Fed up of planting your child in front of a screen when it’s wet? Looking for something fun to do at home on wet days with your children during the weekends or school holidays? Here are 5 suggestions to get you started.
1 – Build a sensory den
We all have tables, chairs, books and blankets that can be turned into a den, and most children love a bit of den building! Once you have a completed shell, why not add some of the following ideas and turn it into a sensory den?
- Disco/coloured lights or lamps
- Water/lava lamp
- Music – either playing songs on a device, or why not introduce some instruments to your den?
- Soft fabrics/craft materials – you could even dangle some from the ceiling!
- Soft toys
- Any other sensory toys you might have – think of things that turn, click etc. (fidget spinner anybody?!)
Once you have built your den, you could make a sign to go above the door – there’s another art and craft activity you can add on! Then, if you’re allowed in, why not sit and read some books together? Or simply explore the items in the den together and make up a story about them all. Or you could sing along to some nursery rhymes/favourite songs.
2 – Teddy bear tea party
Are you dreading another monotonous lunch/tea time where you’ll spend half of your time trying to get your child to sit nicely and eat their food? Why not have a teddy bear tea party instead? By getting your child involved in making the things for the tea party, not only are you doing another activity together, but they are also more likely to want to eat what
they’ve made, too! Win, win! Here are some ideas for simple things you can make together:
- Finger sandwiches – you’d better find out teddy’s favourite flavour first, though!
- Popcorn – who doesn’t love the smell of fresh popcorn? It’s healthier and more fun to pop your own, too.
- Carrot/cucumber/fresh fruit pieces – the more attractive the presentation, the more likely children are to eat it, so why not get creative and see what shapes you can make things into?
- Home made cakes or biscuits (or both if you’re greedy like me!) If you aren’t much of a baker, it doesn’t take much effort to melt some chocolate and mix it with rice krispies or corn flakes to make a simple but yummy pudding!
- Jelly – use little shot glasses or bowls for teddy bear size portions – children love it.
If you host your own teddy bears tea party, we’d love to see your pictures! Tweet us @axcis or tag us on Facebook @Axciseducationrecruitment.
3 – Balloon Disco
Most children love balloons and dancing, so why not blow up a dozen balloons, turn out the lights, shut the curtains, put on a disco light (if you have one), clear some space, crank up the tunes and just have a good old boogie together? You’ll be burning plenty of calories and getting some good exercise, too. You could even add to the fun with a bubble machine if you have one, but be careful as floors can get quite slippery if you use them inside.
Another way you could add to the fun is to see who can come up with the craziest disco outfit – time to get the face paints and dress-up box out!
4 – Puppet Show
If you have some puppets in a box, then great! If not, then you could spend some time decorating some old (but clean!) socks to create your own (check out our guide to making puppets here). Then you need a stage – the dinner table or the back of the sofa will usually do. You can spend some time coming up with a story or just having some free-play with your puppets together. Or take it in turns to put on shows for each other. You could even video some on your phone or camera to show friends or relatives later. Many children love to see themselves on video, especially if it’s with something they have made or done.
5 – Stopwatch Challenges
This one is good if you are entertaining more than one child. It can them how to play fairly as well as how to be a good winner or loser! All you need is a stop watch or timer (sand timers are great because they are very visual – root through your board games to see if there is one in there perhaps?) Then you just need a piece of paper to be your score sheet and away you go. Some ideas for challenges you could do are listed below – but you can also create your own depending on what equipment you can find hanging around, or get the children to come up with some of their own challenges:
- How long can you stand on one leg for?
- How long can you bounce a balloon in the air for before it touches the ground?
- How long can you balance a book on your head for?
- Pull silly faces at each other and see who laughs first.
- How many times can you throw a ball in the air and catch it before it drops to the floor?
- Who can go the longest without moving/speaking (my mum used to love this one!)
- Who can use a straw to blow a paper football across the floor and into a goal the fastest?
- How many balloons can you pick up and put into a bucket in 30 seconds? (Make it harder by putting the bucket across the room and telling them they can’t use their hands!)
I’m sure you’ll have plenty of ideas of your own – why not share them in the comments section below?
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At Axcis, we are always on the lookout for caring people who want to work with children. Whether you’re a qualified teacher, a teaching assistant, care worker or therapist, or simply someone who would be interested in getting into this sector, we’d love to hear from you. Why not take a look at our website or register your details with us to find out more?