These are the 3 words that every mum dreads but know are inevitable at some point during school holidays.
So with this in mind here are some fun and simple ideas to help you help your kids to play this winter.
1. Bring out the board games or make your own.
Monopoly, snakes and ladders, checkers, cards, uno… The list is endless. Sit down with your kids on a cold rainy day and have some old fashioned fun. Making your own counting board game can be a great learning opportunity and will take a bit of time to create and then play. (win/win) Let creativity take over. Just remember whose game it is.
2. Build a cubby house or fort. I love making cubbies with my kids. This activity is great for all ages and you can be as creative as you like. Use your lounge, dining table and chairs or even the kids bed as your frame and fill with blankets, pillows and cushions. Add some books and a torch for a snuggly reading space or surprise the kids with a movie and popcorn inside.
3. An invention box. Set up a cardboard box with some odds and ends from around the house such as bottle tops, jars, string, buttons, polystyrene balls, lids, cups, plastic cutlery, card, milk bottles and egg cartons. Place in a safe space with a ‘tool kit’ (masking tape, scissors, glue, markers etc) and via a letter give your kids instructions to invent a machine or object that has a purpose. This activity works best when done in pairs or groups.
4. Craft fun. Make some masks out of paper plates, bugs out of egg cartons, make play dough or slime (if you’re game) even for the big kids! Create a rainbow collage using all different textures (paper, paint, feathers, sponge, foil), Do some finger painting and thread a necklace with noodles.
5. Write a story and or a letter to someone special. Send a letter with a picture and drawing to someone the old fashioned way (via the post). Have the kids tell a story, recount a fun experience of the holidays or even a ‘when I grow up’ type line to begin.
6. Alphabet Treasure Hunt. Write each letter of the alphabet on a piece of paper and put them on the floor. The aim of the game is to find one item from around the house that starts with each letter. If the item is too big or precious to move, let the kids draw it on the paper. Take a photo of each letter and create a book for the kids to read for later. They will love the game but they will absolutely love their book because they will remember how fun the experience was. It will be relevant and interesting to them.
7. Inside obstacle course. Place teddies down the hall to run around, chairs to climb over, sheets, or balloons hanging from the door way to run under and ribbons on the floor to balance on. Give the kids a start and a finish and be creative with how they have to go though the course each time. For example – Be tigers this time, sing your favourite song, count to 10 or hop the whole way. The winners of this game can be decided by who helps clean up the best.
8. Mission Impossible – Using a ball of yarn and sticky tape, carefully string the yarn across the lounge room or hallway to create secret lazar maze. The aim of the game is to be like 007 and weave your way through the lazar beams (yarn) without touching. The winner is the one who touches the least amount of lazars.
9. Cooking Day. Sit down and plan a menu that the kids can help create. Vary the difficulty depending on the age of course. Cookies, muffins, cakes, slices, fruit salad, pizza, sausage rolls, pancakes, soups, sandwich faces and quiche.
10. Pool noodle playtime. Buy a few pool noodles and cut them up to create some fun and clever activities. – Cut long ways in half to create toy car racing tracks. – Cut into small cylinders to create ‘quiet blocks’ for building fun, place in a ball pit or write numbers and letters on them for practise. – Bend over the top and add some eyes and ribbon for a horse. – Add some balloons to create a tennis match. – Join the ends together to create circles and use as a target for a game of toss.
I love play and everything it represents and I think that holidays can be a special time for everyone to get off the 'train' and stop for a while. Playing with your kids is good for the soul - yours and theirs. When was the last time you stopped and played a while?
I have hundreds of play ideas and activities on my Pinterest Play bored that will inspire you to reignite your inner kid!
Have fun and happy holidays everyone