Any parent working from home knows that rainy days are especially brutal. Without being able to run around outside, kids either wind up getting very antsy or spend hours staring at a TV, phone or tablet screen. With little to no time or attention to give to their children, most moms and dads struggle with the situation, but it doesn't have to be that way. Here are ten ways that you can keep your kids entertained, but not on a screen, when everyone is stuck inside.
1. Board Games
Those games that have been collecting dust in a drawer or on a shelf can actually be pretty fun for kids. You can introduce your children to games you played at their age like Mastermind or Rummikub, or keep them entertained with with Trouble, Sorry, or Chutes and Ladders. You could even try having them play Monopoly (or Monopoly Jr. for the younger ones), just hope that it doesn't end in a rage quit.
2. Games Without A Board
If you're looking for a quieter kind of gameplay, Hide and Seek is always a winner. If you're okay with a little noise, Charades can be pretty fun too.
Grab some crayons or markers and challenge your kids to impress you with their art. You could also give them suggestions of things to draw and color and see how close to the real thing their masterpieces get.
4. Rubik's Cube
Since the Rubik's Cube first came out in 1980, more than 300 million cubes have been sold worldwide so chances are you have one sitting around. Your kid could potentially spend hours trying to figure it out. Best of all, there are updated versions of the cube that you can get, including the world's smallest cubes.
5. Shadow Puppets
Grab a flashlight and set children up in a dark room. Give them some suggestions on how to do a shadow puppet, like a dog or a rabbit, then see what other animals they can come up with. Maybe even have them put on an entire puppet show.
6. Get Rid Of Unused Toys
Have kids go through all their toys and pull out ones they don't play with anymore. You can then teach them about charity by donating those items. It's also a good way to get them to clean and organize their room.
7. Write A Story
If your child is more creative, all they might need to stay entertained is a pencil and a piece of paper. Either let their imagination run wild and have them write a story, or give them prompts, like a setting and a character, and see what kind of a tale they come up with.
8. Make Music
You might want to be in a different room for this one, but you can challenge the kids to create musical instruments with everyday items around the house. They can even compose a song for you.
Whether it is 50 pieces or 1000 pieces, puzzles can keep kids very busy for extended periods of time. Give them the tip of starting with the corners and moving to the edges, then send them on their way. One warning though - it could all become pretty frustrating if it turns out you are missing a piece or two.
Nothing beats curling up with a good book. Explain how many of their favorite movies or TV shows are actually based on books. Once they've finished reading one, be sure to engage with them and show interest in what they learned from the book or let them re-tell the story they just read.
As the storms of the summer come through, hopefully these ideas will help you weather them.
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