, this can be on a chalk board or a large piece of paper on the wall. Remember to score on each game as you go along and have some prizes at the ready. A great one to get the competition going!
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