“I’m bored!” No matter how many movies, video games or toys the kids have, you’re going to hear those two words sooner or later. So what do you need to keep your kids happy when they’re stuck indoors? All it takes is a little imagination!
Bottle-bowling: Find a soft-textured ball to use as a bowling ball. Place some pillows against the wall at the end of a hallway. Line up some empty plastic water or pop bottles a metre in front of the pillows and you have an instant bowling alley. Letting the kids keep score can be great practice for counting too.
Camping trip, anyone? Ask the kids if they’d like to go on a camping trip without leaving home. You’ll need some grass (a green blanket or towels), a tent (a sheet or blanket placed over two chairs), and a few pieces of bristol board for the kids to cut out trees, flowers, or a campfire. A few stuffed animals placed around the campsite will help set the scene.
Little bakers: Mix up some gingerbread dough and let the little ones use different shaped cookie cutters to make cookies. Once cooled, they could decorate them with colourful icing and candies (messy but fun and yummy).
Shadow-drawing: Get a roll of plain brown paper and have each child lie on it, and then trace their outline. Once cut out, they’ll enjoy drawing in their own features, or creating a funny character that will have them chuckling.
Make your own book: Ask the kids to make up a story that they have to write down and illustrate with paint or markers. Use binders to keep all their stories together so you can enjoy reading them in years to come. A great keepsake.
Future film-makers: Pull out some dress-up clothes, charge up the video camera and get the kids to make a movie. They can act out scenes from their favourite movies, or just run with their own ideas. Next stop, Hollywood!
Storytime: Having everyone curl up with a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows to listen to a story is one of the coziest of winter pastimes – and best of all, no batteries required!