Kids activities needn’t be only for kids. Especially if used as a ruse to allow parents to get on with something they want to do. So we asked experienced mum Chelsea for some of her ideas. This is what she came back with.
“If you’re stuck in the house with the kids during a weekend-long Texas toad-strangler, you’ve got two options: teach them really bad jokes or send them off to do these kids’ activities so they stay out of your hair.
If you choose the joke option, here are some ideas to get you started.
‘What’s brown and sticky? A stick.’
‘What’s a frog’s favorite drink? Croaka Cola.’
On second thoughts, that’s probably not going to go over very well with the 8-12 year-old set. So try these kids’ activities instead.
Get Crafty with them
Tons of kids’ activities involve popsicle sticks and dried pasta, but your older kids will be bored silly. Think grander. Let them paint on large pieces of paper or even several sheets of newspaper spread on your basement or garage floor. Give them more than brushes to paint with – old tennis balls, paint rollers, cookie cutters, cardboard tubing and anything else you can think of that will allow them to get creative. There is a 100-percent chance you will end up with “I (heart) One Direction” scrawled across a wall in giant purple letters, but repainting the wall can be a project for next weekend.
Let your kids do a project that you’ve been putting off for years. Give them a box of family snapshots, some scissors and glue to create collages or scrapbook pages. If you really like cleaning up messes, decoupage is another fun activity for middle-school-aged kids. Give them a shoebox, scissors, a stack of old magazines and some Modge Podge. By gluing cut-outs from the magazines to the shoebox, your kids can create their own special place to store all the junk they accumulate.
Discover a lost art
Letter writing is quickly becoming obsolete in this electronic age. There’s a good chance your kids won’t ever know what it’s like to receive a hand-written letter or postcard in the mail. Teach your kids the importance of good penmanship and old-school communication by having them hand-write letters to their grandparents, aunts, uncles or even athlete, actor or musician. Will your kids think it’s corny? Absolutely. But it will probably win some brownie points with grandma and maybe score them something other than a sweater come Christmas.
Plan a menu
Enlist your kids to create the family’s dinner menu for the week. Teach them about the components of a proper meal – protein, vegetables and starch and let them make selections from your favorite cookbooks. This one is potentially troublesome because you’re really going to have to cook – and eat – what they come up with. Hope you like Tater Tot Casserole.
It can’t hurt to get your kids to help with simple home improvement and cleaning projects that won’t require you to call poison control. Get them to do the things you avoid like the plague: clean and organize their closets, their dresser drawers and linen closets. Kids can use a damp rag to wipe down the baseboards throughout the house. They can also wipe out kitchen and bathroom drawers. These aren’t exactly fun kids’ activities, but it keeps them busy and lets you avoid actually doing housework for another week.
Finding fun kids’ activities for a rainy day can be a challenge. Thinking creatively will help you keep your kids occupied and away from the television or computer. It’s a win-win for both since your kids will be at least mildly entertained, and you’ll be free to catch up on trash TV.”