Generally if we spend an entire day indoors it happens because we’re stuck in and not because I willingly sign up for the idea. I like the idea of having old-fashioned days in the house with my kids where the TV is off and my sanity is still intact. My daughter was off sick today and we managed to have the peaceful day that usually only exists in my completely unrealistic parenting fantasies.
Here are a few ideas of things we did that kept everyone happily entertained.
- Since it was Pancake Tuesday I made pancakes and then let my kids choose their own toppings and put them on. Giving them little choices always makes them feel more involved and more content with whatever we’re doing.
- I read stories to them under a fluffy blanket on the sofa. Then they can read the stories by themselves to each other or to their teddies.
- I let them watch TV (how shocking and what awful parenting! I’m joking. They like TV, so make life easier for yourself sometimes.)
- They made pasta pictures. I just gave them a bowl of dry pasta and they stuck it to paper with PVA glue. If your kids are older they can make pictures out of it, like houses, etc. Mine are at the stage where they just enjoy sticking the pasta on in random patterns.
- My daughter had made bird food in a yogurt pot at nursery and we looked to see if the birds had eaten all of it, which they had. She wanted to make more, which I had no idea how to do, so we improvised with oats, peanut butter and raisins. Apparently birds love grapes so we added them as a treat. (Hopefully this won’t result in untimely death for the local bird community.)
- It was cold so we made hot chocolate with mini marshmallows, which for some reason, appeal to them more than regular sized marshmallows.
- We played a game where you cut up little bits of paper or card into squares, your kids ask you to draw particular objects, eg, pasta bows, kangaroos, teapots. You draw two of each object on different cards so there are pairs of them. You can let the kids colour them in, so don’t spend time on fancy drawings; just something quick and barely recognisable will do. Then you use them as cards: you set them face down in a pile in the middle and each person takes one at a time. Whoever has the most pairs at the end wins.
- They found a kids’ make-up set they got for Christmas that I had hidden since. To be honest, the clean-up was grim but it entertained them for a full hour, which is a new record. If you are going to do this, get your kids to do it at the table with a wipeable table cloth so you aren’t cleaning gloopy glitter off every surface for days afterwards.
The day was actually really calm, probably influenced by jazz I was playing. I find it really calms my kids down and makes them more focused on activities if it is quietly playing in the background.
I’m not expecting a repeat of today’s calmness any time soon, but it was nice to have a relaxing day indoors for a change.