I love having kids. Being with my children brings me some of the most vibrant and fantastic times in my entire life. They are funny, witty, and charming characters that make life brighter. Kids are very active too. They constantly want to do and try new things. So, as a parent you have to be prepared for those times when they need help keeping entertained.
Some activities that have worked well with my kids include:
1. Make your own pizza. This is an inexpensive, but messy activity. They absolutely love the chance to be creative with their food. We buy the little packages of pizza dough, a jar of pizza sauce, mozzarella cheese and then use whatever else we happen to have that they think will look and taste good. (Hint: This is also a good activity to do when you have friends staying over night.)
2. Movie day or night. Here we have chores that we give the kids. They earn play money for each of their chores. After chores are done and the movie is ready to play they can buy treats at our in-home concession with the money they’ve earned just like at a movie theater. The chores help keep them busy and it also gets the house cleaned up a bit before they turn around to destroy it once more. This activity is great, because it gives them a sense of earning and what that means.
3. Theater Acting. I know that not all children love to read, but mine do. We take the books a bit further. We sometimes dress up (yes, even boys like to dress up and be goofy) like book characters and then we take parts from a story and act it out. I think that they enjoy seeing Mom dress up silly as much as they like the interaction.
4. Mad Science. I don’t mind getting dirty, and neither do my kids. Sometimes I think they thrive on dirt more then they do on food. So, we find science experiments to try at home. Sometimes they work and sometimes they don’t. It doesn’t matter what the result is because we have a lot of fun just trying them out. I do recommend that if you are making lava you have lots of paper towels ready.
5. Texture Painting. This was a blast when we did this one. I had canvas board that I keep in order for them to paint when they are feeling their own creative urge. One time we made some clay like material to put on the canvas and we textured it with various household objects like a comb, fork, spoon, thimble, and anything else that struck our fancy. Once the clay-like material dried we painted over the work with acrylic paints. The paintings not only turned out fantastic, the kids were very proud of their creative works.
6. Odd Games. I love odd things, and so do kids. I have, over time, bought some very obscure titled games like Munchkin, Fluxx, and Hex Hex. We spend some time playing the games and changing the rules every once in a while to make the game more interesting. The kids love making up their own rules to the games we play, but Fluxx allows rule changing through the game anyway.
7. Photo Play. Digital cameras are great tools to use and help kids be creative. There are some free programs where they can upload their photos and change them and make them funny or artistic. Granted very small children might have difficulty with this activity, but my 9 year old has been using his digital camera since he was 7. Let them pose you or the pets in any way they want and then give them creative authority to manipulate the pictures. Online programs like Picnik are great. You can even make movies with Windows Movie Maker with pictures and sound. It's a lot of fun.
8. Spooky Story Time. When we have a thunder storm we like to have a scary story time, even though the stories end up not being all that scary. We have snacks like s’mores and snuggle up on the bed or in front of the fire place. I start the story and then we each take a round as to what happens next. By the end of the store we are all laughing.
9. Group exercise. We spend some time turning on the tunes and then exercising. Mom needs it, the kids just love doing it and trying to keep up. They also enjoy doing tandem sit-ups: this is where you hold hands and as one goes backward the other goes forward.
10. Make Your Own Kind of Music. Everyone has cans, spoons, and empty oatmeal containers around. Be creative and find things that you can put in them. Decorate the instruments and then have fun creating your own kind of music. You can use string or rubber bands to make guitars, just be careful in case they snap.
Remember, it doesn’t have to be a rainy day to have fun with your kids. They grow up very fast. Enjoy them while you can.