Australian Parenting Mentor Shirley Taylor says there are plenty of low cost ways to entertain your children inside during the holidays
“The winter weather can make these holidays a mostly indoor affair,” said Mrs Taylor, whose two children are looking forward to the break.
“Yet children cooped up inside have the tendency to get bored and to whine” she said.
“In the majority of cases “I’m bored!” often actually means “I really would love you to come and play with me.” So be prepared to get stuck in with them and have fun!”
Mrs Taylor says it helps to be ready with a selection of prepared activities for a quick go to when the ‘bores’ strike, such as the below:
- Create a Bored Jar – A jar full of slips of paper with activities on them For example – Choose a recipe and make it, go for a bike ride, fold the laundry – there are plenty more examples online. NOTE: make sure you have everything you need for each activity, nothing worse than them getting excited they are going to be playing with bubbles only to find you don’t have any.
- Make a Tent – A sheet over the dining table or some chairs makes a great cubby, and can amuse for hours.
- Have a building challenge – Using Lego or other blocks; see who can build the tallest, the widest or the wackiest building. What can they build using only the yellow blocks?
- Create a masking tape road – Using masking tape on the floor and over the sofas, create a series of roads for your car lover to entertain himself for ages.
- Craft – All kids love to craft. Add an extra dimension by using their toys to make fun shapes in paint or sand.
- Create a Crime Scene – If you have an older detective child then create a crime scene for them to solve. You could include footprints, tire prints etc. You could make it doll sized or life size. Your imagination is the limit here.
- Papier Mache – All it takes is newspaper, glue, paint and a balloon or two and the imagination can run wild. Kids love this as it is messy, fun and at the end you can fill it with lollies and use it as a piñata.
- Scavenger Hunt – Take photos of a number of things, the number depends on the attention span of your children and how long you want the game to go on for, then provide the photos to the kids and they track down the item.
- Scavenger Hunt Take 2 – Get the kids to create a scavenger hunt, or a treasure hunt, for you to complete. Set a specific date for the parents to go hunting, a weekend day usually works best, and gives the kids a week to prepare it.
- Obstacle Course – Create an indoor obstacle course. Tie string across a door way, like a spiders web, and challenge the kids to get through without touching the strings.
- Board Games – Many competitive and fun hours can be spent playing board games. Snakes and Ladders, Rummikub or even Monopoly or Chess depending on the age of your child.
- Origami – Children with a bit of patience will love this. The possibilities are endless and the finished product so delicate and beautiful.
Mrs Taylor says that there are other parents out there in the same boat as you and would love to swap play dates with you.
“The kids often entertain each other and the chances of hearing “I’m bored!” are significantly reduced.”
“The holidays will fly by and with preparation you can save your sanity and give your kids a great time.”