Unstoppable Fun When You’re Stuck Indoors
Rain or extreme heat can quickly cancel your plans for a fun outdoor adventure. But summer is all about fun and making memories with family, so make you day unforgettable with these simple creative solutions from KIDFUN, a collection of ideas to fight boredom when you’re stuck inside, a new book by Dr. Jill Clark, CEO of Philadelphia Charter School for Arts & Science.
Indoor Volleyball Or Badminton
Need a little indoor exercise? Balloons are the answer. They are small and light and practically damage-proof and perfect as the ball in a game of volleyball or as the birdie in badminton. Tie a string or rope to the top of two chairs. Pull the chairs apart wide enough to designate the playing area with the string as the net. Then, if playing badminton, give each player a paper plate. The Balloon is the birdie or the ball (if playing volleyball). It’s fun, active, and damage-proof! TIP: Keep a bag of balloons handy. They are good for all sorts of diversions: a game of catch, rolling races along a path on the floor.
Here’s an activity, ideal for all animal lovers! Ask your child to think of an animal and imitate its actions. He can’t tell you what it is. You have to guess. Her job is to help you guess as quickly as possible. Once you guess, you take a turn. After each of you has guessed successfully, you might want to make a list of all the animals you imitated and look for their images in the books or magazines.
If your kids love toy cars, organize races against the clock. Set up a long track with tape or string on the floor. Make sure there is a start and a finish line. Using a kitchen timer or a stopwatch, let your children organize car races along the track and see who gets the best time. If the cars are in danger of veering into a wall or furniture, use pillows for protection.
You can play pool—right on the kitchen table. And don’t be surprised if older siblings, parents and grandparents get in the act!
First, set up the pool table (meaning the kitchen table) with pockets on the edge by hanging them off the sides and on the corners. It’s easy. The pockets are small paper cups that are taped along of the kitchen. Tape each cup so that it is flush with the edge of the table or just a smidge lower.
Next, make the cue stick with a plastic drinking straw and a strand of raw spaghetti. Place the spaghetti inside the straw and slide it back and forth. You’ll see it has action to it.
Make the ball with something from the kitchen that is small and round like Cheerios, sunflower seeds in the shell or M&M’s.
Now have your child practice a bit pushing the “ball” along the table with the “cue stick” so that it lands in the “pocket.” Children can do this alone or you can challenge each other. Devise a scoring system based on the number of times the “ball” lands in the “pocket.” It’s fun — try it yourself!
Find empty boxes that would be good sizes to store books, toy cars, scarves, dolls, etc. Have the kids select the box that would be best for a specific toy or play object. They then decide how to decorate the box. They can use paint or crayon but maybe for this purpose, the box could be decorated with a picture he makes that describes the object inside. Let the box dry and then find the best place in his room (or elsewhere) to store these boxes. I bet he’ll take great pride in these creations!
Our Favorite Things – Photo Memories
Good cheer for a dreary day that’s fun for kids and adults. Make a still life of your favorite things. First, gather these things in one place, on a table. Then look on the internet for images of Still Life paintings. Talk about how a vase is placed in one spot, a glass in another, etc. Now, you and your child design your still life, any style you like.
Then photograph them. What a great photo memory of your favorite things you’ll have. Let your child take pictures, too, shooting from different angles to see what he likes best. You could even print out these pictures and make a book of My Favorite Things! (Remember to date and sign it.)
Connect The Raindrops
If it isn’t raining too hard, open the window and let your child hold a piece of construction paper or gray cardboard out the window. Tell her she must pull it back in by the time you count to five. When she pulls it back in, you’ll see dark spots from the water. Let your child connect the dots quickly in any sequence she wishes. After they dry, she can experiment with filling in sections of her rain design.
Sharla Feldscher is the author of eight books, including two KIDFUN Activity Books. Her newest book KIDFUN: 401 Easy Ideas for Play is available on www.wordeee.com and wherever books are sold.