winter settles in, and long sunny days become short and dreary,
challenging weather might not be your only problem. Boredom
can become a factor for even the smallest of children. Stripped
of unlimited outside playtime, children can become antsy,
moody and downright irritating.
parent should have an emergency kit of entertaining ideas
that are easy and fun. Even the yuckiest day can be exciting
if you are prepared.
some of these ideas with your kids that are under six. Don’t
just stick to these ideas, though. Let your imagination run
wild. You’ll be amazed at the range of things that will capture
a young child’s interest.
an all day pajama party if the temperature has dipped below
the safe level. Stay in your pj’s all day long. Watch favorite
movies and pop popcorn. Have all the treats that pajama parties
bring—hot chocolate, fluffy pillows, cozy blankets and fuzzy
if you have an adventurous outdoor family, have a "Campout
Day". Build a tent out of your biggest blankets, toast marshmallows
(if you have fire place), grab the sleeping bags and play
hide and seek. If the day is an adventure, they’ll forget
about being cooped up inside.
Stroll Down Memory Lane:
those pictures you’ve been meaning to organize and let the
little ones sort through them with you. Children love looking
at baby pictures and seeing themselves in pictures. Tell them
all about when they were babies, show them pictures of them
with favorite relatives or friends.
you get your big album together, let them pick out several
favorite pictures and help them make their own albums by gluing
their snapshots to heavy construction paper (punch hole in
an upper corner and attach with a knotted piece of string).
Have A Teddy Bear Fashion Show:
out all your kids’ infant clothes (this alone is exciting
to small children) and have a teddy bear fashion show. Show
them what outfits go with what socks, hats, etc and help them
put together their contestants' ensembles. Once all teddy
bears are attired to their satisfaction have them stroll down
the runway (a large blanket or towel).
small children love to pretend to take care of babies. Gather
all the dolls in the house (if you don’t have any dolls then
assorted stuffed animals will do) and set up a nursery. Find
any play baby bottles (or let them use and old baby bottle
of their own), plastic bowls, infant spoons, baby clothes,
care of the babies. Let them tell you what each child needs.
Do they need a diaper, a snack, a song sung to them? Little
ones love feeling like big ones by providing care for babies.
Play In A Different Area:
If your kids spent the majority of their play time in one
or two specific rooms—let them explore. Make a bed tent in
Mummy and Daddy’s room. Have a (gentle) pillow fight with
Mummy and Daddy’s big pillows.
if you have a clubbed basement that the kids don’t normally
get to visit, take them there. Kids find excitement in a change
of scenery—even when it’s in their own home!
Double Bubble Time:
double duty by getting them their bath and letting them do
something fun. Take the bubbles, usually restricted to outdoors,
and head for the bathroom. While they soak they can blow bubbles,
see who can blow the biggest bubble, or have a Mummy (or Daddy)
break the bubble challenge. How many bubbles can you pop?
Older kids have the advantage of video games and being able
to read. Keep yucky days exciting by having games and books
that are only used on days where they can’t go outside. It
will give them something to look forward to. Also, try some
of these ideas:
Dress Up Chest:
didn’t play dress up with their parents' clothes? Let your
kids do the same. Have on hand a bag of clothes (both boy
and girl) and old shoes that they can try on. Don’t forget
accessories! Strings of beads, clip on earrings, belts, hats,
purses and sunglasses complete the ensembles. You’ll be surprised
at how many times they’ll say, "You really wore this?"
Invent A Board Game:
your older kids a set amount of time. They must come up with
rules for their own board game. Give them the art supplies
needed to then construct the game board: construction paper,
markers, glue, Popsicle sticks, stickers and anything else
you have on hand. Once they have finished, let them explain
the rules to you and then play with them!
of us have fond memories of Mum letting us help her bake.
Get your kids in on the action. Find a kid friendly recipe,
or better yet invest in a kids’ cookbook, and let them help
you decide what to make. While your all whipping up your goodies,
take that time to go over kitchen safety rules with your kids.
They are more apt to learn when they’re having fun!