The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and we’re all hoping spring decides to show up before June this year, aren’t we?
If you’re anything like the parents we know, you’re probably counting down the days until winter’s over. After all, it’s been getting difficult to keep the kids entertained—you keep suggesting crayons and paper, but by now they’re wise to the usual tricks. In fact, the next time the crayons come out you’re a little concerned you’ll end up with a masterpiece on your walls.
In a perfect world we’d just send ‘em straight outdoors, but unfortunately, spring comes with its own set of wet, slushy obstacles. Puddles, mud, and the occasional April downpour can sometimes mean the kids are stuck inside yet again!
After a long Minnesota winter, what’s a parent to do? Here are five quick-and-easy indoor activities to get you through the rest of spring:
Edible Sculpture Garden. Spread some newspaper on the kitchen table and raid the cupboards for foods in fun shapes and sizes (think marshmallows, pretzels, banana pieces, sprinkles, crackers). Then grab a few items that’ll help them ‘stick’ (peanut butter, toothpicks if the kids are old enough, frosting, etc.) and let the kids get to work. Kids love to dream up their own sculptures or you can pick a theme like zoo animals or Frozen characters to help them focus their ideas. The best part? Clean-up is a snap, and yummy too!
Heads or Tails. Make coloring fun again by adding this twist: Get a stack of paper for each child and assign them to team ‘Heads’ or team ‘Tails.’ Then choose an animal for them to draw each round, with one catch: team ‘Heads’ can only draw the front half, and team ‘Tails’ can only draw the back! After the kids finish, have the teams put their drawings together for a good laugh. They can even mix and match animals for extra fun.
A Tale of Two Cities. Gather up string, paper towel rolls, old boxes, tape or whatever other ‘construction’ materials you have lying around and have kids create their own 3D ‘city.’ For added entertainment, ask them to come up with a fairytale or other story about their cities.
Slow Motion Tag. A great indoor alternative to the classic. Set up boundaries that leave out any sensitive areas in the house and pick a ‘Slow-Mo Monster’ (they’re ‘it’). The Slow-Mo Monster then has to tag other players, but only using exaggerated, slow-motion movements. Players must also be in slow motion as the ‘run.’ If you speed up or get tagged, you’re out!
Capture the ‘Flag.’ Split the kids into teams and give each a durable object to hide somewhere in the house. Give each a separate chance to hide it, then start the timer and let teams work together to find the opponent’s object. The first team to find the others’ object wins the game. To increase playing time, have the kids play to the best of five rounds.
Looking for more great tips? Check out the following blogs for other great indoor activity ideas: