If the children are already saying they are bored – and the weather has turned into your arch-enemy with thundery showers here are some simple ideas – that will cost next to nothing to occupy the children for an afternoon.
When the kids keep arguing suggest that they throw something at each other! Paper balls
are easily scrunched up from torn out magazine pages to make “ammunition”. When it’s
time to tidy up, stand the waste paper basket in the middle of the room and see who can
throw the most in. A rolled up magazine makes a good “bat” too.
The Mummy Game
A roll of white toilet tissue makes this can keep the kids occupied for ages. Either by setting a competitive task to wrap someone or something up in toilet tissue and the winner being the best “mummy”. Alternatively a make-believe game of doctors and hospitals the tissue being bandages.
After cutting a potato in half, draw on a simple shape. A triangle, circle or star perhaps. Cut away the rest of the potato, leaving a shape to dip into paint and print on to paper.
Skittles can be improvised from large plastic cola or lemonade bottles. A little sand or water in the bottom makes them more stable. A good game for learning to count.
Building a den must be one of the most memorable parts of childhood as we all seem to recall the bliss of blankets draped over the airing rack in the garden or over the backs of chairs indoors. Even today’s sophisticated kids seem to find the thought much more exciting than just erecting the shop bought plastic play house.
I think the secret is to give structural advice about making the thing stay upright, but let the children do as much as possible themselves. Really large boxes of the type that washing machines and fridges come in can be had for the asking from the big electrical goods retailers and are useful for rooms within dens. Indoors, one of the simplest dens can be made by throwing a large sheet or duvet over a table. Cushions, torches,biscuits and comics or books will all be needed at the housewarming.
The foil trays that pies and prepared foods arrive in make lovely containers for miniature gardens. The children can enjoy hunting around the park or garden for twigs to make trees, moss for a lawn, stones to arrange as a rockery or a waterfall. Keep twigs or stones where you want them with a little blue tack or plasticine. Add toy people or animals and
maybe a little water if the container is watertight. This can be a very creative and enjoyable exercise if you have children of very different age groups to entertain. A variation is to use play sand (not builder’s sand – it stains everything yellow) to make a beach scene, maybe adding shells, stones and a blue paper sea