Brrr! It was cold and rainy here yesterday and I had to pull out all my tricks to keep my kids entertained inside. Since it's just the beginning of bad weather season I thought I'd share some of my favorite easy indoor activities. These are perfect quick fixes to keep kids entertained during long days inside.
1. Have a picnic. Turn snack or meal time into an event! My toddlers find this so amusing. I just lay out a blanket in the living room and we pretend we are dining outside on a beautiful summer day. There's definitely a mess potential here but my boys are usually so taken with the novelty of eating on a blanket that they keep their food pretty well contained.
2. Make a fort. I'm all about intricate indoor forts but I promised this would be a list of easy activities. When I'm in a pinch, I just throw a sheet over the kitchen table and call it done. Kids have amazing imaginations and I love to let them use them! The sheet fort is always a hit.
3. Pillow mountain. This is one of our favorites. I just pile as many pillows as I can find - bed pillows, throw pillows, cushions, whatever - into a mountain in the living room and let them go. They have a ball climbing and diving on the "mountain." And its nice and soft so no one gets hurt.
4. Jumping on the bed. Similar to pillow mountain - we have an air mattress which I blow up and let them use as a trampoline. They love to bounce and tumble, and it's only a couple of inches off the ground so if they fall off it's OK. Just be sure to have plenty of space for this one so they don't roll off into a piece of furniture.
5. Sheet sleds. This one came about quite by accident when I was trying to fold laundry while my kids were playing (silly me!). Have them sit on the end of a sheet and hold on while you pull them around. My kids love this!
6. Turn off the lights. This works so well on these short days where it gets dark before dinner time. I turn off the lights, give them flashlights, and let them explore. Simple and fun!
7. Pipe cleaners, colanders, play dough. Look for fun things around the house that your kids can use to create. Mine love putting pipe cleaners into a colander and into play dough to create all sorts of wacky art.
8. Go swimming. In the bath tub! Letting them splash and play in the tub in the middle of the day is great fun. Add in some awesome toys, bath crayons, and bubbles and you're set.
9. Make a sensory bin. This might sound complicated but its just a tub filled with fun materials to explore. Check out my Farm Fun Bin for more details.
10. Give them a cardboard box. Seriously, this is all they need to be entertained sometimes. A huge box can become a car (push them around in it for major laughs!), a playhouse, an art canvas - let their imaginations go wild!
Hope these activities help you enjoy some of the long days ahead. I'd love to hear your favorite indoor boredom busters too!