Being a work from home mom, of a 4 and 2 year old, things get busy around here. I know we don’t all have time to sit down with our kids and make every moment a loving memory, if that were the case we would also be living in filth and eating take out every night. I have noticed, however, that taking the time with my kids to do an activity ends up being easier than not doing one (and more enjoyable of course). Sound crazy? My kids only tend to act out when I am busy doing something that doesn’t involve them. We are in the routine of doing these simple activities now, and everyone is enjoying them. I usually do the activities with them, but if I set them up and they know what to do, I can get my own work done while they are enjoying themselves.
Here are 20 indoor activities to do with your little ones:
1. Beauty Salon! The big kids had fun giving my 2 year old her salon treatments. All you need is a couple bowls of shallow water, a towel underneath, and hair supplies.
2. Paint with cars, then give them a car wash in the kitchen sink.
3. Paint with toilet paper roll stamps, just bend into shape, dip in paint and stamp away! We have reused ours probably 5 times and they are still holding shape perfectly.
4. Play mail currier – make a mailbox out of a cardboard box, have the kids mail pictures or letters, then they can open the bottom to take them out to deliver.
5. Have a mid-day campout, throw down a sleeping bag, or set up a tent in front of the fireplace. My girls had a picnic on a blanket, then “roasted marshmallows” with the drumsticks from the game Rock Band.
6. Cut up some pipe cleaners, place in plastic cups, secure and watch them move with a magnet. (click HERE for full directions)
7. Start a band – make a microphone with a tinfoil ball and construction paper. Tupperware and wooden spoons make great drums.
8. Make Play-doh cookies with real raisins or chocolate chips – the kids loved thinking they were tricking me while I pretended to eat them.
9. Throw some plastic dishes and a dish cloth in the kitchen sink for the kiddos to wash. I like to use the dishes from their toy kitchen in since I never clean them myself. All kids love playing in the sink!
10. Let the kids play in the bath tub with no water…. sounds weird I know, but mine love it! They often set up a “store” with the bath toys and shampoo. I like to have them play in there while I am drying my hair in the morning!
11. Play school with your child being the teacher. My four year old likes to play teacher and do circle time, so cute!
12. Make colour or theme collages from old magazines. Parent magazines, and the kids section of the Ikea catalogue are a big hit.
13. Set up a restaurant and let your child be the cook/server. We usually use the Melissa and Doug wooden food, but sometimes I will let the kids make me a salad or sandwich and pour water for drinks.
14. Set up a doctors office, use real bandages on the toys. Warning, we went through a whole box of bandages in one doctor visit!
15. Make and wrap a “just because” gift for a friend or family member. My kids LOVE using wrapping paper and tape!
16. Creat-a-monster craft. I make an outline for the monster, and the girls fill the monster in with any craft supplies they want from the craft box.
17. Record a music video starring your kids on your camera or phone, and let them watch it…. seriously hilarious.
18. Plan a treasure hunt with simple clues and small prizes such as a pack of stickers.
19. Have a birthday party for your child’s favourite stuffy! Dress in party gear, wrap up a homemade gift, stick a candle in a cupcake and sing!
20. Wash out a juice container and let the kids experiment to see what sinks or floats.
What ever you do, just have fun doing it!