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Monday, April 2, 2012

10 Indoor Activities using Household Items

There are days when I hear a constant refrain of “What should I do now?  What should I do next?” from Adam, my 3 year old.  We are spending much of our time outside lately, but when we can’t get out to play, I’ve had to be creative.  
For your benefit and mine, here are 10 indoor activities for preschoolers and beyond using ordinary household items. 
10 Indoor Activities Using Household Items10 activities

1.  Make a masking tape road.  We also used the tape to mark a “long jump” out for him.
play with tape
2.  Measure things.  Actually reading the measurements is too advanced for Adam right now, but this gives us a great opportunity to talk about bigger, smaller, shorter and taller.  Older kids can measure to the foot or inch and chart the measurements.
measure things - rainy day activity
3.  Sort something.  Anything.  Dump out the junk drawer and let them go to work!  I had Adam sort his art supplies.
sorting with preschoolers
4.  Have a scavenger hunt or treasure hunt.  I wrote numbers 1-20 on sticky notes and hid them around the dining room for him.  When he found them, he put them in order and then hid them for me.
easy scavenger hunt
5.  Play with shaving cream.  The kids love it.  They can “draw” pictures and then wipe them away.   Kindergarten teachers are fond of this because the kids can practice writing or spelling, and then when they wipe up the shaving cream, the desks are clean and smell great!  Older kiddos can practice their spelling lists this way!

Rainy Day Activity - Write in Shaving Cream
6.  Create 3D paper art.  This is a bug playground.  Clearly.
3D paper art
7.  Take pictures.  Adam loves using his camera and mine!
Inside Activity - child photographerimg_5187-1(rev 0)
8.  Build something with ordinary household “garbage.”  This was a pirate ship.
Building with Recycled Junk
9.  Wrap something.  Have you ever thought about how many skills are used when wrapping a present?  Cutting and taping are great fine motor skills!  Estimating the amount of paper needed is good for developing visual/spatial skills as well.Wrapping a gift is great for fine motor skills
10.  Cook with your kiddos.  This is one of my favorite boredom busters.  It doesn’t have to be a complicated recipe or a dessert.  Adam loves helping with ANYTHING in the kitchen.
Cooking with Kids - Boredom Buster

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I’m working on a much longer list of TV free activities with my friend Rachel from Joyfully Weary.  Got any ideas you’d like to submit?  How do you keep your kids busy without the TV?

Shared at What are Boys Made Of?