I know as a stay at home mum of 2 kids (Josh almost 4 and Amy 20 months) it is sometimes easy to stick them in front of the television to get some peace & quiet. But once I actually worked out how much television they were watching I was horrified.
So I made a pact with myself that the television would go off in the morning after Josh's favourite television show and we would play games. In doing this the kids have a more structured day and they have a lot to tell Daddy when he gets home at night.
You don't need to do activities that cost a small fortune to set up. Most households would have craft items lying around or hiding at the back of cupboards. If you don't there are always 2 dollar shops.
Let's head to the indoor games ideas:
There are so many things you can do with a cardboard box. It really doesn't have to be that big, I gave my kids 2 empty nappy boxes one day and sat back and watched them play for hours. First it was 2 cars then a piece of string turned it into a bus from a bus it became 2 planes then the string needed to come back into play and it became a train. All the stuffed teddies and my daughter's dolls got a real work out that day. You could go as far as giving the kids textas, pencils or crayons and get the kids to decorate their boxes but I found at my kid's ages they were just happy to play with the boxes.
Make a Tent
It's amazing what you can do with 2 kitchen chairs and a large bed sheet. Put the 2 chairs a few feet apart with the seat facing outwards and drape the sheet over the top. There you go, tent made. Add a few pillows and cushions and the kids and their teddies will have a ball. You can even serve lunch in there and call it a picnic.
Try this 'Under-the-Table-House' project.
Get plastic containers, pots and pans and wooden spoons and start your own little rock band. Kids will have fun for hours. They really love it when mum gets in there and dances around to the noise (I mean music).
Cut and Paste (the old-fashioned way)
Get old magazines and cut out colourful pictures and letter and get the kids to paste them onto paper. During this time you can talk to your children about the pictures and what they see. Even get them to find the letters of their names to paste onto the page. During autumn you can also go outside and find fallen leaves to stick onto their creations.
Most people have the ingredients for play dough right in their pantry. You don't need all the expensive play dough shapes and cutters all you need is a rolling pin, cookie cutters and a big imagination. Before you start, you will need a recipe. (Most of the time you can find the recipe on the side of a cream of tartar box). If not a quick search of google will give you hundreds of recipes. Get the kids to help you measure out the ingredients, they will have a ball.
Suggestions for Outdoor Activities ideas
I hope you all have as much fun as my kids with all these ideas.
Reprinted with permission