Stuck inside today? When you can't venture outdoors, it's easy to feel stifled in the same scenery. If you add active kids into the equation, then you get a whole new level of difficulty—especially if you work from home. How do you stop complaints like "I'm bored!" or endless requests for screen time?
Though cuddling on the couch with some throw blankets is good for a part of the day, children need a range of activities to keep them entertained. Having fun indoor activities prepared in advance can help keep active kids happy with minimal effort. Here are some ideas of how to keep things interesting at home for kids who are always thirsting for the next adventure.
Before your day at home starts, it's important to make some ground rules for the whole family. Generally, there are many responsibilities to be taken care of at home. Your children should respect your to-do lists and take as much ownership as possible over their indoor activities. If you have small children, this may not be possible for long periods, but you still can encourage age-appropriate independence. This discipline is especially important for parents who have to work from home.
Overall, if you have a kid who is school-aged and above, they should be able to carry on independently with an activity for at least 30 minutes to an hour. If you need uninterrupted work time, make these boundaries firm throughout the day so that you are not called to resolve every argument or mishap. This ensures that the kids learn problem-solving skills and that you get the space and time you need to take care of any other responsibilities. With your ground rules established, your kids can now dive into some fun activities at home.
If you have extroverted and adventurous kids who can't stand to be inside, a day at home can be challenging. However, if you have something readily available like an art station, this can provide at least an hour of entertainment for them. To make this an easy setup, put all the necessary art supplies in canvas storage bins in an office or playroom. This kind of organization makes it easy to retrieve paint, markers, paper, and other crucial art supplies quickly.
Also, your kids should wear some old clothing like last year's season of boys' T-shirts, so there won’t be any need for feeling guilty about getting dirty. For the best results, make sure that this shirt is at least a size bigger than what your child typically wears. You can find cheap painting shirts at a discount store or have your children wear hand-me-downs to minimize any costs.
While many sports involve projectiles that can damage indoor furniture, there are still plenty of ways your kids can stay active inside without throwing a dodgeball at a lamp. For example, hopscotch is a wonderful activity that can be made in a matter of minutes with just some colored masking tape. Simply mark the desired area with masking tape to designate where your kids can hop and collect points. If your kids are older, they are fully capable of plotting out their hopscotch course themselves—which will also keep them busy and make them proud of their creative accomplishment.
Another excellent way to burn some calories is to have your kids complete an age-appropriate fitness video. There are many resources on the internet that help kids stay active and streaming educational fitness activities can nurture both mind and body. For example, there are counting videos for children that incorporate simple exercises like hopping and jumping jacks on YouTube. No matter how your kids break a sweat, keep them dressed in comfy clothes like kids' hoodies so that they can feel ready for all activities at hand.
If your kids are officially spent from the day and need some time to unwind, unlock their inner culinary artist and cinephile. Baking cookies and watching a movie together is a fun way to end an exciting day. Older kids can prepare easy cookie recipes from scratch while younger kids will need help preparing this treat safely.
For less stress, have some packages of ready-to-bake cookie dough in the fridge so that there is little mess, thus an easy cleanup. When it’s time to settle down for a movie with the cookies, prepare a cozy place to sit, like some bean bags for kids in front of the TV. This extra special touch makes the movie even more fun, and it will become a place to crash for many evenings to come.
Being indoors can be fun for active kids when you prepare a variety of activities that nurture their minds and bodies. With the right materials, your home can always be prepared for plenty of indoor entertainment.