With a cold and snowy day forecast, Mumbler has some great ideas for fun indoor activities to keep the little ones busy and you all warm when you have had enough of building snowmen!
1. Make Shadow Puppets
This website has STAR WARS shadow puppet ideas! But you can make anything you want really. The kids will have hours of fun making and playing with these.
2. Laser Beams
Stick some cotton or string in a zig zag pattern across the hall or landing to create ‘laser beams’ the kids have to climb through without touching to win some treasure on the other side.
3. Create A Time Capsule
Use a Tupperware or old biscuit tin. The children can imagine who might find the time capsule in the future. They can write letters, draw pictures, find photos etc to let this person of the future know all about life as it is now for them.
4. Make A Den
I loved this as a child. Get out some sheets and create a fabulous den behind the sofa or between some chairs. Fill with all kinds of things to keep them busy… Lego, reading and drawing activities, a torch, dress up clothes, snacks, books on CDs….
5. Gruffalo Activities
The Gruffalo website has lots of fun, rainy day activities from recipes (have you tried Gruffalo Crumble?) to colouring and craft activities.
6. Mud Pies and Puddle Jumping
So it might be a bit windy outside but if the wind and rain die down there will be lots of puddles left for the kids to splash in. They can take toy boats to sail in the puddles or make mud pies. If it’s still too windy to get outside try creating an indoor puddle jumping activity for little ones by sticking paper ‘puddles’ to the floor for them to jump between. It’ll keep them moving and using their imagination. If you are heading outside the Nature Detectives website has some fun activity ideas!
7. Make Your Own Scented Playdough
You can create all kinds of colours if you’ve got some food colouring knocking around.
All you need is
250g plain flour
1 to 2 tablespoons cooking oil
few drops food colouring (optional)
For ‘Smelly’ play dough try adding cinnamon or vanilla.
Mix together the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the water and oil.
Knead well until mixture is smooth (about 10 mins). Add a bit more flour or water until the consistency is smooth but not sticky.
Add food colouring and knead until the colour is fully blended.
Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator until chilled enough to use.
8. Make Your Own Invisible Ink
Write secret messages to each other in invisible ink. When the ink dries you can heat it over a light bulb (adult supervision required) to reveal your message.
What you’ll need:
Half a lemon, Water, Spoon, Bowl, Cotton bud, White paper, Lamp or another light bulb.
What to do:
Squeeze some lemon juice into the bowl and add a few drops of water.
Mix the water and lemon juice with the spoon.
Dip the cotton bud into the mixture and write a message onto the white paper.
Wait for the juice to dry so it becomes completely invisible.
When you are ready to read your secret message or show it to someone else, heat the paper by holding it close to a light bulb.
9. Make Some Oobleck
Warning: this can be a messy activity! It’s lots of fun for little ones though and a great sensory activity. All you need is cornflour, water and food colouring (optional).
– 1 cup water
– 1.5-2 cups corn starch
– a few drops of food colouring of your choice
10. Build A Spaghetti And Marshmallow Tower
This activity can be as complex as you want. The basic idea is to build a tower using just a few marshmallows, 20 sticks of dry spaghetti and some tape. This is a good activity to keep older kids entertained and you can always use any left over marshmallows in hot chocolate when they’re finished.
11. Bang Goes The Theory Science Activities
The BBC website is full of lots of fun Science activities from this TV programme aimed at kids. Definitely worth a look if you’re struggling to keep the older ones entertained.
12. Hide And Seek
Always a good, easy game. I find that if you start the kids off hunting for you at the top of the house you have just enough time to make a quick cup of tea for yourself in the kitchen before they ‘find you’.
13. Scavenger Hunt
Of course, this takes a little longer to set up than hide and seek but you might create enough time for yourself while they are engaged in this activity to actually drink that cup of tea. For ideas of what to put on the list for the scavenger hunt take a look here.
14. Box Modelling
This requires nothing other than a pile of recycling – boxes, plastic containers etc – and some glue or tape and paint (depending on how much mess you’re willing to create). This is and easy one, let the kids make anything they want from the materials available.
15. Fluffy Paintings
If you have these two ‘ingredients’ then I definitely suggest making this. You’ll need some white, school glue – the runny kind that you can squeeze out of a bottle or that kids use the glue spreaders for and some shaving foam. Adding food colouring is optional. This mixture will dry to become soft and fluffy to the touch. A really good recipe is
3+ cups of shaving cream (foam not gel)
1 cup flour
1 cup white glue
Food colouring or paint
Ziploc-style sandwich bags
Sturdy paper or board (poster board, tag board, cardboard, watercolour paper, or paper plates)
Measure out all the ingredients, except for any colouring, into a large mixing bowl.
Mix the shaving cream, flour and glue together without over mixing. (You want to keep the air bubbles in the shaving cream.)
Divide the white puffy paint mixture between 3 to 4 small bowls and add a few squirts of food colouring or paint to each bowl, stirring in, but again being careful not to over mix.
Spoon the puffy paint into sandwich bags. Seal each bag (add duct tape as well to help keep it closed if your kids are extra vigorous squeezers), then cut a small corner off.
Squeeze the foam paint through the small hole on to your paper or board, making puffy lines, dots, and designs as desired.
Let dry overnight. You’ll notice the foam paint gets even puffier over time then sets, but is still puffy to the touch even after it dries.
* try using sandwich bags to squeeze the paint onto the paper but paint brushes and fingers work well too!