There is little worse than having a bored child. When it is raining outside or there just aren’t any activities planned for the day, what could a kid do that will be stimulating enough inside of the house? Keeping a kid inside may drive him or her crazy, but sometimes parents may not have a reason or need to start the car up and go. In moments like these, parents must be creative and quick on their feet. There are more solutions that just turning on the TV. Together, parents and their children can solve boredom or inactivity with very simple, yet fun solutions.
The following list provides suggestions for fun, indoor activities.
Kids may balk at this suggestion, but reading a good book will help pass the time. If your child prefers not to read the book, why not read the story yourself? Reading a book to a child means quality time spent together, and who doesn’t enjoy a good story to get lost in when the weather is dismal outside? Serve a couple cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows and you’re off into a world unlike your own.
Perform A Puppet Show Or A Play
Get those stuffed animals, dolls, and action figures onto the main stage. It is easy to set up an indoor play. Kids can hide behind their bed or couch and use their stuffed animals as puppets. It is amusing to see what the kids can come up with as far as characters and dialogue. Have all of your kids put a show on together, or have each kid make up their own story to put on.
To lighten up a dull mood, turn on the tunes and get your groove on. Clear some room in the kitchen or living room and have a dance party. Kids have a lot of energy to burn up and parents can relieve stress as well by just letting go. There are plenty of kid-friendly playlists on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube for kids' dance parties. Make sure you vet any playlist before you put it on, since some playlists may not be as kid-friendly as they claim.
Set up a scavenger hunt in the house. Make a list of items that kids will have to search the entire house for. This will occupy some time and get the kids moving and thinking at the same time. If there are any rooms in the house that you want to be off-limits, make sure you establish that ahead of time.
For kids who are young enough to still enjoy a scavenger hunt, but too old to find a basic hunt exciting enough, up the challenge by setting a time limit. See if your kids can find all of the requested items within, say, five or ten minutes. That will get kids running around the house in no time, burning up all of that excess energy!
Coloring or Drawing
Use old pieces of scrap paper from the office and let the kids engage in some freestyle drawing. Parents can also outline several shapes to have the kids color. If there are coloring books around, kids can use those too. When you have the opportunity, buy some color- or paint-by-number sets for your kids to use on a rainy day. They'll love showing off the final product!
Although this may seem like a crazy idea, younger kids may actually find that helping their parents with chores can be fun. Helping with chores may make a kid seem so much older than they are. Folding laundry can teach kids how to make out different colors and types of socks. Putting away dishes can help kids learn to be organized. Chores also have the added benefit with older children of helping them realize that it could always be worse, since they know if they complain about being bored, there is a pile of work just waiting for them.
Make sure you aren't using chores as a punishment for relaxing. It's okay for children to just want to sit around and watch T.V. or play video games. It shouldn't be seen as a bad thing. Children go through a lot of stress with school and their social lives; they need opportunities to just unwind. Don't jump to offer them a chore to do just because they've been sitting on the couch for a while.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©iStock.com/Paolo Gagliardi.