While it’s enjoyable and healthy to spend time outside, sometimes we can get stuck at home because of the weather. Moreover, the government announced new restrictions that include an unexpected school closure during the first week of January. If you are not prepared, children can quickly get cabin fever. But don’t worry, we’ve got you parents! Here is a list of 15 family activities that you can enjoy while staying indoors.
1. Bake and decorate
Baking is a beautiful way to bring the whole family together and a great way to teach children new skills. You can guide them on following the recipe, measuring and combining ingredients and reaching the tasty result. The best is to give their imagination the green light and let them have fun decorating your treat. If you don’t know where to start, we suggest checking these easy holiday baking recipes that you can recreate with your children.
2. Have a dance party
It’s holiday time, which means that children deserve a brain break from homework and assignments. It’s much more fun to tune in to the holiday mood. And you deserve it as well. Music has the brilliant impact of making people happy, and with dancing, life is much better. Plus, it has never been easier because you probably already have everything you need to make an unforgettable family dance party. Get inspired by these great dance party games!
3. Indoor camping
Children will love this idea of indoor camping. You can create an authentic atmosphere with your tents and sleeping bags, but if you don’t own them, use what is available in your home – blankets, pillows or an inflatable sea mattress. Children can set up a pretend campfire from colourful papers or felt, and then you can all decide what kind of camping food you should eat. To make the ambiance even more real, try to turn off the lights and use only flashlights while singing campfire songs and telling or reading stories.
4. Treasure hunt
The treasure hunt is an enjoyable activity that will occupy children for a longer time. It is easy and inexpensive to set up, and you can include anything that you find at home. Plus, children can have fun and focus on different skill sets simultaneously, whether it’s interactive reading, drawing, taking pictures, de-coding messages, sensory experience, and many more. You can begin by choosing a theme; for example, dinosaurs, princes/princesses, cars, cowboys, colours, flowers, mystery, and so on; the list is endless. And then you need to write the clues – challenging enough but not unsolvable. If you struggle with creativity, check the list of more than 50 treasure hunt riddles for kids.
5. Children’s room makeover
With the entire family gathered up for holidays and a lockdown, this is a great opportunity to let children do a makeover of their room – plan, design, paint, craft, and simply create the space of their dreams. Come up with rules and be clear on what children can and cannot do in their makeover project. It may involve painting the furniture, creating wall decorations, changing the lighting, organizing their desk, making new photo frames or bringing in some plants or flowers. Try to use as much material as you can find at home and brainstorm some cool upcycling ideas. If you gather a lot of stuff from tidying up like clothes, shoes, toys, and books, you can donate them together with children to the local charities or give/exchange with family friends that have younger children.
6. Open mic night
Support your children in learning to express their creativity, and organize a family open mic night where they can show talents by singing, dancing, playing an instrument, reciting a poem or telling jokes. You can add some music later and turn it into a karaoke evening with the whole family having a fantastic time.
7. A family pizza competition
What a delicious family activity! Each family member prepares his pizza, explains his creation, and shares a slices with the others. The pizzas can be judged based on presentation, creativity and taste on a scale 1-10. The best pizza maker will win a special prize. Make a list of toppings that everybody plans to put on their pizzas to make shopping easier. If you need a homemade pizza dough recipe, we suggest Sugar Spun Run’s recipe for the best pizza dough. Bon Appétit!
8. Laser obstacle maze – Mission Impossible style
Test your children’s strategic skills in a laser obstacle maze. You can create the maze in a room of any size, and you only need some string, tape, or even just toilet paper. Place them strategically, so obstacles require children to crawl over or squeeze under and get their creative thinking skills fired up. There are two basic options to score them: set a time limit and measure how long it will take them to navigate through the maze or decrease points for each touch or knock of the string. Who has the most points at the end will win.
9. Make a drive-in cinema
Try this little twist to the classic movie watching on the sofa. The preparation involves a car made of a cardboard box and cool cinema tickets. Today’s Parent explains instructions on how to make a box car for your drive-in cinema. Make sure that each family member has a ticket, which you can find online as a printable template, or you can let children make their crafty ones. And of course, don’t forget classic movie snacks like popcorn, nachos or candy to make this experience authentic.
10. Yoga for kids
Try the Cosmic Kids Yoga if you search for relaxation and a more down-to-earth kind of activity for your children. Yoga has the same positive impact on the well-being of children as it has on adults’ well-being. It reduces children’s stress and anxiety, develops strength and flexibility, enhances concentration and memory, boosts self-esteem, and increases body awareness and mindfulness. Moreover, children’s yoga has been proven to be beneficial in helping with challenging behaviour because it teaches discipline and reduces impulsivity. Firstly, try one video, and if your children show an interest, you can easily create a daily practice for them.
11. Marshmallow-Toothpick building challenge
Help your children to find their inner engineers and create the tallest tower challenge. You only need marshmallows, toothpicks, a timer (setting a time limit makes the challenge even more exciting)and a measuring tape. This is an excellent example of a problem-solving activity for your children. Children need to learn how to tackle problems with grit and creativity from a very early age because it prepares them to face more complex issues as they mature. Have fun, and enjoy this yummy challenge!
12. Rainbow in a bag – no-mess art
No-mess art is the perfect way for children to have fun with art, and your house will stay clean. You will need 1 cup of flour, 2 cups of water, and a teaspoon of salt for this activity. Whisk all ingredients together in a pot and heat the mixture on the stove until it forms a smooth substance. Let it cool down and divide the mix into a few bowls. Add a different food colouring to each bowl to get the desired color. For more intense color, you need to add more drops. Now it’s time to fit a card stock or cardboard into a ziplock. Take a teaspoon of paint from each color and place it in a ziplock next to each other in a row. When you are done, tape down the ziplock so you will keep it in a place. And now it’s time to have fun and create rainbow art!
13. Science experiments
Transform your kitchen into a science lab! With Science Fun For Everyone you can create cool experiments with your little scientists at home. Each experiment is very easy to do and comes with instructions and explanations. Bad weather is not a reason to be bored at home. Create a homemade lava lamp, orange fizz, storm in a glass, and many other exciting experiments.
14. Indoor mini-trampoline exercise
An indoor trampoline is an excellent option for children to get them moving on a rainy day, instead of just watching TV and playing with a tablet all day. They can start to practice jumping up and down, jumping jacks, and when they are more proficient, they can try more complicated bounce kicks, hopping on one leg, flips, and twists. Add some music because music makes everything more fun! For inspiration, check this cute Baby Shark Rebound Kids Class video.
15. Salt dough handprint ornaments
The salt dough recipe is very simple, and you probably have all ingredients already at home. You can turn this beautiful and memorable craft activity into a tradition and capturing moments when your children’s hand or foot was “just that big”.
The salt dough consists of four coups of all-purpose flour (not self-raising flour), one cup of salt, and one and a half cups of warm water. Firstly, combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and add warm water. Mix it well until it starts to form a dough. Then take the dough out of the bowl and knead for about 10 minutes. Roll out the dough and make it approximately 1/4 inch thick. Then let your children start making handprints and footprints, and you will cut the shape around them.
When you finish, use a straw to make a hole in the top of the ornament. Let the ornaments dry for a day and bake each side for 1-2 hours in the oven at 120 Celsius degree. Once your ornaments are firm and fully dry, you can decorate them. Non-toxic acrylic paint will provide denser result than watercolours and you can also fill up the hand or footprint with glue and shake the glitter over it.
In the end, you can use transparent nail polish to seal the dough and prevent your ornament from cracking or getting moist.
Which of these activities have you tried and which one was your children’s most favourite?
Share with us in comments 🙂