Beat the boredom! This is a running list of all the ways we can think of to entertain the kids at home. Especially on rainy days, it’s sometimes hard to come up with creative ideas for activities that keep the kids busy while you catch up on some home organising. Or perhaps you are looking for ways in which you can spend some time together as a family.
We will keep adding stuff, but you are welcome to tell us about your own ideas. In fact, please do! If it’s appropriate, we will add it to our list.
1. Play board games.
2. Make old sock hand puppets.
3. Haul out the play dough.
4. Make pancakes or flapjacks.
5. Make French toast.
6. Bake cupcakes and decorate them.
7. Make some popcorn and put on a movie.
8. Make paper aeroplanes.
9. Camp out in the lounge – make a blanket fort.
10. Grab some paper or colouring books and crayons. Let the kids do the rest.
11. Play an age-appropriate educational (but fun) game on the computer.
12. Have a karaoke competition and give a prize to the winner.
13. Have a dancing contest and give a prize to the winner.
14. Find some adult clothes for the kids to play dress up.
15. Hide some things around the house and let the kids have a treasure hunt.
16. Do face painting.
17. Do finger painting.
18. Play Hide-n-Seek.
19. Learn origami.
20. Have a tea party.
21. Try some science experiments.
22. Let the kids help you in the kitchen…to make anything.
23. Write a story together.
24. Perform a puppet show or play.
25. Do junk modelling.
26. Teach the kids to knit (or let them teach you!)
27. Make a family tree.
28. Read a book.
29. Act out a book.
30. Write a letter to a friend. The old-fashioned way.
31. Have a simple playdate.
32. Play shop.
33. Rearrange the bedroom.
34. Have a picnic in the lounge.
35. Play I-Spy.
36. Fill the bath or sink with toys and let them play. Just make sure the area is safe, so there won’t be any accidents.
37. Make homemade play dough.
38. Make a family photo collage.
39. Build jigsaw puzzles.
40. Play card games.
41. Have a fashion show while spring cleaning your kids’ clothing cupboards. Get out the camera for a fun fashion shoot.
42. Let the kids help you sort out their toys.
43. Make a star chart for helping with chores.
44. Paint stones for rock paperweights.
45. Make beaded jewellery.
46. Make a holiday memory book.
47. Make a countdown calendar (like an advent calendar). It can be used for any special event, not just Christmas.
48. Make homemade pizza.
49. Play “Name that tune”.
50. Play “Simon Says”.
51. Play Musical Chairs.
52. Play Pass the Parcel.
53. Plant a herb garden.
54. Make a scrapbook.
55. Get out the water paint and paper, and let the kids paint to their hearts’ content.
56. Give the kids some rags and warm soapy water and let them clean their bicycles on a rainy day.
57. Give the kids some magazines, glue and paper. Let them choose and cut out pictures they like to make a collage.
58. Make a bug box for collecting bugs and worms on sunny days.
59. Make a bouquet of paper flowers on chop sticks.
60. Play school – let the child be the teacher.
61. Make a letter book. Let the kids cut out a picture of something that starts with each letter of the alphabet.
62. Have an indoor snowball fight with sock balls.
63. Learn a new song.
64. Have a talent show.
65. Play PlayStation games.
66. Paint hard pasta and see what ideas come up. Macaroni necklaces, picture collages on paper. Let your imagination run free.
67. Sculpt something out of modelling clay, let it dry, and then paint.
68. Give your little girls pedicures and manicures…or let them give you one of each!
69. Take silly pictures and e-mail them to Granny and Grandpa.
70. Collect all the pillows in your house and jump into them.
71. Paint with Dad’s shaving cream. Add drops of food colouring to the cream in a cookie tray and then mix it all around with a paint brush.
72. Watch old family videos.
73. Start a journal. If the child can’t write, have them tell you what to write.
74. Make flash cards (letters, sounds, addition, etc.).
75. Let your girls use your makeup to give you a makeover. And then give them one.
76. Let your kids pick and print out colouring pages online.
77. Make a piñata and fill it with yummy treats.
78. Practice your fire drill. Stop, drop, and roll. What is your plan and your meeting place?
79. Make a popcorn picture.
80. Make rain sticks.
81. If you have a pet dog, hide doggy treats in pet-friendly places and see if your furry friend can sniff them out.
82. Play Charades.
83. Play Pictionary. All you need is paper and pencils.
84. Make potpourri and create cupboard sachets for Granny or a favourite aunt.
85. Make a trivial pursuit game for toddlers by drawing a board on paper, then writing easy questions on individual pieces of paper. Or you could use your regular board and pieces and just make up your own question cards.
86. Make a door curtain out of shells / beads / corks / bottle tops.
87. Decorate plain wooden photo frames.
88. Make greeting cards for faraway family members or friends and mail them when the sun comes out.
89. Play a sensory game. Blindfold your child and let him/her feel a range of different objects. He/she must guess what the object is.
90. Play tenpin bowling in the passage. All you need are six empty water bottles and a rubber ball.
91. Have a Barbie beach party in the bathtub.
92. Have a mini carwash in the bathtub. Load up a fleet of your child’s toy cars, trucks and space shuttles.
93. Have a night time treasure hunt by wrapping the loot in tinfoil and provide each child with a torch.
94. Buy a roll of clear boxing tape and fix all the broken and torn storybooks, puzzle boxes, games boxes, etc.
95. Build something together. A doll house for the Barbies, a kennel for the dog, a garage for the cars, or whatever you fancy.
96. Eat under the table like Indians… after you’ve mopped the floor.
97. Get active with a Wii game.
98. Host a slumber party.
99. Play telephone.
100. Make a cup of tea or hot chocolate and just talk to your kids. Find out what’s going on in their lives.