10 From GEM:
Easy Indoor Activities For Big Kids
Although it doesn’t feel like it where I live, winter’s winding down and the days are getting a little bit longer. If you believe Punxsutawney Phil, spring is right around the corner. Until it arrives in your region, you’re probably doing a lot of indoor activities with the kids and you just might be running out of things to do. We’ve already given you ideas for babies and toddlers and preschoolers. Now we’re moving on to the big kids—the 5-8-year-olds.
1. FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT
Give your kids the movie experience at home by making movie night fun. Turn your living room into a theater. Make everything comfortable by putting extra pillows and blankets on couches and chairs. Turn off the everyday light fixtures and string up white Christmas lights. Serve different flavors and varieties of popcorn to keep things interesting.
2. SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS
Science experiments don’t need to be messy or time-consuming to be engaging. You can try activities like growing a window herb garden; creating a terrarium; making slime, hot ice, or magic milk; or creating static electricity.
3. BOARD GAMES
Always find a good opportunity to turn off the television and connect with the kids. Board games get people talking and you can see your kids’ personalities come through. You can quickly figure out the bad loser, the competitive spirit, the one who just wants everybody to have a good time.
4. FUN IN THE KITCHEN
Kids should be introduced to kitchen essentials as soon as possible. Big kids are perfectly capable of pouring and measuring (great way to introduce fractions), cleaning vegetables, and mixing ingredients. We didn’t say you won’t have a mess to clean up, but they can help you do that, too.
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5. READ A BOOK
This classic activity is great whether you’re a kid or a kid at heart. Set aside 15 or 20 minutes each day that is dedicated to reading books. The more kids read the better they will become at academics, communication, and logical thinking skills. Plus, kids learn to think of reading as something you do for pleasure as well as for school.
6. HAVE A PLAYDATE
Of course you play with your kids, but sometimes you have other things to do. Call one of their friends and have them come over. Chances are good you won’t see the kids for a while as they just enjoy the company of one another.
7. HOW MANY CAN YOU DO?
This is a very simple game that brings out your creativity and theirs. All you do is challenge each other to do a particular activity as many times as possible without making a mistake. Try a coin toss, jumping jacks, or holding your breath.
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8. BALLOON DECATHLON
Blow up a bunch of balloons and try one or all of these different balloon games:
- long balloon toss
- keeping balloons in the air
- walk across the room with a balloon on one finger or the head
- balloon basketball with a trash can or laundry basket as a hoop
9. DANCE PARTY
This is an easy, spontaneous activity. It will ease tension and spark a lively mood. Just turn on some music and dance. Introduce the kids to your favorite tunes and genres of music they don’t listen to. Let them choose their favorite songs, too. If you don’t own them, just find the videos on YouTube and dance the day (or night) away.
There’s nothing wrong with kids being bored, folks! In fact, boredom forces kids to use their imagination, especially if you tell them that at your house, bored children have to clean out the kitchen cabinets, wash the walls, or clean the kitchen floor. Come up you’re your own menial task. Trust us, they will find something to do.
When your big kids have cabin fever, what are things you do together or encourage them to do on their own to stay busy?
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Alexis Trass Walker lives in Gary, Indiana, with her husband and four children. She is a stay at home mom and writer who loves all things chocolate. After years of shyness, she is a recovering wallflower who understands that a smile goes a long way. Read more about Alexis on her blog lilliebelle.org or email her at email@example.com.