It’s really rather chilly outside at the moment and while I’ll happily take the children outside in all weathers, sometimes you would just rather stay where it’s warm, right?
I’ve compiled a list of ten ideas to make staying in more enjoyable with kids that like to be busy!
We’ve done some of these many times and others we’ve never tried but plan to do them in the near future. How many have you tried?
1. Make a Den
We love making dens in our house. From a tablecloth over the back of two dining chairs to a full scale, string-from-the-light-fitting kind of den we’ve done them all. They don’t have to be huge or fancy because the key is to ignite the excitement of imaginative play. Your den could be a castle, a tent, an underground lair … where will you end up?
2. Put on a performance
Have the kids sit down with you and write a little story to act out. This is a little easier with more than one child but still do-able if it’s just the two of you. Pretend you’re in a TV show, make a TV set out of an old box if you’re feeling especially creative!
3. Play shop
One of my favourite games as a child was to get all the tins and packets from my mum’s cupboard, display them on the coffee table and play at being a shopkeeper. We either used imaginary money or change from my mum’s purse and I don’t recall ever having anything fancy like a till or wooden food like my children do!
3. Take up choreography
I was probably around ten years old when my friend Kate and I spent the entire day making up a dance to Urban Cookie Collective’s ‘The Key The Secret’. (Actually I’ve just had to google the artist and turns out I was 11. So 10 wasn’t a bad guess). Making up a dance to a child’s favourite song is fun and it gets you both moving too so you’re winning all round! If you find that you’re struggling for dance move ideas I find that YouTube is indispensable.
4. Play Guess Who
I don’t mean the guessing game that comes in a box from the toy shop. If you’re looking for a calm and relaxed activity, grab some old photos of yourself, of other members of the family and of the children as babies and play a game of matching the the old photos to recent ones. (For recent photos of people you know, Facebook will perhaps come in useful). I haven’t done this with the boys yet so I think I’ll set it up for when they get home from school one day next week.
5. Tell a story
One of the best conversations I’ve had with my youngest son was during a camping trip when he was three. I was in the shower cubicle in a communal shower block and he was outside the shower. I had to keep him talking the entire time to stop him from opening the door to would-be spectators! I asked him to tell me a story. He said he couldn’t so I asked him to tell me about the funniest looking animal he could imagine. From there he told me a story about Hairy Head the French dinosaur who lived in a field. He described Hairy Head’s entire family, the job he did, the colour of his fur and where he went to school. Given the right prompts, you can create a wonderful, imaginative and completely unique story with children from quite a young age.
I hope you enjoyed reading these suggestions and would love for you to try some of them!
Written by our regular contributor Karen Hannah.
All views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views of Room To Grow.