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Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Five Fun Family (cheap) Indoor Activities

Welcome to my first informational post of the fortnight.  There's nothing worse than finding yourself stuck in the house with nothing to entertain your children.  I love having a day in but the children still need to be entertained.  I thought I would share five of our favourite rainy-day activities.  I hope you enjoy reading!

1# Mad Hatter's Tea Party

Make your hat's by using black card.  First roll it around to make the round part (a tube shape the same size as the persons head that the hat is for - cut it a bit longer so you can glue it into a tube shape).  Then all you need to do is add a rim and a top.  To do this, cut out a circle shape slightly larger than the top.  Push the circle onto the top of the hat to see how much card you have free to make tabs in order to stick it.  Glue the tabs and push them into the hat.  You may need to put your hand inside and push the tabs against the tube so that it sticks correctly.  You then just need a rim,  Cut a circle larger than the tube piece - enough to be a rim.  Cut it out, but when cutting the middle, again cut it a little smaller then snip so that you have tabs again to stick the rim. You may need to make some snips to allow the tube to go into the rim - I pushed the rim down over the top of the hat.   I did cut mine too wide so I had to staple instead of glue but it still worked.  Not the best idea to use staples though so I had to stick a square of card on each side, inside so that nobody ended up injuring themselves on a staple.

Once this is done, leave to dry and then let your kids decorate them.  Probably better to make the hats the night before.  Of course you're not limited to top hats you could make any type really.

We used buttons, and old deck of cards, glitter, feathers and pipe cleaners. Imaginations went wild and they looked great!

Now all you need is a tea party.  Finger sandwiches, a few cakes, and a pot of tea!

2# Play Stop the Bus

We play a game called 'Stop the Bus'.  Maybe you know this by a different name but it's quite educational which is always a bonus.  You need at least two players, but all need a piece of paper and a pen each, and you need to decide on your categories.  We usually choose girls names, boys names, animal type, and then we take turns choosing a final topic like flower types, or countries and places, and we have even had clothing types or makes too and shop names.

First one of you starts going through the alphabet in your head and another person says 'stop the bus' and whatever letter you arrive at, you all have to fill in your categories, starting with that letter so for instance - if it was S, Sarah for a girls name, Steven for a boys name, and Snake for an animal and then your final topic.  When one of you is finish you say 'stop the bus' again and then someone keeps score.  Everyone gets a score on their answers.  You get 10 points for every answer that is different from another player so if nobody else got Sarah as a girls name then that is 10 points.  If two or more of you say Steven for a boy, then you would only get 5 points.  If you don't have an answer or your answer is incorrect, then you score 0.

You then all take a turn.  This can be a fun name and it helps with spelling and thinking skills too.

3# Baking Fairy Cakes

Cakes can be so easy to do and the kids can have fun decorating these.  I use a basic sponge recipe which is 4oz of sugar, 4oz butter, 4oz self raising flour, and then 2 eggs - beaten.  You cream together the butter and sugar first, stir in half flour, half egg mixture and then once everything is mixed in, you add the other half of flour and egg.  We all take turns measuring and mixing in our house.  Whisk well and then add two tablespoons to cake caps and cook on 180 degrees for around 12-15 minutes.  Once cooled, why not get the kids to decorate.

4#  Create a Show/Pantomime

This is great, especially if you have family coming over or if one of you is at work as the children can present it to the person when they come in.  First of all, you need to decide on a show, is it a musical, a play or a variety show?  You then can make props, dress up, and practise your show.  It doesn't have to be long but the children will enjoy showing off some skills.  If you have no inspiration, why not get them to use a story book or even a nursery rhyme and act it out!  They could even make tickets for the people watching too!

5# Story telling

We went camping a year back and this idea has became a family favourite - even when not camping.  We turned out lights out and started by torch light, and told scary stories.  Obviously, you have to be careful - we told Fairy tales I suppose as we had to have a 'nice' outcome - we didn't want the children having nightmares.  One starts the story, and then the next person adds to it and we all make up a story together.  We ended up with some great ones and the children wanted to do this every night of our camping trip and still do it occasionally now!  So much fun!

You can even make story books if you're at home and draw pictures coinciding with the story too.

Sometimes it can be really hard to keep your children busy.  Mine don't need entertaining constantly, however if we are not going out all day, I do try to do something to entertain them, especially in the summer holidays.

What indoor activities do you do with your children?

Look out for the second fun family tale tomorrow!

Happy reading,

Laters, Janet

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