9 Things to do With Cooped Up Kids
9 Things to Do with your Cooped up Kids
by Tina Tower
If you're in Australia right now, it's pretty cold! Here are some activities to entertain your children while they're stuck inside on cold rainy days.
1. Playing it big
Create an area with dress-ups and props from everyday life. Your kids can act out being adults doing what big people do – making cups of tea, getting ready to go to work, reading the newspapers, talking on the phone and so on. Role-play like this is a great way to develop social, cognitive and language skills.
2. Paper-plate puppets
This is a simple activity that requires very little in the way of materials or craft skills from either adult or child. Get a couple of paper plates and stick them together, tape a paddle pop stick or ruler in between them. Help your child draw two different faces on either side, directing them to draw particular emotions, such as angry, happy, sad or whatever else they can think of. It’s a good opportunity to build language skills and for role-play.
3. Go shopping!
Not the expensive type, but instead make your own shop by collecting empty packets and containers from the pantry and make play money by cutting up paper. Whether you have a play cash register at home or you improvise with a table and chair, it needn’t be an expensive affair.
4. Shake, rattle and bang
Make musical instruments by filling plastic containers with uncooked pasta shells, rice or beads (make sure the lid is secured tightly). Or set up a band by getting out the pots and pans and handing over wooden spoons for drumsticks. Stretch rubber bands around a shoe box and twang them like a guitar.
5. Colour me in
Get your child to lie down on a piece of butcher’s paper and trace an outline around them with thick felt pen. Help your child to colour in the outline, adding features and so on. Be as elaborate as you – or your child – want, adding wool for hair or fabric for clothes and so on. You’ll need a child who can lie down for a few minutes!
6. Be scavengers
Go on a scavenger hunt. Sit down with your child and make a list of some things you might find on a short walk around your neighbourhood. It might include leaves, twigs, stones, flowers, litter, drains and so on. Decide how many you want to find (four red cars, two pink flowers, six bits of paper). Take your lost and a pen and go for a walk, ticking everything off as you find it. Perhaps include a special treat – make the last item an ice cream or a swing at the park.
7. Go visiting
If you have elderly neighbours who like kids, get to know them and take your little one on short visits to say “hello”.
8. Picture this
Curl up on the couch with the photo albums. Kids love looking at themselves as babies and will love being taken down memory lane. Get them to point out people they remember.
9. Crazy contact
A tidy way to create a collage. Cut out a big piece of contact paper for your child. Provide different materials – string, cellophane, bits of fabric, coloured paper, and so on – that they can arrange on the sticky side of the contact. When it’s finished, place it on a window.
Flourishnote: Thanks Tina for sharing your story with Flourish, and for the article, "9 Things to do with Cooped Up Kids."
About the author: Tina Tower is an entrepreneur, mother and founder of the Begin Bright school readiness and tutoring centres. Visit www.beginbright.com.au to find out more.
Tina is also a Flourishing Career Woman and her story can be read here.
Flourishnote: We'd love to hear your ideas for keeping kids occupied below.
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