I am a massive advocate for outdoor play and feel it is very important for children to have lots of time spent outdoors. However, there are times when going outside is not an option such as heavy rain or strong winds, or perhaps you just don’t feel like braving the cold!
Here are some fun free or very cheap activities you can do with your children:
- Sock wrestling – this is a fun but active game that is best played on a soft surface. The aim of the game is remove the socks from your opponent before they remove yours. A variation for younger children can be to have pillows under their tops, which makes the game less contact and therefore dangerous.
- Sensory play – There are many options for sensory play that children can enjoy such as:
- Playdough – you can extend on this through adding scents such as rosemary or lavender as well as introducing things like cookie cutters, sticks and pinecones
- Cloud dough
- Dry or cooked pasta
(you can find the recipe for play dough, slime, goop & cloud dough in our recipe book HERE)
- Cooking – This can be a great experience for children to enhance their sense of agency through doing tasks independently as well as supporting mathematical concepts through measuring, science through combining ingredients and fine/gross motor skills. Here are some of our favourite recipes to make
- Build a blanket fort – some of my favourite childhood memories are of building a blanket fort with my brothers when Mum moved the chairs from the dining table to mop under it (sorry Mum!). The process of building the fort is where so much learning and engagement occurs rather than the actual use of the fort itself. But it can become a reading nook, a secret space, a puppet theatre, or anything else your child wishes to turn it into.
- Make a photo album – one thing children love to see is themselves! This can be in mirrors or photos. Print off a bunch of photos and put them into photo albums together. We all have crazy amounts of photos on our phones, but how many are on our shelves for our children to access?
- Mattress gymnastics – this is something that regularly occurs at our house. Pull a mattress out into a large space such as a lounge room and watch the fun that follows. This can be a campout spot, a trampoline, a gymnastics mat or a teddy bear picnic mat.
- Dress up and dance – put on the Frozen playlist or whatever is the favourite in your house, offer some dress ups such as hats and scarves and dance the day away. Sing and dance like no one’s watching, here is where memories are made.