Gloomy weather can make keeping children entertained over the half term a real challenge. Monica Costa of London Mums Magazine shares her top 10 indoor activities that’ll keep the kids active while they’re at home.
Easy science experiments
You can educate and entertain both at the same time with a simple science experiment. It’s an activity that all children will love and can help your child develop an inquisitive mind.
Don’t panic, the experiments don’t need to be complex! Try making slime by mixing water with food colouring and slowly stirring in cornflour or give this dancing raisins experiment a go.
Draw a new bridge competition
Tower Bridge is calling for UK children with a passion for drawing to design a new London Bridge. From pens to pasta to computer programmes, anything can be used to design a new bridge as long as there’s plenty of creativity involved!
For the full terms and conditions check out the Design a Bridge competition on the London Bridge website. And of course if you’re not in London you can find a suitable landmark that your children will recognise.
Simple arts and crafts
You don’t need to spend lots of money on paper and paints this half term, there are a myriad of bits and bobs around the house children can use to express their creativity.
One of my favourite activities is making pasta jewellery with the kids. There’s almost always some leftover pasta at the back of the cupboard, so why not put it to good use? All you need is some string, glue and glitter to turn boring old penne into beautiful bracelets for everyone.
A cardboard box is also a fantastic arts and crafts resource. Larger boxes can be turned into castles, cars and dens with a few pens, scissors (under parent supervision of course) and a little imagination. Smaller boxes can become spooky disguises – just cut out some eye holes and get painting a scary face.
Children love to cook and eat pizza. From kneading the dough to making faces and patterns with toppings, there’s plenty to enjoy. It’s also a great opportunity to practice counting, measuring and weighing.
You don’t have to be outdoors to have a picnic. Gather together the teddies and dolls for a mock picnic indoors with a blanket, paper plates, plastic cutlery and a hamper packed with picnic goodies like honey sandwiches and fruit.
If you want something a little more energetic than a picnic why not hold a disco? Raid the dressing-up box, put on some cheesy pop songs and have a living room dance-off!
Choose your treasure (small toys, sweets, grape packs, stickers etc.) and hide them around the house, creating clues leading there for the little ones to unravel. This is a fantastic activity for a group of children at different ages because the older ones will love making the clues and the younger ones will enjoy finding the treasure.
Everyone loves traditional board games, which are fun and also help develop important social skills such as communicating, sharing and patience.
Spend some quality time together snuggled up on the sofa with one of your child’s favourite books. Take it in turns to read aloud and add silly voices and actions for each character to keep it fun and exciting. If you’re looking for a new storybook take a look at London Mums’ book suggestions.
Pottering in the garden
If the rain holds off for half an hour get the kids into the garden (if you don’t have one – do you have a park nearby?)
Pottering around with a magnifying glass or getting involved with some light gardening is a great way to give them some fresh air and keep them happy. Plus, if it starts to rain the house is only a short dash away!
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