My husband likes to joke, “Idle time is the devil’s time.” We found that especially true on summer or Christmas breaks with our elementary school aged kids Ethan and Noelle. Twiddling their thumbs quickly turned into pushing each other’s buttons. It didn’t take long to figure out we needed some daily activities to keep them out of trouble!
Since time and money don’t permit an endless schedule of theme parks, day camps and parties, here are three ways we created fun at home:
Indoor Carnival – Set up various games like bowling with toy pins, tossing a ball into a wastebasket, and stacking plastic cups. Give the kids tickets to play. They can make the tickets themselves out of paper. Set up a prize section using the toys they’ve forgotten about.
Off-Season Christmas – Take out a few Christmas decorations and pretend to have Christmas during the spring, summer, or fall. Go to the dollar store for gifts. Hide the presents throughout the house, leaving clues behind for your kids to find them. Listen to your favorite Christmas songs then enjoy ice cold chocolate milk and cookies while watching a kids Christmas movie.
Travel Day – My kids love flying to their grandparents and can spend hours pretending to travel. First they pack their suitcases with their favorite stuffed animals, toys, crayons and paper. Then the kids drag their suitcases to another room in the house which is the airport, complete with security check in. The sofa becomes the plane. I’m the flight attendant. Upon arrival, they unpack their suitcases and settle in. The role play is endless as the imaginary vacation is never limited by time or Visa.