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Summer’s coming and that means good weather right! Not in the UK! As a mum of two I need just as many inside games for the summer months as for the winter. The problem is that inside games become boring quickly or cost a small fortune. Here’s a list of my favourite activities to do with your kids for free when you’re stuck in doors.
From being witches and wizards to pirates and fairies we’ve all played imaginary games. These are a great way to expand your children’s imaginations. It can be as simple as pretending to be on a beach or as exciting as going into space. By describing what you are doing, you will also be expanding your children’s vocabulary and improving their use of language.
Treasure maps could be part of a pirate game or a stand alone game. My girls (well my 3 year old does anyway) love drawing a map of a room in the house, hiding an object and marking it on the map. The excitement when they find the object they’ve just hidden is hilarious. It took a while to get the idea but now grasped we’ve been able to adapt it to other places e.g. the garden or Grandma’s house.
Hide and Seek
A firm favourite wherever we go but can be trickier inside (unless you live in a mansion). I really shouldn’t have been surprised to discover my toddler is quite happy hiding in the same place. For example behind the curtain, in a ball in the middle of the lounge, under the table. It is usually me who gets driven bonkers by hide and seek before she does.
Building a Fort
I was a bit dubious about this one when I first tried it but using sofa cushions, sheets, towels etc provide hours of fun. I did have to spend a while explaining the difference between clean sheets and old ones that my daughter was able to use. Sofa cushions also make a good substitute to soft play and the perfect place for little gymnasts to practice.
Making Cards in Advance
If you are anything like me birthdays seem to creep up on you. Before you know what’s happened your sister’s or mum’s birthday has been and gone; or else there’s the panic card buying the day before. Homemade cards might be the way forward. This is great if money is tight as you just need some pens and a bit of paper. If you have a bit of extra cash bargain shops always have crafty bits for a couple of pounds to jazz cards up. It is also the perfect time to practice fine motor skills and handwriting. Usually id there is a clear purpose reluctant writers are more likely to pick up a pencil so make the most of it.
Making Flat Bread
When I first tried this I thought it would be awful but it was so easy and impossible to go wrong. I found this recipe was really quick to cook so could be used for lunch or dinner. It only uses plain flour, water, salt and oil, even I have those in my cupboard. I used some shape cutters to cut the dough into different shapes and even my 7 month old enjoyed kneading it.
An absolute must for me! This can even provide an outing for those wet days if you need to get new books from the library. I find that if I sit and read out loud my daughter will soon come and find out what I’m reading and want to look at the pictures with me. It is a lovely calm down activity or a way to keep her in one place to eat lunch!
Hopefully the good weather will appear and stay but if it doesn’t these might give you some new ideas of how to amuse your little ones. Please share your favourite activities. Even if you are bored of them, we might not have tried them yet!