How to Keep Your Kids Entertained While Stuck Indoors
By Amy Sloane
When stuck indoors with your kids, your house turns into a mess, and you have to do more house chores. Your days become shorter, kids wear pajamas past noon and sometimes fight over toys and remote. However, it is best to enjoy the time you have with the kids then see your house as a mess. Below are a few tips to help you make the best of the time you have:
Teach Them How to Cook
Teaching kids how to cook not only gives them a new skill but also enhances their cognitive and psychomotor abilities. While at it, children learn to read and follow recipes (which improves their language skills), they learn to weigh ingredients, they learn to chop (for kids older than eight years), and they learn to appreciate the food you make for them. There is a chance that your kids will eat without fussing if they took part in making the meals.
While in the kitchen, take precautions to avoid accidents such as falls, burns, and cuts. Some things they can help in include:
- Washing fruits and vegetables
- Mixing dry ingredients
- Stirring ingredients
- Mashing soft ingredients
- Reading the recipe out loud
Get Interesting Toys
Kids love toys. Much as you’d love to engage them in other activities, they still need playtime and that is never complete without toys. When shopping for toys, look for toys that facilitate collaborative play. Kids learn to work as a team and not fight over one toy. A toy such as a marble run will allow kids to take turns at the game and this brings them close.
You can also get them toys in every category of play including:
- Exploratory play (such as building castles),
- Manipulative play (such as modeling with clay or blowing bubbles),
- Imaginative play (where they assume adult roles such as pilot, mother, doctor),
- Creative play (such as playing with letters or games with rules)
- Constructive play where they construct items by fitting parts together.
Enlist Them to Help With House Chores
Instead of seeing how much the kids mess the house, you can have them help take care of the house. They can clear out the table, help arrange their toys, learn to make their beds, older kids can help you wash utensils, or sweep the house. You can also send them when you need items when you are in the kitchen or busy working from home.
To make the house chores interesting, always offer a reward after the chores. It can be letting them play with their favorite toys or a little screen time.
Paint or Make a Comic Book
Kids love painting, among other activities that look messy. All you have to do is get them water paint, brushes, and canvas or paper and they are good to start painting. You can start with simple painting games such as printing hands and leaves with paint. Here, they place their hands or leaves on paint and then place them on a paper, and a handprint comes out.
Because children love comic books, you can engage them in creating one. You can have them re-create their favorite stories in comics using animated drawings. This works for older kids who are at least seven years as they may already love drawing.
Create a Routine
Kids wake up early on non-school days. They will be up at six asking whether you’ve seen their favorite toy. You can make your days easier by having a routine every day. The routine can start early in the morning when the kids wake up. List the activities they should carry out without forgetting the minor activities such as brushing their teeth.
You can make the routine into a song to make it interesting for the kids. It should be something like; wake up, make your bed, brush your teeth, arrange your room, take off pajamas, take breakfast, read a story, and so on.
If you have teens, some of the activities above may not interest them. You need to make them feel responsible for the younger kids. This way, the teen helps the other kids paint, shows them how to create comic books, and fixes their toys. This way, everyone in the family gets a role, and you will have less to do as a parent.
Amy Sloane is an alum from Oregon State University and spends her free time as a freelance writer and knitting enthusiast. Amy loves reading, cooking, and spending time with her dog, Molly. Follow her on Twitter to read her latest blogs! @AmySloane2
*Photos courtesy of Amy Sloane