Unplugged, inside and free!
Living in Melbourne with kids you always end up spending a couple of cold and wet afternoons inside - watching the rain pelting down on the windows and thankful that the heater works!
Here are three games and activities for those afternoons when we need to be unplugged and are stuck inside!
1. TASK LIST
This was my clever sister's idea. It's not about what is on the task list, it's about them having an activity.
Mummy has a task list, Daddy has a task list, it's time for the kids to have a task list. Give the kids a list of things they need to do. It can be before a snack, before they can get back on technology or just so we all have a task list to work on. Sometimes the kids get so interested in one of the tasks on the list that they will forget about the clock!
Some of the tasks we include on our lists -
For the younger kidsLine up 10 cars in a row
Roll a ball down the hallway and back again 3 times
Find 3 books that are blue and stack them on the floor
(Use their colour pencils to make 3 different coloured spots ) Find a car to match each of these colours.
Draw a picture.
Use their stickers to decorate a card.
Line up 5 cars with spaces between then roll the ball like a snake between the cars.
For slightly older kidswrite 10 words starting with the first letter of your name.
15 minutes reading/colouring
Write 5 things you love about your mum/dad
Use a newspaper/magazine to cut out letters to spell your name.
Draw a card for grandma.
If you have some outside space - Bounce a ball 20 times.
One of the great bonuses for this idea is getting something like this.
One of my most prized possessions!
2. GOING GOING - ALL SOLD!
We love our Auction nights.
We did this the first time when we were away on a family holiday and we were trying to convince the kids to do some art and craft.
It works best when you have guests. If the visitors have kids this could be the pre-dinner activity to get the kids all interacting.
How to play -
The kids draw pictures, or if you're up for the effort they could create things.
They have to all be finished their creations before you can start. (We usually set it to a limit of 3 each)
The Auction starts. (this bit requires adult participation)
Have fun with it - trump people, make sure the kids call out GOING GOING - ALL SOLD! We use our silver coins and the average cost per picture is $1 -1.50
The kids must sign the artwork, and they must give the art up at the end of the Auction. So it's no use them auctioning off their LEGO for $5 unless they are willing to give up that Lego. (we learnt this the hard way!)
3. BUILD A BOX CITY
We have done this for years. Playing cars is even more fun when you have a city to drive around in. Wander around the house and collect your buildings. Anything from the tissue box, the cereal boxes, rice boxes - even the vegemite!
Place all the boxes around on the floor and makes some roads to help the cars get from one place to the others.
We use the Autobahn road tape, with 33m of tape, it lasts for quite a few cities. You don't have to use the tape though, part of the fun can be making the roads from paper. It's great scissor practice and easy to make roundabouts too.
So making the city is the first activity, and then, when it is created you can create a story. Which cars belong with the different buildings? Is this building an office or a house or a school? You can have an airport too!
How do you spend your inside afternoons when you are unplugged? Have you made a box city? Have you created a task list for your kids before? What is on your list? Maybe a blanket fort..or a pillow fight.
We hope you heater stays warm and your sanity intact until we can once again head outside to run around or ride the bike.
Do you have any go-to activities for wet weather afternoons?
- Helle Warming