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One of the great (read: frustrating) things about living in Oklahoma is the weather. One day it’s beautiful, the next it’s freezing. Tornado one day, snow the next.
Take this week for example. Today, the high is 80. I sent my son to day care in shorts. Tomorrow, however, the high will be 40. We’ll be bundling the babies before heading out the door.
Given this unpredictability, it’s hard to plan outdoor family activities. In fact, there are approximately 3 days in the entire year that are not filled with storms, freezing rain, or heat-stroke-inducing temps. That’s why I like to have a number of indoor activities lined up.
Because kids will be kids. And that means, they’ll want something to do. All. The. Time. So whether it’s 80 and sunny or 40 and drizzling, here are some go-to creative activities to entertain and inspire your little ones.
This is a great idea for children of all ages, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money on painting projects. You don’t need a ton of space, and your kids have the chance to channel their creative energy into masterpieces you can proudly display or gift to loved ones. Not to mention, you can encourage creativity by introducing them to new shapes and colors. Use sponges, templates, or even potatoes to create geometric prints, or get messy and recreate Jackson Pollock’s finest works with a giant piece of paper and a palette full of colors.
All you need is paint, paper, and some aprons—and you’re good to go. If you’re feeling creative yourself, you can even turn your children’s art into greeting cards, gifts for family and friends, or a custom wall gallery.
Ya’ll know I’m a crafter. If you’re like me and have a passion for DIY, love to sew, or enjoy making things—you can pass those interests on to your kids and get them involved in crafting from an early age.
Teach your kids to sew using large, blunt needles and templates they can easily follow. Set out moldable clay and kid-safe tools, and encourage them to create whatever their heart desires. Or, take a look at sites like Glue Guns Direct to stock up on card-making supplies. I assure you, they’ll swell with pride when handing over hand-made gifts or cards to friends and family.
Are you like me—do you have tins, boxes, cardboard, formula cans, and plastic bottles lying around? If so, junk modeling is a fantastic way to make good use of them while encouraging your kids to get creative. You can turn boxes into houses or robots, or use bottles to make spaceships and submarines. Making one-of-a-kind models is a fabulous way to encourage children to use their imagination, and it can also help improve their fine motor skills and coordination. (Plus, it can clear out some of that extra junk laying around!)
Kids love the action of cooking. At least, mine does. He’s obsessed with playing with his toy grill, and he loves to watch me prepare dinner. So when the weather is less than desirable for outdoor play, we get out the aprons and bake something together. While your little ones may be too young to participate in putting their creations in the oven, they can get involved by making the mixture and adding personal decorations, To get started, check out our easy banana bread recipe. Another favorite in our house is DIY pizza night. The kids love making personal pizzas and watching them cook in the oven. Plus, it’s an easy dinner for this busy mama!
Creative activities are proven to boost mental health, and they’re often fun for children of all ages. The best part—you don’t need a huge amount of equipment, and they’re quick enough for short attention spans. No matter what the weather is doing, your children will have a great time.