Due to upcoming hurricane Irene, I’m hoping everyone will find a safe place to stay and enough food and water to last through the weekend. Once these important stuff are taken care of and everyone is more or less relaxed, another question arises. What in the world are we going to do locked in the house all weekend with super active and also stressed kids?!
Here are just a few ideas of different indoor activities that will keep kids occupied and entertained. They will also help us adults to take our minds off of what the nature is unleashing upon us outside.
2. All you can eat popcorn and movie time.
3. Bean mosaic. Sketch design on cardboard. Cover small portion of design area with thick glue and arrange beans on top following the drawn shape. Fill in shape and continue until complete. Dry before placing upright.
5. Potty train your toddler or help potty train your younger sibling.
6. Build a house from cards; start by balancing 2 against each other.
7. Build a Lego/block/toy animal and people village; keep adding to it.
9. Cleaning/organizing party; kids sign-up for what they want to do, when complete-all participants celebrate.
10. Compile a list of things you like to do at your program, home, school, and out-and-about! Put it in booklet form. Can you get to 102? Complete the list with dreams and goals of what you’d like to do in the future! Illustrate if you like. (This can be an on-going project).
12. Craft from recycled material bins/tubes.
13. Creative story telling. Form a circle and have one person start a story. Use an object such as a small ball; when the first person is done with his/her two or three lines, the object is passed along, until the story is complete. Telling the story works best when the sentences are stopped at mid-point. The last person completes the entire sentence.
14. Creative story on long roll paper. The procedure is the same as above; however, it is written on paper. Have each child use a different color marker and stop in mid-sentence, until the last sentence completes the story. This can be on-going.
15. Design and build with Popsicle sticks/tongue depressor sticks.
16. Dramatic play day! Do you have equipment/supplies to play: House, Acting/Movie Star, Bank, Court, Doctor/Nurse/Hospital, Office, Restaurant, School, Travel, and T.V. News/Weather?
17. Face painting.
18. Favorite gym games.
19. Group draw. Have groups draw together on one large piece of paper, self-portraits are an idea.
20. Graffiti Wall. Put up a large sheet of roll paper in area where there are no black/whiteboards. Write title ‘Graffiti Wall’ on it. Put any sub-title you like. It can be Draw on Me, Write on Me or change every week with sub-headings of Things That Make Me Happy! Favorite Things to Do, Pet Peeves, etc. (Good for sharing feelings).
21. Group puzzle.
22. Guess how much it will rain! Put a cup outside and measure it when it’s finished raining. Can also leave cup out overnight. Make a chart for estimates; closest estimate gets a prize. (Not recommended during hurricane)
23. Have kids look at gym game books and choose some new games to play!
24. Help a teacher.
25. Ice-cream sundae bar.
26. Invention bags. Fill bags with identical items for kids to create something original. 1 bag per 1 to 3 children.
27. Jewelry making: yarn, cord, beads, rubber bands.
28. Jewelry making: cord and life saver candy or Fruit-Loop/Cheerio cereal.
30. Jump rope marathon (contest with self-beating your own highest score).
32. Lanyard lace or Lanyard and pony beads.
33. Learn new card games; play favorite card games.
34. Learn/practice juggling.
35. Learn/practice magic tricks-then have a magic show!
36. Learn/practice playing with a yo-yo.
37. Learn yoga.
38. Line dancing: Limbo, Conga line, Hokey Pokey, YMCA, Macarena, Chicken Dance and Hustle.
39. Lip Sync.
40. Magazine Scavenger Hunt: Divide the children into groups or individually. Give kids a list of things that would be found in magazines. Children search, cut, and glue items to sheet of paper.
41. Make a god’s eye with yarn and Popsicle sticks.
42. Make friendship bracelets from embroidery yarn.
43. Make some original word-search puzzles.
44. Make a Theme wall mural.
45. Make your own video. Pick a topic, write, practice, direct, shoot!
46. Make play dough from favorite recipes.
47. Make puppets: bag, paper plates and sticks, socks, mittens, lunch bags, foam and felt.
48. Michelangelo Painting: Tape large pieces of paper to the underside of tables or desks. Put out a variety of art supplies. Kids paint/color/draw lying on their backs-just like Michelangelo did! Discuss how he spent four years doing this to complete the Sistine Chapel frescoes.
49. Music /dancing of own choice.
50. Musical chairs.
51. Nail Polish-have a supply of nail and hand products for days like this! (First get parents’ permission)
52. Name that Tune!
53. Obstacle course.
55. Paint to music and how it makes you feel.
56. Paper airplanes. Make them and then fly them in the room.
57. Plan a family event.
58. Plan a morning breakfast.
59. Play Follow the Leader.
60. Play, Skit, or Puppet show: Write, Produce, Practice, Perform.
61. Play or skit from a favorite short book, poem, or chapter book.
62. Pasta/rice/bean collage
63. Play some lively background music (or soothing depending on the emotional climate of the room); it often cheers up a rainy day!
64. Pound nails in boards.
65. Pound nails in a tree trunk part – at different levels for a unique art object. This can be on-going.
66. Pull out easel and paints.
67. Rain Art. Kids put on rain gear and take heavy duty paper plates outside. Sprinkle a few drops of food coloring onto plates and watch as designs appear. For a batik effect, first draw on the plate with white crayon and then add the food coloring. (Not recommended during hurricane)
68. Random Acts of Kindness: Decide on a RAK activity.
69. Relay Races. Play inside instead of outside!
70. Relay Races wearing mittens where objects are on a spoon.
71. Reverse writing. Take a sentence or paragraph and try to write it backwards.
72. Rhyme Time-Think of words. Children take turns seeing how many “real” rhyming words they can think of. When one word is worn out, choose another word. Remind them ‘nice’ words only! Spring, ring, bring, thing, fling, ding, king, ping, sting, and zing!
73. Run laps around the room/gym.
74. Shaving cream. Put some on a flat surface and paint in it using finger tips.
75. ‘Simon Says’. Simon Says based on the season or theme: ‘Bunny Says’, ‘Elf Says’, ‘Santa Says’, ‘Pumpkin Says’, etc.
76. Sing some favorite songs; sing in rounds.
77. Spaghetti painting: Cook pasta with some cooking oil added. Allow a handful of pasta for each child, Drain rinse, cool. Shape pasta-cutting lengths as needed-and place on card-stock sheets. Cover with wax paper and a heavy book to dry flat. Pasta will adhere when dry. (Add food coloring to water for colored pasta)
78. Spontaneous/Spur of the moment party.
79. Special craft/craft kits.
80. Start a Community Service project.
81. Start an Idea Box. Have each person put activity ideas they would like to do, in the new box; keep idea box going. Already have one? Pull out ideas to do or refresh with new ideas! Think about making this part of your program. Each week, Bi-weekly or monthly, pull out one of the ideas and do it! (Previously, screen ideas)
82. Start a Paper Maché project.
83. Start a photo journal/Take photographs.
84. Start learning a foreign language.
85. Start learning sign-language.
86. Start or add to Who’s Who Book (pages about each child in the program); look at previous year books and journals.)
87. Static Electricity. Rub a balloon vigorously against hair or a sweater. Chart how long it will stick to different items and laugh at what it does to hair.
88. Stickers. Use office labels and kids decorate them with markers or paint.
89. Take apart a broken appliance; put the appliance back together or re-invent it.
90. Tape record voices. Ahead of time, tape record different SAC voices. Play the tape at group time. Try to guess who is who.
91. Teach a craft (knitting, sewing, patchwork, leatherwork, woodworking, etc.).
92. Tell stories/add on stories.
93. Trace your body: fill with things about yourself-either drawn or cut out from magazines.
94. Version of #93: Make a collage of yourself with things cut out from magazines, and glued on card-stock
95. Trivia or Jeopardy played tic-tac-toe style.
96. Try to learn the ABC’s backwards.
97. Umbrella Painting. Rainy days on the way? Have interested children bring a solid color umbrella. Cover floor, open umbrella, decorate each section with fabric paint or pens. Let dry for a day before closing or using.
98. Use an overhead to project large pictures for kids to color/draw/cut for murals.
99. Treasure Hunt.
100. Browse Bambinis for different craft/games ideas and tutorials.
If 100 wasn’t enough, I have another article with 55+ more things to do with kids at home.
Enjoy, stay safe and dry!