Fall is around the corner, and wet, chilly days are sure to follow. Are you ready for some time indoors with your kiddos? Print out this list as a go-to guide for indoor entertainment!
- Double feature: Going to the movies is a treat. But how about seeing two in a row? If your kids are old enough to sit still through two movies, this is a great way to kill a rainy afternoon.
- Story time: Pull out your children’s favorite books and create a little story corner in your family room. Set up some bean bag chairs or big pillows, bring out some snacks and take turns reading aloud.
- Board games: Let everyone pick their favorite board game, pop some popcorn and let the games begin!
4. Card houses: Remember spending hours setting up a card house only to have it tumble down in two minutes? Pull out the cards and create some old-fashioned fun
5. Dominoes: Help your kids set up an elaborate domino train that weaves around furniture. Then hit that first domino to watch them fall, one by one.
7. Make playdough: For a great recipe, click here. After you’ve made the playdough, give your kids “assignments.” Tell them to sculpt an animal or flower or tree.
8. Volunteer: Find a local soup kitchen or other charity you can take your kids to volunteer. If you don’t have anything that fits the bill in your area, have your kids clean out their rooms and create piles of clothing, shoes and toys to donate.
9. Make a mural: Buy a giant roll of paper and cover a wall with it. Give your kids some crayons and let them create a “mural” for your family room.
10. Update playlists: Does your child have her own playlist on your iPod? Let her find some new music to add.
11. Photo fun: Let your child choose five to 10 photos from a vacation, birthday party or other event. Give him some construction paper, scissors, glue and other craft material and let him create a collage.
12. Refinish furniture: Say what? With kids? Find an old nightstand, table or bookcase you want to use in your child’s room. Sand it and prep it beforehand, then let your child choose a fun color (give her a few pre-approved shades to choose from) to paint it.
13. Cooking lesson: Set up work stations in your kitchen and teach your children to make something simple, but fun. Try healthy nachos, mini pizzas or a wrap sandwich. If your kids are up for something more complicated, bust out the lasagna pan!
14. Rearrange the playroom: Get your kids involved in this project. Draw up a mock set of blueprints of how you want the playroom to look and get their input. This is a great time to purge old toys, too. Add some extra flair like bean bag chairs, a new coat of paint or a fun mirror to make the room feel really different.
15. Make a name sign: Is your child starting to feel territorial about his or her room? Buy some wood letters, a small piece of plywood, paint and glue and let your child make a name sign for his or her bedroom door.
16. Toy swap: Gather a few of your child’s friends and invite them over for a toy swap. Each child should bring a couple toys they no longer use. Make sure to supervise this activity and let each child have a turn so nobody feels the swap is unfair.
17. Science project: Choose a simple science project like this one on volcanoes for a fun, but educational activity.
18. Video game tournament: I know, you probably limit your child’s time with video games (as you should), but if you’re faced with hours and hours inside on a rainy Saturday, this could be a great solution. Invite a few friends over, let them choose their favorite video game and create a tournament!
19. Go swimming: Find your nearest pool or indoor splash park and go get wet … inside!
20. Treasure hunt: My best friend and I used to spend hours hiding a small object in my room and then telling each other if we were “hot” or “cold” while we looked for it. Do this on a larger scale—hide a few objects and leave hints with each found object that give clues to the next hidden treasure.
21. Field trip: Head to your favorite museum for a day of learning and fun. Prepare a few questions before you go to give to your child. Let her search the museum for the answers.
22. Letter writing/card making: When was the last time your child wrote his grandparents a letter or made them a homemade card—just because? Make this project fun with lots of craft items. The letter or card can be to anyone from a grandparent to favorite aunt. Encourage your child to be creative and write about themselves.
23. Put on a play: Find one of your children’s favorite simple stories and encourage them to act it out. Enlist the help of their friends, create a “stage” and help with costumes. After a few hours of rehearsal, let them perform for the parents.
24. Puppet show: Pull out your old socks, buttons, ribbons and craft supplies to make some homemade puppets! When you’re done, have your children put on a show (have them hide behind the couch and peek the puppets over for a puppet stage).
25. Indoor playland: Head to your local mall and take advantage of the free play area for kids! Make an afternoon of it and treat the kids to frozen yogurt and a small (five to 10 dollar) item from their favorite store.