26 Dec Indoor Activities for When Your Kids Are Stuck Inside
With recent reports revealing that up to 30% of an Australian child’s waking time is spent in front of a screen, mums all around the country are beginning to look for ways to entertain their little ones during the holiday months when the weather might be a little too warm or less than ideal to head outside. From imaginative play and charades to other activities that can promote life skills while also providing a source of fun, there are many ways to keep your active kids busy when they’re stuck inside that don’t mean sitting in front of a screen.
Activities that Encourage Learning
If you’re going to ask your children to participate in an activity with you then you might as well ensure they get something out of it, which is what makes learning games especially fun on a super hot winter day or cold summer evening. Charades is a particularly engaging game that children can adapt to fit their needs and interests. For example, you can ask them to act out the letters of each word they’re trying to reveal. Not only does this get them up and moving, but it also helps them think about vocabulary and engages their creativity.
To create a mix of exercise and learning activities, you can craft an activity cube that has different categories written onto each side. For example, you can choose Exercise, Language, Truth or Dare, History, or whatever suits your child’s learning level. Depending on what they roll, they might have to hold a plan for 15 seconds, find out how to say a certain word in a different language, or perform a mime of a major moment in history.
Activities for the Hyperactive Child
Around 1 in every 20 children in Australia exhibit symptoms of ADHD, meaning that if they’re cooped up in a house all day they might seem to literally be bouncing off the walls. To keep active kids busy, you’ll want to engage them in activities that keep their brain and body moving. Setting up a scavenger hunt around the house is a great way to accomplish both of those things, and you can even make the clues harder to solve by making them riddles. Other physical games such as Twister help develop gross motor skills, while an especially physical and active child might love playing balloon volleyball in the living room.
Activities that Develop Sensory Play and Learning Skills
Sensory play is one of the most crucial elements of a child’s development and more so if your child is hyperactive or has issues socializing. Aside from supporting the use of the scientific method, sensory play, according to researchers, has the ability to “refine their thresholds for different sensory information, helping their brain to create stronger connections.”
As an added benefit, this type of play is highly informative and equally as fun, especially for younger children. If your child is particularly picky about their food, for example, create a sensory “play lunch” that will allow them to touch, smell and play with different foods in a no-pressure setting. This is not only fun and dirty, but it will allow them to build positive connections towards food. Playing with kinetic sand, taking a lightstick bubble bath and painting with edible paint are all other great ideas for fun sensory play you can set up indoors.
Enjoy the Time Spent with Your Children
While it might seem like the day couldn’t end fast enough, try to remember to enjoy the time spent helping your children learn and express themselves. Being cooped up inside can be a great way to facilitate family bonding and while you certainly might not feel happy about it at the moment, you’ll likely look back on these days with fondness of just how much your little one grew.
Author Karoline Gore is a freelance writer, former child psychologist and mum to four beautiful children.