Having children at home all the time is hard, especially if you don’t have a garden/backyard/outdoor space. To help pass the time here are a few indoor activities for kids that you can do with them, or they can do unsupervised depending on their age… All of them you will be able to do with what you have lying around.
So easy to do, just grab an A4 sheet of paper (or any size really), it doesn’t have to be blank, use a bill if you don’t have any paper lying about. The challenge is to fold it into an airplane that will fly the furthest. You will need to set up a flight route, eg from the sofa to the kitchen, or from the bed to the door, once you have your flight route get busy folding – planes can also be decorated with colouring or jewels – you decide on the rules. I found this fabulous site for plane ideas if you get stuck and they have instructions on how to fold them. This activity teaches children about aerodynamics and streamlining, eg putting a jewel on the back of your plane is not going to help it go faster. You should encourage them to make a few different planes and see which is the fastest before the official race starts!
As indoor activities for kids, this can amuse for hours or even days, as I know from first-hand experience, and can be adapted in a number of different ways. The principle behind it is that you are teaching kids about money (as in things cost money to buy) and maths through counting out the money. First, you need money, you can use monopoly money or create your own currency by cutting out paper notes and coins. If you are going to make the money it makes the activity much longer, so you could split this into two depending on attention spans. Once you have the money, you need products to sell, there are lots of options here are some examples:
– Cut things out of a magazine, eg a picture of a bike
– Draw items on paper
– Get things out of the cupboard, eg toys or cans of beans
– Bake cakes/biscuits
Depending on the number of kids in the house, you might have one buyer and one shop owner, or multiple buyers and owners, either way, they can all swap around. The shop owner has to decide on the price of everything in his/her shop (make sure you have enough money to pay for the prices they want to charge!). You can make price tickets for each item if you want, or the shop owner can just tell the customer.
The shoppers are given a certain amount of money to spend and start shopping, depending on the items that are for sale you might set a theme, eg a birthday present for Dad or ingredients for a cake.
I love to bake and when you have lots of free time it is a great activity to do with kids, or even when they are older. When I was younger we used to have Masterchef style bakeoffs, where my brother and I both made the same cake and got judged by our parents for taste and presentation – needless to say, it was always a tie! For older children, a bake-off is a great way to get them engaged, and they can always rope in younger siblings as helpers!
If your children (or you) aren’t great in the kitchen or need some inspiration, check out our Banana Muffins recipe book – you can create the book and read it online (free) to follow the recipe, and/or order yourself or a friend a copy. More recipe books are coming soon….