Stay Sane With These 10 Fun Indoor Games & Activities For Children
Spending cold and rainy days stuck inside the house can be frustrating, especially when children are involved. While there may be some occasions throughout the Winter months where the sun is shining and you can get the kids outside to play, it definitely pays to have a list of new indoor games and exciting activities for children to immerse themselves with. When the cold, wet weather leaves you no choice but to keep your children inside, avoid cabin fever by trying these fun indoor activities with your children.
Have A Family Read-In.
Sit together quietly for 20-30 minutes while each family member reads a book of their choice. Allow a few moments at the end for each family member to take in turns reading aloud their favourite passage or telling the rest of family something about what they have just read. This not only helps with reading skills but also helps children with skills surrounding listening, reasoning, taking turns and interacting with other people.
Whether it’s a job that needs to be done anyway or you decide to cook some extra treats, make sure it’s fun. Allocate each child their own set of tools and instructions. Get them to tick off the jobs from their cooking list. This helps them with understanding what their role is within the cooking process and also gives them a strong sense of achievement.
Have A Movie Night
Have a couple of special DVD’s saved away for a rainy day to make this impromptu event more meaningful. Chose movies that have a strong moral or learning within the story and keep some easy snacks such as microwave popcorn on hand in the pantry. Spend time after the movie discussing the key points, such as good or bad choices the characters may have made, the morals of the story or even how different events in the movie might have changed the ending.
Play Board Games
Have a few board games, especially ones that involve dice, in the cupboard ready for that rainy day. Board games harness reading skills, maths skills, listening skills, reasoning skills and other skills such as learning how to co-operate with others and take turns. Make sure they are appropriate for the age of your children. If the games are too easy they will become bored quickly. If the games are too hard they will be likely to get frustrated and give up quickly.
Indoor games don’t need to be fancy or expensive. Have a list of ideas for your children to act out written on some blank paper. Younger children may find it easier if all cards are related to the one theme, such as school, Christmas or nursery rhymes. You can pick any theme you think is appropriate for your child’s level of understanding and learning. For example, you may have all the cards describing different moods or feelings that they needs to act out.
Create An Indoor Treasure Hunt
Keep some special trinkets tucked away in a shoe box for a rainy day. You could even go as far as decorating the shoe box to make it look like a treasure box. Engage the children by showing them the empty box, telling them your treasure has been lost and you need their help to find it! You may even like to offer a ‘reward’ for finding the treasure! Hide the trinkets all around the house; you may even like to leave a series of clues that lead to the ‘treasure’. Once they have found all the treasure, encourage the children to design their own activity or game using the treasure they have just found.
Have each family member play their favourite song and make up the dance moves for it while the rest of the family have to try and follow. Indoor activities for children don’t necessarily need to involve staying still. Dancing is a great way to have fun as a family as it releases endorphins, gets the blood pumping and can create lots of laughs and happy memories.
Write a Letter or Two
With phones, text messages and emails at the fore front of today’s communication, we often forget the simple pleasures involved in sending and receiving hand written letters. Almost everybody gets a kick out of receiving a good old fashioned letter in the post. Help the kids to write letters to grandparents, relatives and even friends that they haven’t seen in a while. As well as being a great time spender, letter writing is also great hand writing and spelling practice for the kids. You can bet that at least one person they write to will get such a thrill that they might even write back to your child!
Have An Indoor Picnic
Lay the table cloth or the picnic rug on the floor and turn off all electronic devices. Ask the children to invite their favourite toy (such as a teddy or a doll) to come along to the picnic. Create places for the toys and the children around the rug. You might even ask the children to help pack the food and drink into the picnic basket before setting out the cups and plates onto the rug.
Build a Cubby
Give children the novelty of their own special ‘hide-out’ and their imagination will soon take over to create even more fun inside! You could hang sheets over the dining table or even set up an indoor tee-pee in the lounge room. Give the children a torch, some cushions and their favourite toys and they will be likely to create the rest of the fun themselves.
Spending time with children can be fun and educational for both the children and the grown ups that are involved. With today’s busy lifestyles many parents and grandparents are understanding the importance of spending ‘quality time’ with the children in their life. Cold, rainy days trapped inside with the kids could also be viewed as a wonderful opportunity to spend extra time together. Indoor games don’t need to be costly. When it comes to inside activities for children to enjoy, think about the things you all enjoy and what you would like them to learn from their activity, then let your imagination lead the way!