Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Indoor Activities

It's so nice to see the weather warming up and knowing there will be lots of park days and outside play times coming up............but March and April are always pretty rainy so it's good to have some ideas for indoor activities inside. I thought I would share a few we have tried lately and I would LOVE your ideas..............and I imagine many others reading would love to get some ideas!
We always try toys, play dough, coloring, puzzles, books first................but some of these were bigger hits!
We didn't play outside when we had the big snow. It was just too cold and I'm 9 months pregnant and didn't want to fall down so we brought the snow inside. This entertained Harper forever!!! In fact - now if I lay down towels and bring out a tub she starts saying "SNOW!!! SNOW!!!". But if it does come a late snow - we are for sure doing this again!
My friend Bethany suggested taking two bowls and putting water and ice cubes in one and giving her a slotted spoon and letting her move the ice from bowl to another. This kept her busy for like 45 minutes! She LOVED it! I just laid towels down and let her go to town!
I had a few friends suggest putting rice or beans in a tub and letting her play in it. I decided rice was too messy so I bought a whole bunch of beans and let her try this last night. (This was before I decided to put a blanket down.) Now she loved this but I left the room for I promise less than 2 minutes and came back to this..........................
In 2 minutes she managed to scatter beans all over our entire family room. The type A in me decided we might not play with the beans again for a while. Especially when all 9 months of me had to bend down and clean this up (she helped!)

Any other ideas? Especially ones using basic home materials??? I'd love to hear anything! And not just for little ones - I'm sure moms all over NWA would love activities for school aged kids for those days you are home and they are "bored"!


  1. I wonder if large elbow noodles would work. I'm thinking they would be easier to clean up. Maybe give a large strand of yarn and have them string them. Knot one end first :)
    Noodles are fun to make pretty necklaces too. I can't tell you how many times I wore a Mac. Necklace to church and out to eat. Hehe. Have fun! Susie Harris~

  2. The possiblities are endless for indoor things children can do from playing with edible play dough, to writing on chalkboard paint that you put on a wall or surface. Also they can learn to match socks and fold them and help with the laundry too. Also if you have old baking sheets they can be turned in to a magnetic board with a magnetic numbers and letters you can get at a dollar store, or in a dollar section of a store. Also take all plastic laundry tub detergent lids can them thoroughly and let the little one stack them and play with them. My son loved that when he was little. Also you can make bubbles using liquid dish detergent and white. I have done that before. Then use a slotted spoon for the bubble blower and it won't hurt the spoon, the mixture if spilled will also clean the surface it is on. Record your voice on an mp3 player or video tape, or flip style video reading your child one of their favorite stories and play it back to them. You can do that with lots of books, and kids love that. You can even do it on the computer and put in on a cd disc you can play for them. Also sit and spins are great for inside or out. Our children played with one inside for hours when little. Hope this helped some.

    How to Make Homemade Bubble Blowing Potion
    1/2 cup liquid dish washing detergent
    1 1/2 cups water
    2 teaspoons sugar
    Gently stir these ingredients until combined. Store in an air-tight container with a firm-fitting lid. It will keep pretty much indefinitely.

    God bless the Stamps Family.

  3. One that Harper might like since she liked the ice and water is keeping an empty sour cream bowl and an empty water bowl. You can poke holes all in the bottom of the sour cream bowl with an ice pick, fill the butter bowl half way with water, and she can use the sour cream bowl as a strainer (dip the sour cream bowl in the water in the butter bowl, then pick it up and watch the water run out of the holes.) It is also fun if you add something like plastic beads to the water so after all of the water runs out of the holes then she can get the beads. Hope that made since.

    Another fun one is to make discovery bottles. You can use empty 2 liter coke bottles or empty 20 oz coke bottles. Fill them about 2/3 with water, food coloring, glitter, and plasic beads. Super glue the lid on after you have filled the bottle with what you want in it (you may want to put dcut tape on the outside also since Harper is a little houdini), and she can shake them and watch all of the stuff float around kind of like a snow globe. It is crazy how much kids love these! You can do one with all red stuff in it, one with all blue stuff in it, etc. to help her work on her colors.

  4. I'm posting my fav's & it doesn't fit in one post, so I'm putting in multiple volumes!

    there is really no order but the last ones involve a little more mommy help

    "finger painting" with shaving cream.... I use it to teach my preschoolers their letters. They "trace" & "write" their letters with their fingers. Granted Harper prolly isn't old enough to be practicing her letters but its fun just to squish your hands in and "draw" pictures. You can just put some squirts on a table or on her highchair tray. Plus you do not have to worry about stains and it smells good!.... to make it more sweet try chocolate and vanilla pudding, its fun mixing the two colors.

    Another one that I LOVE is "washing" your toys. Though I've "seen" your house through blog pictures and I doubt there is a speck of dirt in it. BUT.. especially with a baby coming, you do not always have a chance to clean and disinfect toys and babies love putting things in their mouths. Have to tubs of water, one soapy (preferably with an anti-bacterial dish soap) and the other just water. Give her a sponge & maybe a tooth brush to scrub her toys and give them a bath! Its cleans them and entertains at the same time! To add a bit more "wow" to the activity, make suds in your sink and add them to the soapy tub. Best way to make suds is plug your sink, put an empty bowl in it, with a dollop of dish soap and run the water at full flow/pressure. or Add 3/4 cup of liquid dish soap to 2 quarts of water. It works great!

  5. Volume II

    Make a fort with pillows and sheets. Its like a new edition to your house and kids love it. Even make/give her a special "camping" snack to have in her fort. Plus clean up is simple.... or go to your local appliance store or Sams and get a few big boxes. Boxes are like a ten carat diamond to children 6 and under.

    Tearing wrapping paper. Its fun and helps with fine motor development. After any holiday I go to stores and get the brightest, tackiest rolls of wrapping paper or the dollar store or close out store. Sometimes I even get ribbon and bows. Then I hand them out to my kids. YES the entire roll. It takes a few minutes for them to realize, wow, she's actually letting me play with this?!? It crumples well, makes cool noises when you tear it, they can make balls and then she can throw them. Even use a laundry basket and play basketball. Or give her an empty box and have her try to wrap it. I have never spent over $5.00 for supplies and it lasts. I do recommend buying rolls instead of the flat type of wrapping paper.

    If you do the wrapping paper activity, save the empty cardboard tubes. Its fun to look them or roll marbles through them... Even save paper towel and toilet paper tubes. It sparks intrigue and the different sizes continue to challenge the child to keep discovering. I store a bag under my bathroom & kitchen sink to collect the empty rolls.

  6. Volume III

    This is a tad more parent involved but make musical instruments. Decorate a can & then fill it with beans. SEAL well... A banjo/guitar with rubber bands loosely attached at each end on a paper plate or bowl, or put slits on each end of the plate and tape the end on the back. Wax paper taped or rubber banded over a can, instant drum. Or staple beans in between paper plates, then decorate it.

    Messy but FUN.... painting with your hands & feet. Take paint and add soap it in then lay out paper and let her have at it. I get those huge rolls of white paper or drafting paper. Its a good outside activity and being in the south you have a long season of outside days!

    It may be considered child abuse but I HATE glitter & its not allowed around. Its hard to clean up and you never can fully clean it up. I love sparkles and glitter, just not when its in the hands of a child. Stick to glitter glue.

  7. Volume IV

    Chalk & ice cube painting. Using colored chalk let her color on paper, then give her ice cubes to slide across the paper. Its cheap water colors! Sprinkle some salt on the paper too, it gets stuck and then makes neat crystals on the paper.

    Trace her hands or entire body (if you can get her to sit still long enough) and then let her decorate & dress Harper.

    Make-up day... a bit more parent supervision involved. Rite Aid or any drug store always runs free rebates with cosmetics, or any store with cheap make-up. Its great because most make-up is non-toxic and washes away. I have done it, with the child in a highchair, at a table or outside. I get bright silly colors, put the kids in old play shirts and plop them in front of a mirror. Lip stick, eye shadow, blush, shimmer sticks are perfect and safe. I use the plastic, flexible mirrors, and I try to get them on the bigger side, like 8 1/2 x 11 size or big enough where the child can see their whole face.

    Old Shoes or play shoes. Let your child paint her fabric shoes. I use acrylic paint mixed with dish soap. Then let her wear them around! or decorate her own t-shirt or hair bow!

    For any project that involves paint I use acrylic paint, many craft stores monthly have 3 or a dollar sales. I rack up. Then before giving it to the kids I mix it 3 parts paint, 1 part dish soap. It cleans up great, comes out in the wash and lasts. I hate temper paint or children's washable paint because the colors aren't bright, they don't coat well and for keep sake purposes they crack & fade.

  8. I have lots of ways to keep her busy and she would beg for more